For my beloved Brother who introduced me to the art of cooking, who taught me how to taste and truly love food. Without him I'd never be able to be where I am today.

March 13, 2012

Special Delivery

Almost all people appreciate a special home made gift. If it’s something edible, it’s even better. I love preparing something special for someone special. But for me it’s not quite enough to cook or bake a dish that tastes goods in general. Pleasing someone with food can be rather challenging if the aim is to satisfy that one particular person’s taste to the point. How awfully embarrassing isn’t to be invited for dinner and to discover that what’s on the menu is something you simply can’t bear?! Or even worse, something you’re horribly allergic to! What a disaster. I think that a well-chosen and well-prepared dish is the perfect way to prove that you really know and care about a person dear to you. Who wouldn’t be flattered of a custom-made meal?

Not long ago I certainly outdid myself in customizing food. A dear friend of mine who has a minor fetish with Hello Kitty decided to throw a party at his place. Well of course it wasn’t just any party, it was a Hello Kitty party. Fearing that he would ask all invited guests to come dressed up as big headed pink kitty-cats, I discretely asked him for more details. I must say he had me for a second and I started inventing ways to get out of the situation. But I guess he judged by my face that I was slightly horrified so he was kind enough to correct himself. Finally all he wanted was for all guests to bring something Hello Kitty related with them to the party. I was relieved. I really couldn’t see myself dressed up as a Japanese cartoon figure.

For me it meant just another culinary challenge and I was game! Obviously the end result had to look like Kitty. That was certain. The twist was to make her taste perfectly exquisite in my friend’s mouth. After structuring a list of five main ingredients that would both fit together in general and do the trick considering my friend’s taste, I had it nailed

Making a culinary profile of someone you think you in depth is probably harder than you might think. Sweet or savory, creamy or fruity, light or heavy, simple or complex, warm or cold…are just the first criteria that come in mind. If the person in question follows a specific diet, has fully excluding dislikes or suffers of an allergy or an intolerance, the recipe search immediately turns into a much more demanding mission.

The way I see it is that choosing to make the most suitable dish according to someone’s particular taste and to serve a specific purpose is like choosing the right dress-code/outfit for a given occasion. Since one usually doesn’t wear a pyjama to the opera, why should one serve convenience food to someone only eating organic food? It seems ridiculously straightforward and simply, but it’s a very common gaffe I must say. If you don’t know whom you’re really cooking for you better get to know the essential dos and don’ts. If it’s impossible than don’t go for something too special or too complicated. I know, easier said than done. Most of the time I can’t even take my own advice to be honest. Like tonight, I decided to bake something that I could bring to an important appointment I have tomorrow morning. I told myself a thousand times to keep it simple and do it good. Try guessing whether I follow my own advice?

No, I didn’t. Anyway, my creation is now done and waiting to be eaten. One special delivery coming your way! I hope it won’t be a complete flop. Fingers crossed!

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