Jessie: On the coast of Maine savoring each moment of summer
Is there anything in your life that you’ve been doing for a really long time and have finally just gotten sick of it? Something where the day in and day out mundane nature of the task has finally caused you to just give up?
I used to be an enthusiastic cook. I thought nothing of whipping up 1/2 dozen gingerbread houses for a children’s party. Barbecue for 60? No problem. I even catered my own wedding except for the cake. But in the last couple of years I just don’t have the will to cook anything at all. Opening a new box of cereal hardly seems worth the effort. After so many years of making dinner I’m finally burnt out.
Or at least I thought I was until Amazon Prime Day. I had heard of sous vide cooking before last Tuesday but I really hadn’t paid it much mind. Then I saw an advertisement for a sous vide cooker offered at a tempting price. I did what any thrifty Yankee would do and cruised the Internet for background information, YouTube videos and competitor pricing. And then I did what thrifty Yankees would not do, I bought the darn thing.
I didn’t need it, but I wanted it. I felt a little spark somewhere down in my soul saying maybe I could find the will to make dinner once more. For those of you who are unfamiliar with the technique it involves using a heater that circulates water in a large vessel. You place the food you wish to cook, along with any seasonings, in a sealable container like a Ziploc bag or a Mason jar. You lower the food into the water bath, set the temperature and the timer and you go away until it’s done. Nothing gets dried out, nothing gets overcooked, no chicken breasts come out half raw. It will even hold your food at temperature for several hours in case you just don’t get around to eating it.
You finish it all off in a searingly hot pan if it’s the sort of thing that would benefit from that and then you serve it up to accolades. I know it sounds crazy. But I finally got my son to enjoy a meal featuring chicken. But really, that wasn’t the point. The point was, for the first time in ages I am interested in making dinner once more.
Readers, is there anything you used to like to do the chief simply grown weary of? Have you ever tried cooking with a sous vide machine?
Bill got a sous vide device for Christmas and there’s a sous vide recipe in the next Maine Clambake Mystery, Stowed Away.
How wonderful! I would love to compare notes with Bill on the technique!
I am intrigued by sous vide. Will you let us know what you think of it in a month or so?
I’m (still) an enthusiastic cook, and have plenty of gadgets already. But I love devices I can set (or program) and leave to cook while I write, like my crock pot and rice cooker. So I will be happy to see your report.
Sure! I love my crockpot and rice cooker too! I even love the timer on my coffee maker. I always forget that I prepped it the night before and I think someone has made coffee for me.
That cracked me up! Several years ago my husband and I got up to a fresh pot of coffee. Neither of us had made it or set the timer. We were tossing around the idea that we were the hosts of a hospitality conscious ghost when my son called. He explained that he’d crashed on the sofa and made the coffee just before he left. Mystery solved.