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Welcome and Guidelines

sbreckenridge's picture

Welcome, one and all, to the Cooks Talk Project, which is kicking off on April 1.  The goals of this project are:  (1) to challenge ourselves, (2) to learn new techniques, (3) to expand our palates, and (4) to have some fun. 


 


This is a project about cooking - a year long marathon of cooking, if you will.  And like all marathons, we will have two types of participants:  The Runners, and The Walkers.  Runners will pick a single source, and cook every single recipe in that source.  Walkers will pick a single source, as well, but they will only be cooking one recipe per week, and it must be a different recipe each week. 


 


THE RULES


 


1.  You complete the project in one year, from April 1, 2007 until April 1, 2008.


 


2.  Your source material must come from a single source, ie. a single


cookbook/technique book; a collection of food magazines (all Fine Cooking magazines published in a single year, or ALL Fine Cooking magazines ever published!); or recipes from a single author (any and all recipes from Rick Bayless, for example).  It can be a new source (Ina Garten) or an old source (Julia Child).


 


That's it.  The only hard and fast rules. The following are a few more guidelines (NOT rules).


 


HOUSEKEEPING/POSTING


- This thread will remain open for questions people have about the project itself. But participants should start their own thread to document their project.


- When you begin your diary of your project, we suggest that you put your screen name and your source material in the thread’s title, to make it easier for others to follow along.


- Feel free to post questions, encouragement, etc. in other people’s project threads. A conversation is always more interesting than a monologue.


 


 


COMPLETING THE PROJECT


- Try to do the recipes as written.


- If you'd like to post the occasional recipe from your project, feel free. But this is not about simply reposting recipes—instead, use the thread to share your observations, your frustrations, your successes, your failures.   


- Do not feel compelled to post something every single day.  You have a full year to complete it.  You might be sick for a week or go on vacation or any number of things.  Pace yourself.


- If you’ve come to the project late, feel free to join in—but you may want to choose a shorter cookbook so you can finish up with the rest of the group.


- IF you come to a recipe with ingredients that you or your family are allergic to, you may ask for help on the Board by posting the recipe and having someone else make it for you.


- Above all else - have some fun!

whatscooking's picture

(post #67156, reply #1 of 100)

Can I just say I'm so excited about this project.  Especially now that I can see how it is going to work. 

Then all around from far away across the world
he smelled good things to eat
so he gave up being king of where the wild things are.
                                                            -Maurice Sendak
  

Chicago-style deep-dish:  "Pizza for people who just aren't fat enough"
Anthony Bourdain
http://theoutdatedkitchen.blogspot.com/

Biscuit's picture

(post #67156, reply #2 of 100)

FYI - I was asked by Sarah today if I thought the Project should be open to latecomers - people who may find CT after the Project has started, but want to join.


The answer - fine with me!  The more the merrier.  The deadline will still be the same, but they are welcome to join if they like.


****


BTW - you may have noticed that even though I started this whole thing, I have not posted my book yet (g).  I can't - I'm on the fence about which one.   I'm definitely going to be a Runner, but I just can't decide which book.  Dammit.  I promise to decide before April 1.


I'm not mean - you're just a sissy.

"When a stupid man is doing something he is ashamed of, he always declares that it is his duty."  - George Bernard Shaw

wishiwasachef's picture

(post #67156, reply #3 of 100)

COMPLETING THE PROJECT


- Try to do the recipes as written...


 


Hi - Say the recipe calls for basil and you decide mint is also a great addition, where or how would you suggest adding your own flair to the recipe, or is that not suggeted?


 


This is such a great idea.  Thx. for opening it up to regular folks.

Biscuit's picture

(post #67156, reply #4 of 100)

Hi.  Again - it's a guideline only, so obviously you can do whatever you like.  But in the spirit of the original idea (the book Julie & Julia), you should do the recipes AS WRITTEN for the project, in so far as you are able. 


If you want to make it again later, that would be a good time to add your own "flair".


