I am making a chilli for dinner tonight (I won't be eating it because I shall be out cooking food for students at Cambridge College halls). I think there are a number of items or dishes that most people can do, whether cooks, chefs, housewives/husbands or non-cooks. Furthermore, these select few fall into a common category (in my opinion) in which each is prone to many variations in preparation, dictated by varying recipes/techniques adopted from books, friends, parents & grandparents.
Others under the same umbrella would be Yorkshire Puddings - my ex Sous Chef swears by a recipe taught to him about 20 years ago, by a then 90 year old woman. Simple boiled rice - I've adopted a new technique of washing 3 times, covering an inch over the rice with fresh water, bringing to the boil briefly, covering and cutting the heat, allowing the rice to steam-finish.
Equally the humble boiled egg can be placed in cold water and taken to a boil for 3 minutes, as well as being placed into already rapidly boiling water, with or without salt, covered or uncovered. I've even seen and used a device from Germany that pricks a perfect hole in the base of a raw egg before boiling, though it didn't seem to have any great impact on the cooking.
I think this is the appeal of cooking - it's accessible. Most of us need to do it. Anybody can learn to do it. Making dinner is infinitely easier than making music and paradoxically, in the modern world the Media promotes it as a new kind of Rock & Roll.
Anyway, I'm rambling and I must get on...I've got a gig tonight, doing Fajitas for 30 students and I'm under-rehearsed.
My friend's band Chapel Club are to modern chart music, what this Menu is to Kentucky Fried Chicken.