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what is cooking?

I've posted a question on the homecooking board asking for menu suggestions for a kitchen warming i'd like to have in my newly renovated kitchen for women at work with various dietary restrictions (pescatarian, gluten free, and a hater of all things fish/seafood).

i was lucky enough to get the following delicious suggestion for a menu:

Cheese plate with crudités, cocatel de camarones (no shrimp, more gazpacho like for veg. Person), sourdough bread (partake or not), assorted summer fruit platter. White wine sangria, or wine coolers. Infused water.

My question is....do you consider there to be any cooking in that menu (if you don't bake the bread)? it does sound really refreshing for a summer supper. and i hope i've not offended the poster who was kind enough to suggest the menu.

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  1. Cooking is applying heat to food. What you have described above is preparing.

    1. According to Coo-king, the humorous dictionary by McKie and Beard, it's "the art of using appliances and utensils to convert ingreadients and seasonings into excuses and apologies."

      http://www.amazon.com/Cooking-Cooks-D...

      1. The menu as described is fine, as far as goes. However, I did read your original post and you were looking to make some kind of a main dish (as you described it, a meal with a starch & veg.). I don't see anything here that could be described as a main, not to this omnivore, anyway.

        You could serve this menu to your guests with the addition of just one cooked dish, and the "kitchen warming" would be critic-proof.

        3 Replies
          1. re: eLizard

            There has to be a favorite dish you've been just dying to make, whether for yourself or for company, since your renovation. When I did my home renovation last year, I couldn't wait to get back in my kitchen. I started dreaming of dishes I was going to make when the kitchen was reopened.

            The omnivore in me says meat, shrimp, chicken. What's the specialty of your house? The rest of the menu is satisfying and/or catering to the special requirements diners, so the carnivore will be looking for something to sink their teeth into.

            If you want to keep it simple, I second the recommendations for different types of kebabs. There's nothing that says you can't have a starch that's not gluten-free, provided it's properly identified for the GF eater. My favorite non-potato salad is a barley salad; it also loudly proclaims its contents - there's no hiding from the fact that it's barley, and therefore not GF.

        1. Does it matter?
          Sounds like it meets your requirements. This is more about the company than the food I imagine, hence why you are working around all their restrictions.

          What kind of new goodies did you put in your kitchen? There a thread about that somewhere?

          2 Replies
          1. re: EatFoodGetMoney

            i ripped everything out, and everything is new. there are probably a few posts with pictures in the cookware forum. the menu meets the requirements. and i was grateful for the suggestion. i just wanted to, you know, cook, in my new kitchen for the guests coming to warm the new kitchen. it isn't a huge deal. i just like to cook. which is why i redid the kitchen. and i love to cook for friends. and this thread was just my wondering if i was being too rigid in my idea of cooking.

            1. re: eLizard

              I guess you won't be using your kitchen too much. But you will be preparing a meal and whatnot. So cooking or not, you're "making food," I'd say.

          2. It's mostly just preparing food, I agree. Tomatoes, tomahtoes.

            I agree that I don't really see a main dish in there though.

            Why don't you just grill up some additional kebabs? Do half chicken and half shrimp? That way the pescatarian can add shrimp to her cocatel, and the seafood hater can have some chicken. The menu as is doesn't seem very filling, and the gluten free guest is especially getting shorted.

            Better yet:
            -Grilled chicken skewers (maybe garlic, herbs, lemon)
            -Grilled shrimp skewers (ditto)
            -Corn on the cob
            -Tomato/onion/cucumber salad

            -Apps can be the cheese and crudités
            -Sourdough on the side

            -Fresh fruit for dessert
            -I bake a lot so I'd probably add something simple like a pound cake or some butter cookies (or scratch the fruit and do strawberry shortcakes with whipped cream)

            1 Reply