That said, Miss Kim really kicked up a dust storm among foodies by showing how some home cooks won't cook certain recipes because they have "deal breakers", like I won't do any recipe where I have to truss a chicken or whisk eggs or make a recipe inside a recipe. That kind of thing.
The foodies went freakin' beserk. Like cats in the deep end of a pool. Amazingly, there was a contingent of foodies who believed that people who had deal breakers were just home cooks who were uninspired, lazy and lacked adventure. They thought these folks just weren't trying hard enough.
And to this I say, "Oh right, you don't have small kids."
And then, I nod my head knowingly but in a really patronizing way and stick my nipple in the baby's mouth and wipe the Coq au Vin stains off my dress with back of my hand.
Here's an excerpt of my response to this discussion on Ruhlman:
...I have some deal breakers. Sue me. If I didn't we (my husband and 2 kids, ages 3 and 1) would never eat. Here's one - If I can't breastfeed while doing it, and I can breastfeed and do almost anything, I don't do it.
Seriously, sometimes my kitchen is so crazy that getting a fantastic-tasting dinner out and getting the kids and their friends seated around the table at the same time without someone needing to go to the bathroom or someone else falling off the bench and hurting themselves or pulling pans off the fire to negotiate a sharing issue, that making it happen sometimes comes down to whether I slice the garlic into slivers by hand or whether I throw my hands in the air and reach for the jar of pre-cut garlic.
I sense the foodies are shaking their heads in sorrow now.
Still, I'm there at the farmers markets picking out the best organic vegetables and fruits and in the kitchen, cooking three meals a day from scratch, including a hot breakfast every morning and some pretty imaginative snacks for the kids twice a day. I try new techniques, dishes and flavors often. I read about food everyday. And at least 3 times a week we host dinner parties or pot lucks with different friends and neighbors, usually with a bunch more kids. Maybe all this wouldn't happen if I didn't have a few built in deal breakers to help me along.
The way I see it, I'm living the cooking life.
So, to the question: "What the fuck is wrong with people?" I say: "Not a thing." We are having fun and not worrying about the parsley. We are making the kitchen fit our lives.
That’s really not such an outrageous thing, is it?
To be clear, some people's deal breakers on the NY Times site were like really stupid, like "I don't like fish". But who am I to judge, I got my own deal breakers. Here they are:
The Yummy Mummy's List of Recipe Deal Breakers
1. It Must Have One-Handedness Capabilities
If I can't cook one handed, I don't do it. Unless I know David will be home to supervise the kids. Too often I find myself holding Edie in one hand with my nipple in her mouth and wielding a cleaver with the other. Especially week nights. I am talented at this and can do quite a few techniques one handed, but things like boiling oil conjure up gruesome images of us in the burn ward and makes me physically ill when I think of what could happen. That's enough...new topic.
2. It Must Not Include Boiling Things To Death
I won't boil a lobster alive. Although I'm fine if someone else does the dirty work and drops him in the pot and covers the lid quickly so I don't have to witness the carnage and all that fussing and trying to crawl out of the pot and I can cover my eyes and pretend it isn't happening, then I'm completely fine. Hypocritical, yes, but the lobster boil must get done somehow. I do slice the little guys down the middle with a cleaver and feel a little less existential pain doing it this way, but there's no indication the lobster likes that it any better or appreciates my existential battles.
3. It Must Be Kind of Indestructable
If the recipe is too fussy, it won't hold up. If it can't be pulled off the fire so I can negotiate a hair-pulling fight over a princess doll and still have the meal come out, it won't work for us.
4. It Musn't Have Too many Dishes, Pots and Pans
I'm convinced some recipes are written by lonely people who have lots of time for clean up. I look at any recipe and immediately reduce the number of pans in my head before I start or wash them out as I'm going so I only have one or two or three, not ten, to clean at the end of the meal. If I don't feel the recipe writer has a sense of what will work for me in the kitchen, I have little hope the dish will work for me either. No matter what's in it.
5. I Don't Eat or Cook Insects
I know this is the latest trend in some parts of the world. I saw Bourdain eating his bug on a stick from some street vendor in Okinawa or some place. Okay for him. He is a manly, lust-worthy God of Food. But I refuse to eat or cook locusts as part of a meal no matter how cool I may seem.
6. Everyone Must Be Able to Eat It
As part of my "I Only Cook One Meal" philosophy, I make sure whatever I cook is within the realm of whatever everyone in the family can/will eat, while still trying to stretch them and introduce new flavors. This means nothing too outrageously spicy for the kids (although a little heat is okay), so I don't cook Kung Pao chicken, for example, because David and I like it, but the kids won't eat it. Scratch that dish off the list. And nothing too carb-heavy for David's new diet and exercise regime, which by the way, is totally annoying but really working. I caught a glimpse of him in the shower this morning and his body is absolutely gorgeous. And lust-worthy. Sorry, no pics. But his diet thing is still an annoying pain in the ass.
7. No Offal. Ever
Tried it. Like dryer lint in your mouth. Wrote a post about it. Never again.
There you have it. Deal breakers. Got any?