I started this food blog last year simply because I liked cooking and I wanted a place to share what I was cooking with people who were interested.
One of the unintended consequences of writing about my cooking was that I also had to think more about my cooking. And that made me realize that, boy, are there a lot of things I don't know.
And throughout last year as I was working on this blog, there were a lot of flops. Bad recipes, bad flavors, bad pictures, bad ideas.
Seriously, that's a folder on my computer full of all of the recipes that didn't work.
Here's a picture of that bacon jam gravy and poached egg slop you never got to see.
Yum! Can I eat it again right now!?
It tasted fine, but technically, it was a mess. The gravy was grainy, the corn bread dry, and the poached egg overcooked — plus it looked like a hot mess. It wasn't something I could get excited about sharing on Crisp.
And I ran into this a lot: Food with good flavors but shoddy technical skill that led to a disappointing end result I didn't feel good about.
So, this year, I want to use CRISP as an opportunity to learn just a few of the many things I don't know about cooking. Each month this year will have a focus or a theme. I'll spend a few weeks learning what I can about the theme, testing recipes, tweaking my pre-conceived notions, and writing about it along the way.
It's like a self-inflicted cooking bootcamp.
As each month progresses, I'll share progress and recipes. And they won't all be good. I'll excitedly share the things that worked well, of course. But I'll also be up front about the techniques or flavor combinations that failed, and how I could have made it better.
I've already planned out the first six months, and it starts in February with Soups Month.
In February, I'll be exploring some of the techniques behind making flavorful, crystal clear stocks that will form the basis of many different soup styles — from broth-centric soups to soups featuring yogurt and soups made with pureed vegetable.
Here's a brief outline of where we'll be headed after that (subject to change based on my whims, but I'm feeling good about it):
MARCH = SAUCES
APRIL = ROASTING
MAY = FERMENTATION
JUNE = SOUS-VIDE
JULY = GRILL / SMOKE