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Thursday, December 1, 2011

In Praise of the Punt!

As some of you know, I went a little crock pot crazy last year. I got a crock pot cook book called Make it Fast Cook it Slow (and subsequently several other crock pot cookbooks) and I just went a little bananas using this amazing little contraption to make dinner out of bits and pieces. What crock pot cooking reminded me (because I have always considered a recipe a template rather than precise instructions) is the it's okay to punt. It's okay to use chocolate chips instead of raisins (they're both brown after all). It's okay to use mustard, soy sauce and any flavor of jelly to make a sauce for chicken or chops. It's okay to use rotini instead of linguini or rice instead of potatoes. It's okay to leave out stuff you don't like. And above all, it's okay if it doesn't turn out amazing. Sometimes it will.

Take my dinner tonight: I have four little pork chops that need to get cooked today. I have some salad dressing that we got for free at a food show and I have some fresh pears. I'm gonna cook those things together. If the flavor works once the meat is done then I'm good and if it doesn't I'll take the juice out and add some soy sauce or some mustard or some cinnamon to give it a little more umph! I'm not afraid because as far as I know this isn't anyone's last meal. It's just dinner and it might be really delicious dinner or it might be "let's not do that again"dinner and either way, it's going to be okay. So take a few chances. Get out your crock pot and start with some easy recipes (chicken, salsa, corn, black beans--cook, shred chicken with two forks and mix in cream cheese. Eat in tortillas. So. Flippin. Good.) and after you've tried a few of those, have an adventure! Go off the grid! Mix it up a little and feel free to punt! You've got my permission.

I'll be back with the results. Happy creative cooking!

1 comment:

  1. Wait, you mean a recipe is supposed to be precise instruction? Well, I've been doing it wrong for YEARS then... I punt ALL. THE. TIME. I'm such a picky eater and there's a lot that just doesn't agree with my palate, so I do a ton of substituting, and it works for me. One of my Christmas prezzies this year is a 2QT crockpot, because my 6 quart, while awesome for a party, or to fix something for a pot luck, makes entirely too much food just for little ol' me, and even if I freeze some, I either get sick of it before it's gone, or it gets freezer burn & goes bad.