Quarantine Kitchen – THIS is a First

I blame my sister Nancy. It’s all her fault. For years she has been calling me and saying things like the following:

  • I am trying to make __________. I don’t have ____. What’s a good substitute?
  • What do I NEED to know before I attempt making ______?
  • Why isn’t my ________ ______ing?
  • I have <ingredient X> in the fridge/pantry, what do I do with it?

And so on . . . ad nauseum

After seeing my post about Nina Manchev of Forte Tapas doing a live cooking event in conjunction with SecretBurger.com and how much I loved it, she called me. So I kinda blame Jolene and Nina as well.

YOU should do this!

“I have a great idea! You are such a good teacher. You’ve taught me over the phone! You have done a million live demos. YOU should do this.” Nancy thought it would be more fun to watch someone she knows (a/k/a ME) make something that looks difficult, but with the right instruction and a little interaction and feedback, is fairly uncomplicated. “We” could post the ingredient and equipment lists ahead of time so that we can actually cook together, instead of watching a cooking demo and having to try to recreate it later because (1) she didn’t have the ingredients; (2) the chef goes too fast; (3) the timing is not accurate (the video was edited); and (4) she can’t ask questions. “Let’s do something I don’t know how to make!”

My Mouth Agreed Before My Brain Caught Up

And because I am bored at home, my mouth agreed before my brain could catch up. If this is the only way my friends can visit with me, I thought it would be a good idea… at the time…then Nancy started inviting her friends on FaceBook… and a bunch of people accepted (!)…and then I got nervous. WTF was I thinking?

And thus, Quarantine Kitchen was born (thanks to pal Gemini for that catchy name).

By now, most of us are sick of cooking the same shit…all the time. Few people are willing to test out new recipes under the best of circumstances because they don’t want to waste time on a dish they might hate. Now that we all have plenty of time at home, few people are willing to test recipes for a different reason — screwing up a dish. Or worse, buying all the stuff and never making it, meaning a wasted trip to the grocery store, which has the potential of dire consequences involving death.  

Keeping It Real

To keep it real for what the original intention was, Nancy and I will be picking recipes that we both love which she does not know how to make well. Of course, I’ll be doing most of the “heavy lifting” so to speak, but I told her that if I am doing this, she is doing it with me. The Hubs will be with us monitoring the camera and letting me know your questions in real time and the Offspring may be brought in as well because he loves to cook!

If you read my last blog about being in quarantine, this is a chance for you to learn something new and engage with others in a safe way – social distancing to the MAX here. For me, it’s a way to stretch my comfort zone, connect with some friends and strangers, and do something I love – cooking for others. Remember in the blog that I said I miss cooking for a crowd? Well here is my chance, and as I type there are more of you interested than I thought possible.

Croque Madame was the Star of the Show

Croque Madame at Bouchon, Las Vegas
The Croque Madame at Thomas Keller’s Bouchon, Las Vegas. Photo by me.

Our first dish was Croque Madame. My all-time fave brunch dish. And let me tell you, it sounds way fancier than it is. When was the last time I made if for myself? Exactly never! I order it when I go out for brunch, but who knows when the next time that will fucking happen! Next up? My version of the only thing I will eat from Olive Garden – that Sausage and Kale soup.

Go to Good for Spooning on Facebook, check out the ingredient and equipment lists (most of which you probably already have on hand). (Truthfully, it is not quite as long as it looks at first glance. Don’t be scared! I added EVERY DAMN THING you need and a description of it in case you need to sub an item.

I Will Try to Answer ALL of your Questions

During the events I will answer questions as we go along, so don’t be afraid to chime in. The Hubs will read the questions to me so I can answer them. At the end of the demo, I’ll ask you to make suggestions for dishes you’d like to see. I can’t promise that I’ll do them, Nancy must want to learn the recipe since this is her damn idea.

It had been more than 5 years since I had done a live demo. And while I have done more than 1000 of them in my lifetime, I have only ever recorded a couple of them. If you are going to critique, please do so, but please be kind. I am sure I will suck in the beginning, but I am also sure I will get better. A little warning – it may end up being like “Auntie Fee” peppered with foul language, but I hope the recipes won’t be quite as disastrous.  

Can’t wait to see you and cook with you on Saturday!

Cover Photo by
Photo by Becca Tapert on Unsplash