Cooking and its narcotic effects...

I don't know how to dance.  I can't sing.  I've never been good at sports.  I never liked to study.  And I suck at art.  But when I cook...  Even if I am doing mundane chopping and dicing, I feel I am finally doing what I love.  I love cooking and I love food.  I think about food all day long and dream about it at night.  And I feel blessed that God has given me a gift in that I can create what I love, which is good food.  And when I make a good dish - I mean like a really good dish - a sense of euphoria rushes through me.

Am I sounding crazy or what?  I mean it's like cooking has this narcotic effect on me.  Today I worked on my brandade dish.  And it turned out near perfect.  I could not believe that my hands made this and that my mind thought it up.  Does any other cook feel this?  Am I pathological?  I feel like an artist who has created a small masterpiece.  Do artists feel like this?  Does a poet feel like this if he writes a perfect sonnet?  Does a musician feel like this after writing the perfect song?  Please tell me I am not a freak...

Perhaps it is lofty of me to even compare myself to true artists.  But this is what I love and this is the only thing I'm good at.  And this is what I created today...  a brandade of salt cod.  A brandade is a puree usually of salt cod and potatoes.  Every country in Europe has their own version of this.  It is a very simple dish.  A humble dish.  I made the puree super smooth.  I added tons of olive oil and thinned it with whole milk.

But I wanted to elevate this humble dish.  I added a soft boiled egg on top.  I felt like the yolk oozing onto the puree when you dig into it would add to the unctuous goodness.  But this dish still needed something.  Perhaps a vinaigrette?  Some acidity to cut through the richness.  Not just a regular Italian vinaigrette though.  How bout a hot vinaigrette???  How bout a nice, hot BACON vinaigrette???  Oh my...  It came out sooooooo good.

I know every time I make a dish, it won't be this special.  But every time I work in a kitchen, I do strive to produce something good.  To do something with my craft and experience the good feelings that come with it.

Here's my little work of art...

Brandade of Salt Cod, Soft-Boiled Egg, Hot Bacon Vinaigrette


  1. Wow that looks so good! I wish I could sample some perfection. You are a great cook! I still the remember the Red Sauce you made for those tacos. Also the tender pork belly with onions. Those were the days! I recently made Banana Cream Pie and Crust from scratch. My friend said it was yummy. But still waiting for her comments and recommendations on how to make it better. I am excited for you and give me such joy seeing you do what you love!

  2. Hey Grand. I'll have you by to test out some of my dishes. I'd love to try your banana cream pie as well. Did you make the crust with butter or shortening? I made a pie crust with duck fat once and it came out awesome!