The Secret To Becoming A Better Cook

The anxiety of fucking up dinner is real.

But that shouldn’t stop you from having fun in the kitchen. If you think you don’t know how to cook, then it can be scarier.

What you need to do is give yourself permission to fuck up. Because sometimes you might really fuck it up. It happens to the best of us.

Every time that I shat the bed in the kitchen, I’ve become a better cook.

I’ve had to chew my way though more bad roast beefs than I care to admit.

But each attempt, I got better.

That’s why you surround a roast beef dinner with gravy, hot sauce/horseradish and a couple of killer sides.

And unless you really fuck up, you probably still have some that can be salvaged into something that can taste good or even could be something that could be fucking spectacular.

A lot of the best things started as a major fuck up. I imagine fermentation and all that type of stuff was discovered by someone initially thinking, “oh shit, I really fucked that up.”

One of my favourite food things is Worcestershire sauce.  A story I read was that a couple of blokes from England tried to make fish sauce at home. Did what they saw or thought they saw. Waited a month or so and tasted it.

What they tasted was repulsive.

Big disappointment.

So upsetting that the guy was like, this sucks so bad, I don’t even want to have to deal with cleaning this shit up right now. Wow. I am so upset. I just want to forget this attempt ever happened.

And Sir Theodore Whogivesafuckington forgot all about it.

Then a year or so later, they remembered about it and it probably smelt better, so they tried it.

And it was fire.

It made Worcestershire famous.

I’m not sure if that is how it really went down.  I’ve read how someone ordered it at an apothecary and never picked it up. They were about to throw it out and someone decided to try it and thought, wow this is really great. 

As with a lot of famous foods, there is a lot of lore behind how it came to be, but no one is sure what is the real story.  And who cares? Even if worchesterfield sauce wasn’t made by mistake, it and a lot of everyone’s favourite condiments have a base of fermented fish, like fish sauce and the start of ketchup. 

If you want to read more about Worcestershire sauce, here is some further reading.

I am convinced that fermented fish in the first place was conceived by accident. (much like my sister – HA! Don’t worry she probably will never read that.)  I just can’t see the natural progression on wanting to ferment fish. 

Let’s set the scene.

Way back in time before refrigeration, you caught a literal boatload of fish.  More than you can eat for weeks.  So, you put a lot of it in salt.  But it starts to smell funky.  Then even more funky.  I mean, fermenting fish can smell putrid.  And your first thought is – This smells disgusting. Let’s leave this to stew in its funk for a couple more months, then it will be delicious.

Nope.  I don’t buy that.  Originally it had to be a fuck up.  Yikes, forgot about that. I dare you to try that.  What? No way man. It can’t be delicious.  You’re just saying that, so I eat it too.  I’m not falling for your tricks again, Hector.  Ok. I’ll try it, but I swear. Hector. If this is like the time you convinced me that some bites of bitter melon taste really sweet, I’ll be upset.  Holy crap, this is delicious!

All from fucking it up.

As usual, I’ve let myself get carried away.  The secret to becoming a better cook is to give yourself permission to mess everything up but stay persistent.  Porcini BBQ Genie took at least 17 different tries to make it work and now it is one of my favourite blends.  But batch number 1 was a lot less good than batch 10 and so on.

So with the confidence of a 1950s brain surgeon, march into that Kitchen and scramble some eggs.

And before you know it…

You’ll be making collapsing souffles.

The secret to being a good cook is fucking shit up.

Love, Dave

PS – While you should cook with abandon, please pay attention to food safety. Thanks.