I'm not mean - you're just a sissy.

"When a stupid man is doing something he is ashamed of, he always declares that it is his duty."  - George Bernard Shaw

wishiwasachef's picture

(post #67156, reply #6 of 100)


Thx. That makes sense. I will not substitute. This is going to be glacial.


I choose Readers Digest, Creative Cooking, given to me in 1977 by my sister as a Christmas present as my weapon.


I wish I could remember how to change my login. I would make it: Walker, Texas Ranger


 


 


 

RheaS's picture

(post #67156, reply #18 of 100)

This may have already been answered: what if we choose a book, make say 5 recipes and discover they're all duds? Can we change books? Or should there be a minimum number to try?

Adele's picture

(post #67156, reply #19 of 100)

Shoechick posted the below italics, (in her book thread), and I wanted to post in this thread, for ideas we could all use.


I've photocopied the index to make it easy to check off what's been completed and give them a thumbs up or thumbs down


Good idea, I was just going to put checkmarks on the pages.  :)  I'm going to make notes on each recipe too- just like I did when I tested the FC chocolate recipes. Note as I go, so I don't forget later.


I've already got a list of what is what is not readily available and odd stuff. I think I'll steal the photocopy idea and keep a copy in my car too.  I've already run into an 'off season' recipe I wanted to start as it is used in a couple of recipes: raspberry vineragrette- no fresh raspberries.  Hitting the farmers market tomorrow (see, this is even getting me to go back there) to see what I can see.   I think I'll go through one more time & mark down the more expensive items- meats (lamb, prime rib), duck, capon- have no idea on the price of this, never looked for it.  That way, as I find it on sale I can plan a meal around it.


Any other ideas?  How are you approaching it? 


 


But, but, it's SUPPOSED to taste like that!

But, but, it's SUPPOSED to taste like that!

shoechick's picture

(post #67156, reply #20 of 100)

It think that for runners, it's really important to shop ahead.  Today I wrote down what I needed for about 5 recipes and headed to Whole Foods and got everything that I needed in one store.  Now I'm ready for easy weeknight dinners.  I think it's also important to see what "other" ingredients are needed.  I saw Preserved Lemons a couple of times in the book, so one of my first things to do on Sunday is starting getting those ready.

The World is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page.  ~St. Augustine

The World is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page.  ~St. Augustine

Adele's picture

(post #67156, reply #21 of 100)

I'm starting the Glace deViande (too lazy to look for the real name) tomorrow, I have 15 lbs of chicken in the fridge and actually bought celery. :) It is used in a couple of recipes.  Wish me luck with the raspberries, it's used for at least one salad.


Yup, I need some dried ingredients, and know I can freeze/store some others, like the grains.  Next week I'll start actively looking so I won't be making multiple trips to stores I never go to.  But then, that might be a good thing. :)


But, but, it's SUPPOSED to taste like that!

But, but, it's SUPPOSED to taste like that!

Gretchen's picture

(post #67156, reply #22 of 100)

We have a lot of raspberries in the market--horrible price for those little clamshells, but they are there--from Chile, I assume.

Gretchen

Gretchen
Adele's picture

(post #67156, reply #23 of 100)

I'll even take those!  Struck out at the Farmers Market.  Will solicit raspberry help from co-workers, they are all over the area, so many different stores.  These will be crushed (I think) and mixed in red-wine vinegar.

But, but, it's SUPPOSED to taste like that!

But, but, it's SUPPOSED to taste like that!

Biscuit's picture

(post #67156, reply #24 of 100)

Ummm - I didn't cover that.  I don't know the answer! (G)  I would say - if you have a book, you've tried 5 recipes in a row and they are all inedible by normal standards - you have my blessing to switch it out for something else and declare the book a loss.  I would probably do it after 3 recipes, but then - I'm not very tolerant when it comes to food (g).

I'm not mean - you're just a sissy.

