Thursday, September 10, 2009

So last night as the sun set and the house went quiet, I finally had a chance to pick up my crisp new book. With just a few butterflies in my stomach, I read the preface - I don't want to miss a word - and as I read, I noticed a little something that said all recipes are portioned for 12 - 16! What?! Surprised, I flip to the recipe section, and low and behold, they weren't lying... Thoughts of returning the book and finding something simpler quickly crossed my mind. Thoughts of disappointment replaced the excitement I had just a few minutes earlier. But I decided to read on, and I am glad I did. As this 'problem' quickly turned into a possibility: recipe conversion! Something every cook should learn, and I suppose I will master as I scale back every recipe down to 4 - 6 portions to better suit my family.
I finish the preface and also chapter one, a short history lesson and heavy reinforcement on the importance of going back to the basics and understanding food. And now I am certain, this is the book for me. Relieved, I turn out the lights and look forward to the next months of absorbing information that takes me beyond cooking for 4. I think to myself, why was I surprised to find that a book named Professional Cooking really is for the professional. Silly me...

How to convert a recipe:

Divide the desired yield by the recipe yield, then multiply each ingredient quantity by the conversion factor:

conversion factor x old quantity = new quantity.

Another little tidbit I discovered is the true meaning of the word Chef. This respected title is reserved only for the chief or head of a kitchen. You don't become a chef by going to a culinary school or by putting together nice menus. Only by preparing food and managing staff and planning production does one earn the title of being a Chef. It's kind of like the difference between an Interior Decorator and Interior Designer. Designers do not like to be called decoraters! It's all about respect.

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