Every time I try a new recipe, I am reminded why it took me so long to try cooking foods that don't come in a box.
I just have to say, I am quite proud of myself for trying so many new recipes lately, but it has been an uphill road for me. Ya know, figuring out how to use garlic and all, not having any idea that rice bubbles...
Sure I could get instant rice, and garlic in a jar... but where is the fun in that? Plus, it's more expensive...
So what I have figured out is that cooking can be confusing. There is really no standardization between a recipe and the grocery store. An example of what I mean; the new recipe that is in my crockpot right now called for 3 cooking apples. What the heck is a cooking apple? When I went to the grocery store in search of cooking apples, lo and behold, I didn't find any signs that said "cooking apples." It's Fuji, granny smith, braeburn, etc... I guess if you cook, you should just know what a cooking apple is.
A long time ago I tried to make something with green onions... Well, if you know what a green onion is, then you know they are not stored with all the other onions, and they don't look anything like what I knew at the time an onion looked like. So, do you think I actually bought green onions? Oh, HECK NO! That is probably what discouraged me from trying anything else new for a while... hmm, it's all making sense now...
And a few months ago I had to find tomatillos for a recipe I wanted to try.
Any ideas of what those are?
Fortunately the recipe I found was from the Crockpot Lady, and she takes pictures of all her ingredients - and I LOVE her for that! So I head to my local grocery store looking for tomatillos, not having any idea of what they are, and really not expecting to actually find them (we don't have a real big selection in our town). Of course, not there.
The next time we were in Cedar Rapids I stopped at a grocery store in hopes of finding some there. I had at least seen a picture of what a tomatillo looks like, so I started looking all around the produce section not finding it. But I did find a book that has every type of produce known to man (Ok, that might be an exaggeration, but what do I know?) But really, on a side note - did you know your produce section has a book? Even in our po-dunk town they have one. I had just never seen it before until I actually needed it. And then it magically appeared, kind of like the room of requirement in Harry Potter. Whoa, big tangent... Anyway, I flipped through every single page looking for a tomatillo and I finally came across the information.
Can you guess what family they are in?
Duh. It makes sense now. Tomatillos are little Mexican green tomatoes, imagine that, it was a Mexican dish I was trying to make. So, despite the green onion debacle, I looked in the area where they had the tomatoes and I was about to give up when I couldn't see any, until I looked down and found a little tiny shelf below all the tomatoes that had what looked to me like the tomatillos looked like in the picture. I don't remember what the sign said they were, but it wasn't listed as a tomatillo. I took my chances anyway.
Moral of this longer than I expected it to be story?
Kuddos to any of you who have no idea how to cook, but take chances anyway. That, and I really hope despite not finding "cooking apples," that our dinner tonight tastes good anyway.
Oh, and if such thing as a cooking apple exists - please tell me what it is, I really want to know.