"When a stupid man is doing something he is ashamed of, he always declares that it is his duty."  - George Bernard Shaw

Biscuit's picture

(post #67156, reply #25 of 100)

BTW - I realize I made up the rules here, but I want to get a general blessing from the participants for something I need to do.


Reading through EVERY recipe in The Heritage of Southern Cooking last night I nearly had heart failure in the seafood and "Well Dressed Birds" sections.


First - I didn't realize how many recipes in this book involved oysters.  Now, I actually like oysters and when I'm on any coast I will eat them.  But - I live in Cleveland.  Not exactly the oyster capital of the world.  You can get them, but quality is iffy and price is pretty much up there and - well, I'm not up for iffy-quality seafood, you know?  So, FYI, when I can get them I will - when I can't, I may sub something.  Not sure at this point.  But just so you know - those recipes might have to be altered.


Second - okay.  I can probably get quail.  I can get duck.  I can even-maybe- probabaly get dove and/or partridge (if not, I'll have to sub in guineas or something)  But BLUE and GREEN WINGED TEAL??? (both wild, smaller ducks)  PHEASANT????  Uh-uh.  Even if I could find any of the three, I can guarantee you that I am not paying the enormous price they would carry, especially the pheasant. 


So - just in case, I want you to know that I'm subbing something for both, or skipping those recipes all-together.   I'll need a little group blessing to do so, but seriously - pheasant?  Mounds of oysters?  In Cleveland?  Yea.  Right.  (g)


BTW - Jean - can I maybe work a deal for some venison in the fall? 


 


I'm not mean - you're just a sissy.

"When a stupid man is doing something he is ashamed of, he always declares that it is his duty."  - George Bernard Shaw

MadMom's picture

(post #67156, reply #26 of 100)

Obviously, you know you have my blessing!



Not One More Day!
Not One More Dime! Not One More Life! Not One More Lie!

End the Occupation of Iraq -- Bring the Troops Home Now!

And Take Care of Them When They Get Here!

Marie Louise's picture

(post #67156, reply #27 of 100)

When we had our beach house, sometimes we'd drive home via Tomales Bay & get oysters at Hog Island. (They are the major "grower" of Bay Area oysters.) The outside "store" is at water's edge, and they'd take our order out of tanks connected to the same bay water the oysters grow in. The difference in the oysters we'd eat a few hours later, and the ones we'd eat the next day was very noticable. The ones the next day were still good, but they'd lost a certain salty freshness.

So... since I'm guessing you can't get oysters that are a few hours out of the water, I would skip those recipes. Perhaps you'll take a coastal vacation w/ a kitchen-you can try them then.

BTW, are you going to buy one of those gas-fired wok setups like samchang has for Tropp's book? (You have to use them outside, but I think they have 60K BTUs or something.)

Biscuit's picture

(post #67156, reply #28 of 100)

Seriously considering it - just haven't really thought about it in depth yet.  Possibly - I'd love to!

I'm not mean - you're just a sissy.

"When a stupid man is doing something he is ashamed of, he always declares that it is his duty."  - George Bernard Shaw

ibozo's picture

(post #67156, reply #29 of 100)

I would like to suggest another guideline for the Cook's Talk Project. I know how we often get off on tangents when we are posting, but I think that under this heading only, Cook's Talk Project, we should limit our conversation to the books, authors, recipes that we are talking about. That doesn't mean if someone is having problems you can't help, just don' bring up their kids, the weather, etc. I know others have suggested this before and they always get shot down, but under this section I think it makes sense. The purpose of this section is to learn about the cook book, recipes and authors we are writing about. At least that is my take on this project.

"We are living in a world today where lemonade is made from artificial flavors and furniture polish is made from real lemons.”
Alfred E. Newman

"We are living in a world today where lemonade is made from artificial flavors and furniture polish is made from real lemons.” Alfred E. Newman
RecipeGirl's picture

(post #67156, reply #30 of 100)

I completely agree with this suggestion.  It will be such a large thread that it would be nice to be able to read through each post and actually be reading about the recipes in the cookbook and conversations having to do with such.  Leave the "banter" for PMing or other threads more appropriate to casual conversation.


