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The Rules

19 Jan

So, in order to full immerse yourself in the PGG experience (what is that, exactly? I don’t know yet either! Isn’t that exciting?), you will have to follow some simple rules, because I feel like rules are important.

Rule #1: Thou shalt be willing to get thy hands dirty.

How, pray tell, can you prepare meatballs, or tenderize chicken, or even crack an egg, if you are afraid of germs? Yeah yeah, salmonella’s bad…but you’re not going to get very far culinarily (is that a word?) if you’re loath to get some yucky stuff on your hands.

Rule #2: Thou shalt clean things properly.

Yeah, so, if you’re going to get dirty, you also have to clean…like, with hot water. Scalding is preferable. As is dishwashing soap. You might have a dishwasher — if so, congrats! and, you must not live in NYC — but there are still some dishes you have to do that won’t fit in it. DON’T LET THEM GET ALL CRUSTY AND CAKED. EW. DO WASH THINGS FAIRLY QUICKLY AFTER USING THEM. Or, you know, get someone else to do it, like I do (my boyfriend, who, as I mentioned, is a totally incompetent cook, is an excellent dishwasher).

Rule #3: Thou shalt have a cutting board just for garlic.

Ok, so this isn’t really a rule so much as a vehement suggestion. You really only need two cutting boards: one on which you use garlic, one on which you don’t. Label them, buy different-colored ones, do whatever you need to do to tell them apart. Trust me: nothing is grosser than garlicky fruit salad.

Rule #4: Thou shalt be willing to experiment.

Don’t like blue cheese? Try a recipe with it anyway. Don’t like sweet and salty together? You should really go eat a chocolate-dipped pretzel and get with the program. Don’t like mushrooms? I don’t either. In fact, I really hate them. BUT I have still been known to cook with them once in a while.

The point is, we tend to have pre-formed ideas of what we like and what we don’t based on our preferences as kids. Our taste buds change over time and our palates becomes more sophisticated (which, as far as I know, is actually because our taste buds are slowly dying so things don’t taste as strong, which is kind of depressing). So, try new things — now that you are old and decrepit, you might be surprised by what you like.

Rule #5: When looking at recipes online, thou shalt read the comments.

The comments help SO MUCH — you can get some great ideas about altering the given recipe and making it better. I find that real people’s responses are almost always more helpful than the recipe itself, because these people have tried the recipes out for themselves in real life. Please also comment on the recipes I post with your own findings — everyone’s tastes are different, and learning to alter recipes according to your own tastes is a big step. This brings me to the final rule:

Rule #6: Thou shalt not forget that I am not an expert.

I am a regular person. I have no training. I don’t, in fact, particularly know what I am doing. My word is not law, despite the fact that for some reason I seem to have written these rules as commandments, which is somewhat misleading and also a little odd, but let’s not go there.

I tend to not do things exactly (I shall, however, attempt to measure things for the sake of clarity in recipes). I am messy. I cannot work miracles. Sometimes I get carried away by thinking I am witty and just become annoying. Please remember these things when reading this blog, and offer constructive comments whenever you want. I want this to be a helpful, fun forum full of healthy, hearty culinary discourse. Or whatever.

Ok, that’s all the rules I can think of for now. Shouldn’t be too hard, right?