Not All Those Who Wander Are Lost (J.R.R. Tolkien)
Monday, July 12, 2010
Cooking With Inna
My friend Inna stopped by the other day to give me cooking lessons. You know Inna, she's the Barefoot Contessa on the cooking channel.
Anyway, Inna announced she was going to make a meal for a friend who just called to say he was stuck on some interstate and had friends coming for dinner. He asked Inna to whip up a meal for him to serve his friends since he wouldn't be home in time to cook.
Of course Inna said "yes!" and proceeded to get out, and prepare, some luscious meat, a very healthy and robust salad, and a Cherry Crumble for dessert. Being the extraordinary wizard of cooking that she is, she had all this in her pantry and refrigerator.
I leaned back and got out some paper and pen to take notes. My cooking skills have nose dived lately and I'm hoping to improve. The salad Inna showed really looked yummy.
She made it by cutting up lots of fresh veggies like this yellow pepper...hmmm, I could eat the whole thing raw!
She also had some fresh baked bread, which she wanted to turn into some delish looking croutons. She cubed up the bread and then sauteed it in oil and spices, then baked it in the oven til crisp... Well, I was getting really excited about that salad, so I hit pause and went to the kitchen to see if I also had some salad "fixins" as Inna did. I really wanted to impress Gampy when he got home!
Sadly, I found no fresh bread just coming out of my oven. But, I did find a slightly stale package of stuffing left over from last Thanksgiving. I thought maybe this might work as a substitute for the croutons...
And, while I had no yellow peppers (or any other yellow vegetables for that matter) I did find some yellow bananas and thought that the combo just might work. Alas, it appeared that the bananas had seen better days! Sadly, I didn't think I'd be able to throw the salad together this night, so back to the show I went.
Next up was the Cherry Crumble. As Inna said: "Cherry Crumble is just like Peach Crumble...we've ALL made that, right?" My thoughts were "Inna...you bitch!"
The Cherry Crumble did look good, which just added to my depressed mood. So I moved on. I fast forwarded to the table decorations.
Inna informed me that I did not want to have a dinner party with a high bouquet on the table because my guests wouldn't be able to have a conversation.
Inna showed me how to use a regular drinking glass to make a cute, short bouquet. Oh-Oh. I don't have any fresh flowers, but I do have a bouquet of fake hydrangeas in the dining room. I ran to check it out.
Hmmmm, my bouquet seems to be a little tall for company. Not sure we will be able to see each other over that vase, let alone carry on a conversation!
No, there's definitely a problemmo here! I will have to get back to you on how my dinner went, as it appears I have some shopping to do. I'll let you know how the banana-stuffing salad works out -- I know YOU just may want to make that one for your guests!
I wonder if Inna has ever thought about peeking around the vase like this? I'll bet not! And she thinks she's the guru of entertaining.