Lori
http://www.RecipesAndEntertaining.com

"Everything tastes better with a glass of good wine..."
Lori
http://www.RecipeGirl.com (The site)
http://TheRecipeGirl.blogspot.com (The blog)

"Everything tastes better with a glass of good wine..."
Lee's picture

(post #67156, reply #31 of 100)

I'm in total agreement.  These threads are going to be tough enough to keep up with, given the number of participants we already have.  Discussion should be limited to the recipes, reviews of the various dishes, problems, tips, etc.

MadMom's picture

(post #67156, reply #32 of 100)

Amen.  As several have pointed out, these threads will be quite long, so no need for tangents.



Not One More Day!
Not One More Dime! Not One More Life! Not One More Lie!

End the Occupation of Iraq -- Bring the Troops Home Now!

And Take Care of Them When They Get Here!

CookiM0nster's picture

(post #67156, reply #33 of 100)

Too bad you're not closer. I can get fresh pheasant, in season, from a couple of hunting friends.

Biscuit's picture

(post #67156, reply #43 of 100)

I am going to try.  My only possible avenue is the West Side Market.  That's where I intend to try and get oysters (may be an impossibility here to get them as fresh as I feel comfortable with), and where I am fairly certain I can get the ducks, partridges, and rabbit.  Probably the venison as well, but if not, I'm sure I can find someone around here that hunts.  Or I'll just hit Jean's husband up for some (G).


*****


I think we should do our best to get these ingredients, but seriously - if they are prohibitively expensive or not good quality, then subbing something close to that is reasonable and fine. 


I'm on the lookout for Fiddleheads.  They have a very short season here.  If I don't get some soon I probably won't be getting any at all.


I'm not mean - you're just a sissy.

"When a stupid man is doing something he is ashamed of, he always declares that it is his duty."  - George Bernard Shaw

butterfingers's picture

(post #67156, reply #44 of 100)

Can someone tell me how to insert pictures into posts? I know how to upload attachments, but I want to insert them into my post. I've seen it done by others.

Thanks!

Jean's picture

(post #67156, reply #45 of 100)

Preview your message. Open your picture. Copy it. Click revise and then Paste it and Post.


 




Birthdays are good for you. The more you have, the longer you live.
http://www.thebreastcancersite.com/

A  clear conscience is usually the sign of a bad memory.
http://www.thebreastcancersite.com/
help to provide free mammograms for women in need
butterfingers's picture

(post #67156, reply #46 of 100)

Thank you so much Jean!

butterfingers's picture

(post #67156, reply #49 of 100)

I can't seem to get this to work. How are your pictures saved, Jean? Are they jpgs?

Jean's picture

(post #67156, reply #50 of 100)

Yes, jpg. Will they upload at all for you? Do you get the little attachment logo? Maybe I didn't explain it well. You have to first upload your picture then follow my instructions.



Birthdays are good for you. The more you have, the longer you live.
http://www.thebreastcancersite.com/


Edited 4/2/2007 1:00 pm ET by Jean

A  clear conscience is usually the sign of a bad memory.
http://www.thebreastcancersite.com/
help to provide free mammograms for women in need
butterfingers's picture

(post #67156, reply #51 of 100)

Thanks. I've almost got it. It's not coming through perfectly, but that might be because I am on a Mac.

(Those deletes were mine. I was testing inserting photos.)

Jean's picture

(post #67156, reply #52 of 100)

Ah, that would explain a lot.



Birthdays are good for you. The more you have, the longer you live.
http://www.thebreastcancersite.com/

A  clear conscience is usually the sign of a bad memory.
http://www.thebreastcancersite.com/
help to provide free mammograms for women in need
Marie Louise's picture

(post #67156, reply #53 of 100)

I've never had success loading pictures here from my Mac. Used to work perfectly over at eGullet, but they had different software.