I've been tagged by Haverchuk for my first foodblogging meme. The issue at hand, as originally phrased by The Seasonal Cook, is that "cooking at someone else's house is a royal pain in the neck."
Too true. The ToastFamily is wrapping up our week in a gorgeous beach house on the Outer Banks, which boasts a gourmet kitchen. And the kitchen is quite lovely. But beneath its brushed stainless steel and elegantly mottled granite exterior lurks heartbreak. The oven heats wildly unevenly. The knives are for shit (honestly, profanity is the only way to convey the abysmal state of the cutlery here, people). There is only one mixing bowl. And there are zero rolling pins.
Since our only real goal for the week was to bake a ton of Christmas cookies, the uneven oven presented the biggest challenge. The Sister and I solved the problem by sitting on the floor and staring fixedly into the oven, like mongeese hypnotized by the gaze of a cobra, while each batch baked. We rotated trays and switched shelves as necessary. We are masters of improvisation.
The things I wish I had here, in this strange kitchen, on this strange week:
1) A decent chef's knife
2) My oven
3) A rolling pin (See below for further evidence of our mastery of improvisation.)
4) Toasted sesame oil (It makes everything taste better. Seriously. Everything.)
Obviously, oven portability is limited at best. But the rest of the stuff could easily have been tossed the suitcase, along with the spices and food coloring. For more on traveling chefs who recognize the problem of oven portability as well, check out this New York Times article: A Star Chef at Your (Expensive) Stove. Sample quote: "They rolled in crates of peekytoe crab, Colorado lamb, Maine halibut and tuna tartare, and enough fixings for a five-course feast."
Now, I wonder if I can bring my chef's knife on an airplane...
I'll tag Mumu of A Curious Mix (because I like the idea of tagging Mumu for a Meme) and J and T from DCFoodBlog.