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Occasional ramblings by an anesthesiologist/mother (and sometimes her husband).

Friday, August 03, 2007

Of Mice, Men, & Chili Chefs

Our family has been going to the same butcher for 2 generations.* One of the great things they make are some really nice single serving chicken pot pies.

The secret, you see, to becoming a good cook, is to always have a backup. You don't have to be afraid to experiment if there's a backup plan. That way, if something goes wrong with your experiment, you're not going to starve. When you can let go of your fear, then you can (try to) reach for greatness.

For example, you can decide that you want to improve your chili skills. You can decide that since every one of his recipes you have tried so far have been successful, why not try Alton Brown's recipe for Pressure Cooker Chili, from his landmark episode The Big Chili.

Now, you can decide that since you don't have a pressure cooker, you can instead use the modification of making it in a dutch oven, then placing it in a 350ยบ oven for 6 - 8 hours.

You see, since you have a backup, it doesn't matter if you make a mistake. Even if you put the lid on wrong, so that the steam vent is open during baking, you still will have food.

So when you open up the lid to check on your chili and find it looking like this:

[click for a larger display of the glorious badness]

you will still be able to have a nice yummy dinner waiting for you with little extra effort. The last thing you want to do when you've put a great deal of effort into a disaster is to then have to do even more work for dinner.

The lesson: always have a backup.

Oh, and, check your gorram lid.

In other words, our parents also go there. [back to top]

Updated 8/16/07 to correct image links


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