Sunday, August 14, 2011

Don't Try This at Home and Other Stupid Advice.

In my last blog post I offered some time-tested and truly useful culinary advice from the ancients.

Pearls of wisdom gleaned from mist-enshrouded fields of Stonehenge, mysterious ancient Chinese dynasties, dank medieval monasteries, and the steamy, bustling kitchens of five-star restaurants...not to mention the twisted mind of the bonehead that puts pen to paper and writes this blog in the discomfort of his overheated office. (That would be me.)

Together with the all the additional nuggets of wisdom I received from the wonderfully winsome "Table for Twosies" who either emailed me or posted their comments here (including the many, er, creative ones that I couldn't post, lest I violate several statutes of the International Blogger Decency Code. Think Lenny Bruce in an apron) I knew that this corpus of food wisdom resonated with many.

And yet, a lot of dubious advice still finds its way onto the internet. Some I was able to tweak and make work (yes, one can cook eggs in a microwave oven, but you must take them out of the shells first.)

But much of it I tried and found wanting (you cannot place minute rice in the microwave and expect it to be done in 10 seconds.)

And some of the advice was so innately jive-ass (you cannot cram yourself in a microwave oven and expect to go into the future) that I had to file it away in that part of my brain that the French gourmands gleefully refer to as "Le Grande Shitter."

Perhaps you've seen some of these and filed them away as well. But if not, let me save you the trouble. Here are but a few:

"If you can dream it, you can do it." ~  Walt Disney

Okay. Last week I dreamt that I met Mila Kunis at one of my cooking demos and she invited me up to her suite to, um, butter her crepes. Needless to say, I haven't done that yet. (And if my dear wife has anything to say about it, I probably never will.) Now, Walt, let's talk about Mickey Mouse dreams...

"Do what you love and the money will follow." ~ Marsha Sinetar, award-winning author (as well as many motivational speakers)

Do what you love? Hey, my friend Summer absolutely loves to post every ten seconds of her life on Facebook. (Did you read the recent updates about her struggle over whether to buy the Sperry Top-Sider Silverside shoes or the Sperry Top-Sider Fairwinds? No? Count yourself as one of the blessed.) Anyway, she hasn't quit her job at Wendy's yet and it's been a couple of years now. If the money's still following her it must've stopped to ask directions along the way. And don't get me started on my friend Bo who loves to play Black Ops on XBox all friggin' night and day long. The money's still looking for him, too.

"Don't try this at home." ~ Super Dave Osborne and various other daredevils

Listen. As far as I'm concerned, if you can't try it in the privacy of your own home where else are you gonna try it? The ballet? The corner market? The boss' house?  Geez, the last time I actually heard this lamebrain exhortation was from a street performer who was about to eat a flaming sword. I mean, if you're going to try something like that are you going to aim for a day care center? Traffic court? Nursing home? Your child custody trial? No way. You better damn well try it at home.

And here's one of my favorites:  

"Drink red wine with meat and white wine with fish or fowl." ~ Numerous imbecilic gastronomes

Oh puh-lease. Who invented this stuff? Probably the same group of folk who came up with some of the other bewildering rules like: "Don't mix your metaphors" as if saying that one shouldn't put all  their chickens in one basket before they hatch a plan to look before they leap for one giant step for mankind, or whatever.

Listen. Food is all about taste and what pleases you and your friends.

Do you or any of your guests like a Pinot grigio with beef? Merlot with snapper? Go for it!

Do you have a hankering for pasta, potatoes and rice? Then screw the starch witches and whip up a frittata!

Saute onions and garlic together like so many cookbooks say? Don't! Saute your onions for 5 to 8 minutes first, then add your garlic and saute a minute or two more. Your taste buds will love you for it!

I'm getting carried away here. Sorry.

But when it comes to great advice, internet or otherwise, you gotta love this piece of eternal wisdom:

"Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind. " ~ Dr. Seuss

Now, how 'bout pouring me a glass of that Cab with my grilled mahi-mahi...



  1. Brilliant and spot on, Warren. What about the foodies that make you seem stupid/crazy if you are not "on trend?" I hate pork belly. There, I've said it. And fois gras. And please, can we keep bacon out of the cupcakes and chocolate? ARGH!

  2. I can attest to the "do what you love and money will follow" quote - I'm a classical musician. Ask me how much money I make per year :P Great post! :D

  3. Spot on and well said!!

    More Thyme Than Dough

  4. I love this quotes "Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind. " ~ Dr. Seuss, perfect advice! (and well needed right now)

  5. @Anonymous. Thanks, Roberta! I probably could've thought of some others, but there's always more blog posts to write. LOL

  6. @Claire. It's one of my favorites as well - especially if you write a blog that could have the tendency to ruffle some feathers. :-D

  7. Never a dull moment on your blog. I would like to invite you to visit my blog to enter my giveaway. Check it out if you are interested.

  8. @Pretend Chef. Thanks, Rochelle. You know you're always welcome! Love the contest, I've posted it on my blog. Take care!

  9. @Anna. Thanks! I was a professional musician myself once, but I was able to retire to the Caymans (where I'm writing this blog) when I was 20. Not. Please drop by often!

  10. LaDivaCucina. Yes, Laura, Yes! I mention that I am a "foodie" on the back cover of my book and almost regret it now that the word has been co-opted by so many culinary snobs. Ah...I feel another blog post coming on, lol! Btw, hope you're keeping cool down in South Florida. We border on melting some days up here in Tampa Bay.

  11. "she invited me up to her suite to, um, butter her crepes".......ROFL! You've done it again Warren!

  12. Very funny! In relation to the "money will follow" quote, I wish the money would come first :)

    But I do love the trend of bacon in dessert (mentioned in the first comment) moderation. My pressing concern is why did they serve deep fried butter at the Wisconsin State Fair.

  13. I am starting to fall in love /w your sarcastic, but eloquent writing <3 hahaha I LOVED your rebut against the Super Dave quote. It's soooo true. lol I think I may need to buy your cookbook!!!! maybe you could send me a beginner recipe I could try to tackle for my blog :P lol

    ALSO - I eat more white meat than red and I ONLY drink red the bottle ;P

  14. @Jenni. I wish the money would come first, too! LOL! And btw, Imm a big fan of bacon and am willing to try it once in any incarnation in moderation (to take care of the old ticker.) However, Deep Fried Butter? Oh my! Of course that *would* be a typical State Fair offering. Right up there with: Deep-fried Oreo Stuffed Twinkies or Lard on a Stick (a favorite in Nebraska.)

  15. @AliMc. Thanks, Ali! (Insert blush here.) I try to post weekly so feel free to drop by often. As for the recipe? Sure thing. Drop me an e-mail at and I'll get it out to you. (This goes for everyone else as well!) Take care, :-D

  16. Banjo player extraordinaire, expert chef, published author, I must say Warren, I am impressed.

  17. @emmy.Thanks! Although the banjo thing fell off my resume some 25+ years ago, lol.

  18. It was about 33 years ago that actually knew each other.

  19. I was the room mate of 2 of your girlfriends. One of them you taught to play the banjo. Does the last name Calvert ring any bell? Emmy is an internet name I adopted so my ex couldn't track me. He's not very technology savvy. Oh, and "I wear jeans and oxford shirts because they never were in style so they will never go out" is still one of my favorite quotes ever.

  20. I whole-heartedly agree... Especially about the wine!

  21. @Kim. LOL. Which is why I always keep plenty of red and white on hand. Now...which will it be for you? :-)