Tonawanda News

Features

March 11, 2013

ADAMCZYK: The answer to everything is horseradish

Tonawanda News — Hey, beginner in the kitchen! Be assured of one thing: It’s easier than it seems.

The image of the man in the kitchen, the just-starter-outer who requires books with titles like “How to Boil Water” and “Stand Facing the Stove” is that of a good-natured but innocent doofus straddling a line between the suave, under-control master of every crank on every piece of kitchen equipment, the guy who knows just how much ground superfine mustard is required to penetrate the fish he’s coating, and of the over-his-head fool who merely wants whatever’s he’s cooking to stay on the plate, and not poison him.

Listen, my brother. I was once where you are. Effective cooking is no more than figuring out what you want, assembling the pieces and joining the pieces.

Assuming you accept that, note how cooking is thus like carpentry, welding, furniture building, gardening or any number of things you’ve likely already done.

Needless to say things get learned as one passes from the “You cook the food, I eat the food” delineation of domestic roles to “We can do this easily, together” that so impresses women these days (I have no idea what impresses women, never have, but this seems to work). And if you’re involved in cooking to please no one but yourself, well, no one but yourself is qualified to assess your genius.

Get yourself some appropriate knives and other kitchen implements, and a good stock of spices in little jars, and you’re ready to eat and live like a prince (treat the aforementioned items as you would the purchase of tools and hardware at Home Depot, and you’re on your way).

The great chef Jerry Seinfeld once commented that cinnamon should be on every restaurant table, next to the salt and pepper. Whenever something tastes better than expected, it’s probably because cinnamon has been added.

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    Another goal of hers is to show others how to do the same — and to that end, Johnson is offering a series of workshops this summer in connection with her business, Sylvatica Terrariums, and Project 308 Gallery in North Tonawanda, teaching people how to bring a piece of the outdoors into their homes in the form of a terrarium or other greenery.

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