Friday, January 7, 2011

The Session #47: Sharp Knives, Boiling Liquids, and a Good Beer Buzz

For this month's Session, Dave Jensen of Beer47 asks us to write about cooking with beer .

Drinking and driving is well recognized as being dangerous and illegal. Drinking and cooking isn't illegal, but maybe it ought to be. After all, the tools and techniques used in cooking to slice, dismember, shred, char, and otherwise irreversibly modify meats and vegetables are also quite effective when inadvertently applied to living human tissue. Credit dumb luck to the fact that my worst kitchen accidents occurred when I was stone cold sober.

I prefer to use booze to set the stage for the meal while preparing it, rather than using it as an actual ingredient. Tuscan cooking is greatly enhanced with a good glass of Chianti. In my book, you are not actually barbecuing unless you're holding a beer in your hand while tending the smoker. When cooking, drinking a beer that pairs well with what's on the menu helps me to focus better on what I'm preparing. Often, I partake in an additional beer or two for stronger focus. A side benefit of consuming all these beers while cooking is that once the meal is served, they help bring out the sharp, sarcastic side of my personality which in my mind, makes me a highly witty and engaging dinner conversationalist, although my friends and family would characterize this a little differently.

When I'm with my kids and cooking for the whole family, I keep a strict limit of one beer. Of the many great things about being with my kids, they force me to be more responsible. They can learn enough bad habits without my help.

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