• Joined November, 2004
  • Intermediate Home Cook
  • 0 medals this month
  • 1 medals lifetime
I am in my middle 60's, slightlty disabled (bad hands) and live alone since my wife is lost in Alzheimers. I love to cook but get carried away by quantities so my fridge gets a lot of use. It is fun to see how many servings I can stretch out of a basic dish. I like to read many recipes for a given dish to learn the "first principles" for that dish. Then I adjust it to my taste. Italian sauces come up pretty frequently, they tend to have a commonality of ingredients that suits me. Seasoning and method of prep make one different from the other. I have a modestly nice kitchen that was designed by me and built to my specifications as part of a remodel of and old house. It gives me a pleasant atmosphere and caters to my disability. It does NOT improve my cooking. I tolerated a vile hole for several years with all storage on industrial rolling racks and about two square feet of counter space. I cooked just as well then as I ever have. In fact it proved to me that I could cook, not just collect gadgets. That knowledge adds to the pleasure of my lovely new kitchen.   Many years ago I had the opportunmity to see into the lives of many old people that lived alone and saw that most of them did not cook for themselves. They opened cans or had fast food containers everywhere. I vowed never to let that happen to me. Consequently, I eat fairly healthy and tasty food in small quantities.   I succumb to a fast food burger about twice a year. They are usually a big dissapointment.   I have had a life that allowed me to dine in many West Coast "Fine Food" establishments as well as myriad excellent places from the Mojave desert to Chicago. I was fortunate that cost was never a consideration.    Since my mind enjoys learning as my much as my palate enjoys good food, I have had the chance to recall the memorable meals and deconstruct them to find those elusive first principles. The "secret" is to respect the food and prepare it with care. NEVER throw something together! The kitchen, the tools, the gadgets and the cookware are irrelevant. If you can cook, the dish will turn out with good result.

My Most Recent Ratings

Potato Kielbasa Skillet

Potato Kielbasa Skillet

My son made this. Very good and will make again with slight changes. Potato could have been sliced and more al dente (no need to precook), sauce could have been more abundant (sort of dry). Overall an excellent recipe that only needs adjusting to personal preferences. Sweet and sour taste came through very clearly. — jen815 3/30/2012
Crawfish Pirot

Crawfish Pirot

My guess would be pirogue. A small boat. Good regardless. — rangerwife 1/11/2012
Chicken Pot Pie

Chicken Pot Pie

This originally comes from Pillsbury many years ago. The logic of a heated filling was to ensure the bottom crust got cooked since it was intended to start raw. If you are satisfied with the result, who cares? I have made this several times using chicken and ham. It always turns out well. I consider it a standard method of prep to replace a previously available pre-made product. — Cherylbythesea630 12/13/2011
Sunday Pot Roast

Sunday Pot Roast

This is the third time i have used this recipe. This time I used a Pork Loin of 4 1/4 lbs. Adjusted seasonings to suit my taste and got fantastic results. I cut the meat into four pieces and browned first, then simmered or braised most of the day. Results were so tender. This is a reliable recipe. — sgrishka 11/10/2011
Puttanesca Sauce

Puttanesca Sauce

I made this pretty close to instructions. Not totally convinced it is all that good. Very sweet is the longest lasting note I got from it. I may have allowed it to get too thick as well. Served it over Orichette. I only cook for myself so I can fix this to my tastes, or nearly so. Times are about right for a competent cook. — JerseyBlue 8/3/2011
Sunday Pot Roast

Sunday Pot Roast

Two tries to give a medal is too many, the site is buggy. The fact is, this recipe is exactly right. I left out the potatoes and carrots but added 1/2 lb. of mushrooms. After removing the meat for slicing, I smoothed the sauce with an immersion blender and then reduced it. The sauce had a serious overtone of Thyme and i liked it. Browning the meat is a given and the wine ought to be mandatory. Be sure that the wine is at least table grade. Since iI measure a lot of things, it is interesting to note that a 4 lb. piece of fresh meat yielded 2 1/4 lbs. of cooked meat. For myself, that might be 12 servings. For health reasons I eat reduced quantity in order not to sacrifice quality. . My listed active time includes finishing the sauce. — sgrishka 6/14/2009
Italian Sausage Skillet Slop

Italian Sausage Skillet Slop

I only wish that the name was more elevated. I have made variations of this sauce for many years. It is the backbone of Italian meat sauces. Add extras such as celery, carrot and mushrooms. Dice it differently. Change cook times, but always add garlic, learn to do "Misto". This is the most forgiving meat sauce in the world. It is the heart of Cacciatore and Bolognese at the same time — swibirun 3/28/2009
Roasted Brussels Sprouts

Roasted Brussels Sprouts

Aside from the fact that this man is a skilled cook, he truly seems to understand the premise of a recipe. it is intended to be a guide line, not an uncrossable center line. Thank you! — sgrishka 3/14/2009

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Thanks for the wonderful comment you posted on my Roasted Brussels Sprouts recipe. I appreciate your acknowledgment of my understanding the premise of a recipe, and my efforts to include suggestions or options whenever possible. For me, most recipes cannot pretend to replace the practiced hand and telling glance of a watchful, knowledgeable cook. I do recognize that some recipes require the cook to pay attention to detail to achieve a successful and/or safe result, and I make every effort to include important details and tips to help even a novice cook with these more advanced recipes. However, many more recipes are merely words on paper; guidelines, a starting point from which to improvise or adjust to personal or family taste. My mom always said to add more of an ingredient you like or less of something you don't like. To try substituting one ingredient for another. To stir your own ideas into the dish. She taught me that words have no flavor, you have to add your own!

5 years ago    sgrishka

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