Two things that have eluded me until recently come together!
The stock, I don’t know, I’d just never been happy with any that I’d tried, it was one of only maybe two times that the Joy of Cooking has outright failed me, I wasn’t sure what other recipes to try . . . I finally “got” it when reading Deborah Madison’s Greens Cookbook, for some reason the way she explained using the veggies you have and tailoring the stock by adding say ginger and garlic for curry soup, etc., made more sense to me than essentially the same advice I’d read other places . . . so I just started making it, using “basic” vegetables and adding whatever seemed good or to go with the soup. Hooray!
The drawing, it’s something I continually mean to do more of, and occasionally set specific goals and/or read books about it from the library, but for some reason it’s hard for me to keep up on any kind of regular basis. I know, I KNOW that if I would just practice I would get smoother and better and eventually I could make little sketches that look like what I see, which is a goal of mine (I do my own illustrations for knitting handouts, which involves drawing the human hand, but very slowly and only when I’m in the exact right mood, ie almost never). Then just this week I happened upon this post in which Jess shares some “maps” she made for parties, little plans with drawings and words about what she plans to make and how to arrange it. This idea clicked with me immediately since I am such a visual learner, I think images enter my brain on a fast track while words need translating first. So I started making them as plans for the day or the week, drawing the parts that are easily visualized. I’ll show you some – later.
For now: Recipe Sketch (real sketch this time!):
See what I mean? The drawings don’t have to be perfect, the point is not that they achieve any particular proficiency at all (good thing because my first potato looked more like a mutant amoeba), the point is that I’m practicing and if I keep practicing I will necessarily get better! I’m in love with these visual lists, I find them really playful, letting my brain roam in new directions rather than just spitting out one item of “to do” after another.
It seemed like a good time to bring these two together since stock is one of the few foods NOT crying out for me to photograph it. And, if you’re cooking anything vaguely traditional for Thanksgiving, you’re likely to have a lot of these ingredients on hand.
Do you draw for fun, or add visuals to other things? Please share what you put in your veggie stock, I’d love to have more ideas!