Have you ever been behind a couple at your favorite Deli counter?
You know the type I'm talking about.
They shop in pairs and are constantly in conference with each other about whether this is the right ingredient for the special recipe; that, they just downloaded from the inter-web because some idiot recommended it; which, they are making that very night, because they have eight people coming over; and, they need to show off their spanky new gourmet kitchen, that they took out a second mortgage to get; which, has only ever been used to re-warm last night's Chinese take-out in the microwave; since, they order in every night of the week, anyway; and, all they have in their over-and-under stainless steel fridge are various condiments and some 2% milk that has seen better days.
They wander through the aisles clutching their recipe printout like the bible and question every ingredient to the micro-gram; "Well, it says 28 oz. (800 g.) of canned tomatoes in the recipe, but all of the cans are 35 oz. (1000 g.), is this okay??". This "consulting" gets even worse when they actually reach the Deli counter. Then there is a bickering over what's the difference between Speck, Pancetta, and Proscuitto. Not to mention that they need exactly 4 oz. (115 g.) of one of them, or nothing will work. Because, that's what's the recipe says; and it must be true. The problem is all they have at this Deli is Smoked Bacon, so now it's time to panic.
"Will it work for this recipe? OMG, is it time to run all over town searching for hours?? What do we do!!??? This was your idea!!!"
And, during all of this, you're waiting right behind them. When all you need is a quarter pound (115 g.) of Mortadella because your kids love it; and, if they give you a few extra slices, who cares, you're only gonna eat it. So what's the fuss?
The panic only gets worse if they actually split up. One is at the Deli counter, in front of you, and the other is at some other shop; they are on their cell-phones comparing whether they can use Bacon instead of Pancetta or which kind of salad to get because the vegetable stand is out of Arugula.
As much as I enjoy poking fun at these people, I actually feel sorry for them. Cooking does not need to be complicated or scary. This has been my approach all of my life. Take some time and figure out what you like. Do a little research. Taste things. Try ingredients.
All most people need is a little self-confidence, and that's what this blog is all about.