Recipe 1. Risotto with Walnuts, Asparagus and a Disclaimer.

March 22, 2011


This afternoon my mother came over to our condo very disgruntled. The conversation went a lot like this:

Mom: I read your blog.

Me: That’s nice.

Mom: Thanks for making me look like a terrible mother.

Me: Wait. What blog are you reading?

Mom: You started a blog about not knowing how to cook. Do you know how bad that makes me look as a mother? Its like I never taught you. Its like you never ate good food until you went to California.

Me: Did I not tell you that I’m making you teach me a meal every week?

Mom: No.

Me: Oh. I am. I’m coming over Thursday. Its in my calendar.

So, in case anyone needs to hear it, my mother did not fail me. I failed myself.


Recipe Source: The iPad Photo Cookbook

Listening to: Nina Simone (Album: Little Girl Blue)

Words from my sister upon starting cook: I think I need to watch you do this. Which was said in a very “this is kind of like a car accident that hasn’t happened yet but you know its going to and its going to be a really bad one” way.

I almost immediately felt forever discouraged from cooking after first glance of the recipe I chose. All of the ingredients were in ounces and grams. I sat there with my set of measuring spoons and measuring cups (the liquid measuring cup was missing) and stared at the ingredients neatly pictured on my iPad. Screw you iPad. Its like it was saying: here idiot, try this recipe, even the way I write the ingredients won’t make sense to you, idiot. I spent a lot of my first cooking endeavor on google, converting ounces to cups, ounces to tablespoons, grams to whatever.

Then I found my liquid measuring cup.

Ok. I can do this.

Before I knew it I had onions grilled and butter and oil boiling. I added in my dry risotto to my butter and oil. It soaked it up beautifully, so I added the wine. I poured myself a glass, and stopped drinking immediately because it was not worth a second sip. But it was all Ihad. So I went with it.

I added the vegetable broth via ladle one scoop at a time. It took forever. By the time I had 6 or 7 ladle left, I decided to just dump the rest of the broth in and let it soak. Oh. I forgot to mention. I had heated the vegetable broth to a boil. So when I lifted it with bare hands, the atmosphere turned PG-13 in the kitchen.

With scared hands I cut up the asparagus to add to my cooked risotto.


I used.

A grater.

For the first time.

Maybe ever.

I grated lemon rind. Ever done it? Do it. Grate a lemon rind. Its a stellar feeling.

The risotto was just okay. Definitely edible and Definitely amateur at best  (which happens to be the name of my autobiography). But I learned a lot even on the first night:

1. Get your ingredients ready before you start cooking.

2. Look at the recipe itself before you start cooking.

3. Keep your conversions handy.

4. Cheap moscato is not a good dry wine.

5. If it calls for walnuts, don’t leave all the walnut stuff out just because you don’t love walnuts. The recipe was meant to taste a certain way.

On to the next one.


2 Responses to “Recipe 1. Risotto with Walnuts, Asparagus and a Disclaimer.”

  1. karen kane Says:

    Hi Mal…loving your blog and days one and two. Your stream of consciousness writing is perfect. Can’t wait to read your next 98 experiments~ you are bound to be an amazing sous chef on day 100. And tell Jeannie, we all know she is an amazing mom. How else would she have such great kids???

  2. karen kane Says:

    ps~ my post says it was submitted at 4:29 am yet it is only 11:20 pm ???

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