Cooking with Nemo JamesPosted by Nemo
Since the publication of my book “Just A Few Seconds” several people have emailed me to ask whether my cooking has improved since the chapter entitled “A Recipe For Shoestrings.” In it I wrote how during a very difficult time in my life I was living on a budget of £1 a day for food. Some people are able to do wonders with £1 spent wisely on ingredients but I am definitely not one of them. I was not only on a shoestring budget my meals actually tasted like shoestrings.
Since then I met and married Federika who apart from being amazing and gorgeous is also a fantastic cook specialising in dishes from all corners of the globe but particularly from Peru where she grew up. I am never going to win any awards for my cooking but she has taught me a lot and in particular shared that secret that all you crafty cooks have been keeping to yourselves all these years: The Kitchen Timer.
Until I discovered the kitchen timer I used to use a smoke alarm to tell me when my food was cooked. In a terraced house in the UK it was not a problem as I would always put the smoke alarm within easy reach so I could turn it off quickly. But then one day while I was living in Los Angeles I was heating up a lovely chocolate muffin for my breakfast when the phone rang with a call from a prospective agent. I completely forgot about the muffin until the smoke alarm went off but being accustomed to this event I continued talking to the agent whilst removing the muffin from the oven and jumping up and down on a chair trying to blow cold air onto the alarm. As most of the buildings in L.A. are made of wood everyone is paranoid about fire so just as I thought I had everything under control and had the agent interested the building manager started banging on my door and screaming at me to let him in. I never realised cooking could be so difficult. Here are a few more tips that I have discovered that I would like to pass on:
- Using an apron means that cooking doesn’t always require a change of clothes
- Putting a box of elastoplasts near the cutting board not only saves time searching for them but means no more mopping blood from the floor.
- The oil you use for cooking is a different to the type you use in your car
- Oven gloves save a lot of pain.
- Keeping the kitchen floor clean from grease means you don’t have to wear a crash helmet while you cook.
- When breaking an egg it is better to use the edge of a knife than a hammer.
- Chicken shit is not a substitute for Guinea fowl.
- A baguette is not a small shopping bag
- You don’t get black eyed beans by punching normal beans
- You can’t make white sugar go brown by leaving it in the sun all day
- Crab apple is not a seafood
- Hitting a halibut with a hammer doesn’t make it a flatfish
- You can’t scald pasta by telling it off.
- Milkshakes were not invented by Arabic dairy farmers
- Molasses are not moles’ bottoms.
- Strong currants in Muesli are not dangerous
- Rigatoni is a kind of pasta, not the rigid state of a dead Italian ice cream seller.
- If you are running short of Tofu for that special dinner party try adding half a litre of water to a roll of toilet paper and blend in with one large packet of wallpaper paste. No one will ever know the difference.
If you have a cooking tip you would like to share with others please send them in.
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