Monday, September 13, 2010

Zen and the Art of... Chile Rellenos

Often, when I'm trying something new in the kitchen, I begin by referring to one (actually several) recipes, then pick and choose the ingredients and techniques I think might bring the result I'm after. While I'm waiting for my cylinder head bolts to arrive, I thought I'd work on my chiles rellenos. It's chile season, after all. I wasn't 100% happy with my last batch, which, admittedly, was created a few chile seasons ago. The batter was too cakey, the filling too plain. This attempt is closer, but next time I'll make the simple flour/water batter I've chosen a touch thicker.

I've been asked for recipes by more than one person. I'm flattered, happy to oblige, and I'll definitely try to add some of that to my blog. On the other hand, there has got to be at least 697,342 recipe blogs out there already, and I can't imagine I have something new or innovative to add. But that request, and the "Crap. I suck. Bolt Disaster 2010" as I'm now calling it, have got me thinking how similar cooking and motorcycle maintenance (or food photography, come to think of it, or flute playing, or any skill) really are. I, and those I'm asking, no doubt, get a good laugh at the questions I ask about motorcycle maintenance. "How many times, exactly, do I turn this bolt?" (Okay, I've never asked that, but I've come pretty close.) Honestly, you can read all the cookbooks you want, read every article out there on valve clearance adjustment, ask your photographer friends any number of questions, but when it comes right down to it, you've just got to get in there (kitchen, motorcycle engine, photography studio, wherever) and bust out some substandard work. Overcook a $75 pastured turkey for Thanksgiving, as I mentioned here. Irreparably blow out the background of a photo (like my grape photo here.) Or, even, ugh... break off three bolt heads in your motorcycle.

Due to popular request (that means by more than one person! By some people I haven't even met, believe it or not!), I've added ways to subscribe to this silly blog of mine. For email notification, look at the top right of the page. At the bottom right of the page you can "follow" or get notifications on your browser bookmark bar. Hope it works!