Monday, October 29, 2018

Ina, Ina, Ina

I plan on making soup on this blustery autumn day and I am doing OK.


Ina Garten, a patron saint of all good things to eat, is my idol.  Look at that happy face, with the beautiful cheekbones, and smiling eyes.  Then look down to that large bowl of something especially good that she has made.  Who couldn't love that woman!!

I used to be a decent cook (although my kids might question that statement) but now I am a forgetful cook.  I confess to missing  an ingredient or an instruction every now and then and having to scramble when I finally see my mistake. I have found that flour, seasoning and hot sauce can fix many things.  When that doesn't work, I forget about the whole thing and make reservations.

Ina, though, is perfect.  On her show, The Barefoot Contessa, there are no spills or splatters, and she never loses her cool or drops a piece of chicken on the floor.  She speaks in a tone of voice that assures you that you can do the same. Then there is Jeffrey, her husband, a very genteel man.  He strolls in the house with a smile, kisses his wife, says about five words and then disappears. You don’t get a more perfect spouse than that.   Ina will have a guest or two to entertain and they may be a celebritity or just a well-heeled neighbor who is going by the script and may be being paid with a lunch/dinner made by Ina.  The show ends with them all eating outside in her perfect garden on a perfect table as they converse in a perfect manner.  No loud laughing and burps are never heard.

If  wishes came true and I could have but one, it would be to get an invitation for lunch at her lovely home in the Hamptons.  I would dress well (no yoga pants), make sure I use the right fork, and talk about the lovely things in the world.  When Jeffrey strolled by, I would compliment him on his tie, and then let him have his usual 30 second conversation with his wife.   He would drift off to wherever it is he goes, and then Ina would go into the kitchen and bring out the most scrumptious and beautiful dessert that I have ever seen.  She would place it in front of me, I would thank her, and then I would probably sneeze all over the creamy topping because I am allergic to Jeffrey’s cologne.  Nothing really is perfect, not even in my dreams.

Ina Garten's new book, Cook Like a Pro, is now available.  I have bought and used her book, Make it Ahead, with success.  It is perfect for me as my explosion in the kitchen is cleaned up before guests arrive and they never need to know about the chicken on the floor.

.



43 comments:

  1. Big smiles.
    Sadly there are lots of drips, splatters and dropped food here. Make it ahead sounds brilliant.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I wish I was neater, but it is too late for me to change my ways, Sue. Ina makes it look so easy to be an organized cook. Maybe in my next life....

      Delete
    2. Have you noticed, Sue, that Joanne has not published in awhile. I am concerned that something else has happened to her. That poor lady has had a very difficult few years.

      Delete
    3. I had noticed. She was having surgery on her shoulder so I hope/assume that she is in recovery mode. And that her recovery is rapid and complete.

      Delete
    4. Oh, that’s right. I had forgotten about that. I hope that is the case and that she is recovering well.

      Thanks for reminding me, Sue.

      Delete
  2. I love Ina too. Two things that surprised me were her previous occupation (Budget analyst for the White House) and that Jeffrey is the Dean Emeritus at the Yale School of Management, and has written several very successful books!

    ReplyDelete
  3. I heard an interview she was giving while promoting her new book. She said that she worked really hard at her government job but nothing changed or got done. That is not surprising. It is much more rewarding to make a good Creme Brûlée.

    Thanks for stopping by.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I had not heard of her and just had a quick "google" - looks interesting.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ina is a gem and someone I could watch for hours. She is a self trained cook.

      Delete
  5. I love this post and goodness gracious whatever is in that big bowl in front of her sure LOOKS GOOD!! I can't tell if that is a type of salad or some kind of a pasta dish? I'm a sloppy cook, I think kitchens were made to be worked in, to be USED. LOL When I'm done though, I sure appreciate a nice clean kitchen. I tried out two new recipes this week, one was a hash brown "tater" type casserole and yesterday's was a chicken in the crock pot and then over rice deal. Both were pretty good and I would make again. Were you joking or do you really have snow on the way??

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I don't know what it is, Debbie, but I am sure it is good.

      My Retired Man often cleans up for me. I am blessed.

      Delete
  6. I am an awesome cook, love to experiment, but a messy cook. My problem is not so much forgetting an ingredient, but in using too much of an ingredient. I've not heard of Ina before but am going to look her books up on Amazon. I am especially interested in her Make it Ahead book as I do that often.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I like to experiment also, especially when I don't like or have an ingredient. Some of those have not worked out well.

      Delete
  7. Smiling away here :) :) No, nothing is perfect unless you have an editing room for the videotape of your life.

    I think kitchen disasters would make a good blog post!

    I think the worst mess I ever made was when a deli pizza slid out of the pan just as I was putting it in to bake and it went upside down into the hot oven. I cooked what was left because we were hungry but that darn cheese burned onto the floor of the oven. As you might imagine.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh my, a video of my life. What a horrible thing that would be. I'd rather be Messy Arleen and always have a good story about my screw ups.

