Top | Newsletter 2012

Culinate Newsletter February 22

(mailing, James Berry)

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 h1. Dear readers,
 Do you engage all of your senses when you cook? You can usually see when something is done — and isn't that enough? Not quite, say the best cooks I know, who suggest you also taste, smell, and even listen to your food. Is the chicken in the skillet popping or sizzling? Are the noodles at a rolling boil or barely making a sound? 

 Great cooks also put their sense of touch to use. Recently I watched Carrie Floyd, our recipe editor, make a salad. Forget utensils; she prefers to toss the vegetables and dressing with her fingers. "I can feel when a salad has enough dressing better than I can see it," she says. Carrie also uses her hands to blend butter and flour for pie dough and biscuits; although she doesn't always recommend her technique to others, she knows how the dough should feel when it's ready, and as she's baked hundreds of pies and biscuits, she doesn't worry about making the butter too soft.

 Much of that know-how comes from spending hours at work in the kitchen; the more you cook, the more you can depend on your senses to guide you. But even for occasional cooks or people just getting started, it makes sense to smell, taste, touch, and listen to your food — as well as keep an eye on it.

 Kim Carlson
 Editorial Director

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story1text: "In Sharon Hunt's family, the day before Lent was a time to eat up — and collect a few coins, too."
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story2text: "Tony Rosenfeld's new book, 'Sear, Sauce, and Serve,' offers seven tips for proper sautéing."

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recipe1text: "Portland, Oregon, chef Adam Higgs embellishes shrimp with ample flavor."
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recipe2text: "Make a pot of these on Monday, and eat 'instant' oatmeal all week long."

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