Adventures in Food Preparation

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The other day I set out to make a burrito wrap with whatever ingredients I could find. I spread a little sour cream on it, put some ham lunch meat laid over that, sliced some Colby-Jack cheese to put on top of the ham, and topped it off with some of Sam's homemade cranberry sauce spread over the top. When I told Sam, she didn't have any problem until I mentioned the cranberry, which led simultaneously to incredulity and disgust. But it was really, really good. I even went and made myself another one. The next day when we had some rice in the fridge I added that to the mix and had a few more.

It reminded of me of the times I've found myself running out of cream cheese in the middle of making a bagel sandwich. What I do then is spread peanut butter on the rest of the bagel before putting the ham and cheese (ideally provolone) in the middle. Oh, and it's almost always a blueberry bagel unless it's near Christmas (when it's sometimes cranberry). It's nowhere near as good as the cranberry ham and cheese wrap with sour cream, particularly the version with rice. But cream cheese, peanut butter, ham, and provolone on a blueberry bagel has got to be tasted to be judged. Feel free to call it disgusting once you've had a few bites.


well, i don't know if its disgusting or not, but reading it out loud made my wife laugh.

I think this is evidence that Sam has gone mad. Doesn't cranberry sauce make everything better? Try it warmed and on vanilla ice cream sometime. It's heavenly.

It may just be that she's gone pregnant. She's been disgusted at lots of things she ordinarily likes.

As a professional chef I have to weigh in on this. It sounds great to me. I am going to tell my sandwich maker about this and run it as a special. I have found that some of the best "specials" and unique flavor combinations have come from just looking around for what we have available.

Making sandwiches with flavored mayos and homemade jams and preserves have certainly gained alot of popularity over the last decade or two.

I'm glad you found something new that you love. Even after being in this business for almost 19 years (over half my life) I still find new and exciting flavor profiles. It's what makes the art in culinary arts (unless you get into chocolate and sugar sculptures.. as well as airbrushing.. but this is a totally different thing.. amongst other things).

As a side note, while working as the Pastry Chef at a Hilton, the Executive Chef made a glaze of half coca cola and half orange juice. I thought he was absolutely crazy. He put it out for an Easter buffet. It was one of the best ham's I have ever eaten. The coke cooked off and left a sweet orange flavored glaze.

I say keep experimenting and keep enjoying your food. Even the greatest chefs bomb dishes.. but worse comes to worse you only have to eat it for one meal (unless you just throw it out). It definitely builds character and a rock iron gut!!

There's a butter sculpture at the NY State Fair every year. It's unbelievably detailed. But I don't call that culinary artistry, because no one's eating it. It's just what would otherwise be food put to aesthetic use.

I've slathered my homemade cranberry conserve on sandwiches before. It's just that this batch got made with sherry instead of port (cause that's what came home from the store) and the taste of sherry doesn't seem to agree with me in my current condition.

With that bagel business you'd think he was the one who was pregnant instead of me.

Pregnant... congratulations you two.

Mmmmm port cranberry sauce. Jen and I were indulgent this past thanksgiving and made a whole dinner for the two of us. The cranberry sauce had a cup of port and about half a cup of balsamic vinegar and a few other yummy things aside from the cranberries. The combination was alone sufficient for my meal.

In high school we would make sculptures out of 50 lb. blocks of shortening. Santa's bust was always a favorite for the Christmas buffet. There are two different kinds of competitions in the world of culinary arts. One where the food has to be edible and one that is not.

Most competitions I have seen were the non-edible ones. There you see beautiful food but it is usually covered with shellac and other wonderful things.

I have been working lately on trying to teach myself how to airbrush cakes. I have found I am very limited in my abilities. I am looking to take a class for this. In case you are wondering we spray with colored cocoa butter and it is totally edible.

I had the pleasure of being taught by the former Pastry Chef for Richard Nixon. He worked near me while I was at the Hilton in Ct. He was unbelievable in talent. His airbrushed cakes could be sold as works of art. The depth of detail was awesome. I also witnessed him make 6 wedding cakes in a 10 hour period. The man was an inspiration.

Eeewwww. There's adventures, and misadventures. How about some tahini on chocolate ice cream with cloves and sauteed onions, with just a hint of marmelade and vegemite?

The ice cream and marmalade would have been sufficient for me not to try to add anything. Actually, the ice cream alone would have been fine, but I wouldn't mind mixing it with marmalade. Cloves might not be problematic. I wouldn't deliberately add onions or vegemite to anything unless it's because I'm helping someone else achieve their own cooking vision.

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