      Delete
  8. Great post!!! You know, when I had a tv, I used to LOVE the cooking channels, I saw Ina's show only a few times, but me thinks it's time to try checking her out again. I'll ask Alex to download her shows. I love to cook and bake...I'm a recipe follower though. Winging it makes me uneasy lol...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. She makes it look so simple. However, she has many people measuring and cleaning up.

      My next fantasy is to have her staff in my house.

      Delete
  9. That was a great fantasy until you started sneezing, lol.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Now that my children are grown and most so far away I lost my interest in cooking. If I were completely by myself I would probably eat little but cereal and TV dinners.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. My Retired Man is fine with going out to dinner and we do that often.

      Emma, it is not so much the cooking that bothers me, it is the daily question of "what" to cook.

      Delete
  11. I watch quite a few cooking shows, but I've never watched her show. No particular reason... it just hasn't happened. The cook-ahead recipes are some of my favorites, because I like to plan ahead and do as much prep work beforehand as possible. I'm a messy cook, but a very enthusiastic one. For me, the two things kinda go together.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Watching cooking shows is much more pleasant and fun than cable news. I highly recommend Ina's "Cooking Ahead" book. My favorite thing to make when I have all my family over is her three cheese Mac and Cheese. It is yummy.

      Delete
  12. Like Emma my interest in cooking waned as time went by. I was an okay cook, good a pies. If my hubby was not obsessed with food and eating, I would survive on Ensure and power bars.

    This Saturday, however, I will be putting together a slow cooker chili, using bison. that interests me.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Susan, I do enjoy cooking "sometimes". However, if it was just me, I would probably eat something that I could just heat up. I do like to bake though.

      Delete
  13. It seems today that everything has to be exotic in cooking, and hald a dozen ingredients you will never ever find in local shops. Our cook with the mostest is Nigella Lawson, who adores her own cooking!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. of course that should be 'half a dozen'

      Delete
    2. I never choose a recipe that includes exotic ingredients as they are hard to find and are very expensive. The chances of me ever using them again are slim to none. If I want exotic, I go to a restaurant.

      I also like Nigella and she appears on many shows here. I think she may even have/had a regular program on The Food Network. UK shows and celebrities are very popular in the US.

      Delete
  14. One of the big-selling newspaper's weekend supplement had a big feature on TV chefs this week. I was amazed by how many I knew of. I really enjoy cookery programmes but I am not allowed in the kitchen. Apparently I make "too much mess"!
    We do see The Barefoot Contessa but it's hidden away on the daytime Food Channel.
    I have a bit of a crush on Rachel Khoo and her Little Paris Kitchen - you probably don't get to see that one!
    CLICK HERE for Bazza’s heuristic Blog ‘To Discover Ice’

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Cooking programs are fun to watch and I enjoy fantasizing about how I can do what they can do. Tis only a dream though.

      Delete
  15. You would be the perfect guest on her show! I either lost my recipe book when we moved last year or it's still somewhere in storage. My grandma was the best cook and I would give anything to have her recipes.


    Julie

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I totally agree, Julie. I would be fabulous on that show. Who wouldn't want to watch an old women salivate as sweet Ina does her magic.

      I hope your recipe book can be found. It is not only about food, it is about memories. I will bet it is in storage, but what a hassle to go through it all. I have lived in my house 17 years, and still have some unopened boxes in the basement.

      Delete
  16. Her recipes are perfect! They always come out! she is comign to Georgia soon.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The recipes that I have made from her book are excellent. However, there was the incident with the Brussels Sprouts. My first mistake was buying them.

      Thanks for stopping by Kelleyn. I love your name.

      Delete
  17. I've watched Ina over the years and she is a master chef, who stays calm and so happy. I'm also impressed with her wonderful marriage, and it seems like she's truly living a happily ever after life. My fave of all time still has to be Martha Stewart, who I think can do everything.(lol) Hugs and Happy Monday! RO

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Her calm, friendly spirit is why I love watching her programs. Her sweetness with her beloved Jeffrey is so pleasant to see.

      Martha has always been a favorite of mine also. Her Three Cheese Mac and Cheese is a little different than Ina’s, but just as good.

      Delete
  18. thank you for always stopping by, commenting, and for your kind words in my sad days this weekend!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Your posts are always lovely and a pleasure to see and read, Debbie.

      Delete
  19. As long as you abide by the five second rule for the chicken on the floor.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It matters if the chicken is cooked or raw, Joeh. Raw can be washed, but cooked has to be dusted.

      Delete
  20. PLEASE visit my post again! I found the missing photos, beat them into submission, and now they are showing.

    ReplyDelete
  21. glad to see you stopped by again and just coming by to see how your week is going? Did y'all get the snow?? If so, is it pretty? Fresh snow is so pretty!

    ReplyDelete