I am an avid reader of Slashfood.com. This multi-authored blog site covers all manner of food and food-related topics. I will be the first to admit that some of the topics are merciless bores (every blog has these moments) and others are wholly without educational merit (I like to further my education at all times when I am reading). But for all the entries that had me snoozing or shaking my head there are as many that I find appealingly informative, even interesting (to use possibly the most boring word in the English language, now you see what can happen to even scintillating bloggers!).
I read an entry today that made my shoulders and nose scrunch up and my right foot tap wildly does when I am uncontrollably bothered and cannot release my frustration with a verbal hailstorm of withering and warlike dialogue! This entry, which recaps the estimated earning of household celebrity chefs is a disturbing commentary on food and eating in this nation in general. I dare say that those who commit to buying books simply because they promise you 30 minute meals might be interested to know that all of the schooled, trained, and well-reviewed chef's at the bottom of the list have a multitude of published recipes which can be made in a shake of lamb's tail. Not to mention, their years of training which will help your at-home results immeasurably: You know, because they made the dish 10,000 times over four years or whathaveyou.
It pains me to see that commercialism in the home-cooking retailing industry has failed to support truly well-trained chefs. It pains me even more that the exposure of those same chef's has not been broad enough, or down-to-earth enough to convince any shaky, pressed for time, novice at-home cook that their books are far better tools than 365 days without repeat meals (aka 100 days of chicken, 100 days of steak, 165 days of pasta- do you see any repeats here- wink?) or a follow up volume of slow cooker recipes (because the first was insufficient for the market demand? I do not understand.) When a Ho-Jo's dishwasher more than quadruples the earnings of Mario Batali or Anthony Bourdain, it is way past time to boycott entire (questionable) meals made in 30 minutes, the gross overuse of butter, and slowcooker abuse. And it is time to march to the bookstore and buy yourselves some books from folks who really know the way to cook well.
I beg of you: Learn to cook as you would learn anything else you care about: carefully, thoroughly, and well. There is delighful reason there are conventions in cooking some of which take time some of which none at all; these conventions make the food taste better, even great. You will never be sorry and your table will see many sparkling days. That is a promise.