Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Dear Jamie,

Dear Jamie,

Last year I told my kids that all I wanted for Christmas was your cookbook.

Imagine how excited I was when I opened my gift on Christmas day and THERE YOU WERE!  Oh, I was imagining all the great times in the kitchen we were going to have over the next 12 months.

You never let me down, Jamie.  I've had so much fun learning how to cook with you.  Who knew that making soup or guacamole could be so tasty and so much fun?!

Now, I would like to introduce you to a new friend of mine.  Jamie, have you met "The Pampered Chef"?

Your recipe's call for a lot of cutting and chopping of fresh veggies and that means you have to have a good sharp knife in your drawer.

Seeing as I have been abusing my good knives for years, they were all dull and uncooperative until.......

I went to a Pampered Chef party.  The church threw a Pampered Chef wedding shower for Cinderella about a month or so ago and of course, I got invited.  Now, since every dollar I spent went to help her outfit her kitchen for free I decided to go a bit crazy on filling my own kitchen with some very cool new tools that I figured would inspire my whole family to use when they attempt to make me dinner.

Jamie, my daughter insisted I buy a knife honing tool from Pampered Chef that evening and I can honestly say that you need to recommend one of these to every woman in North America. I thought my "good" knives were junk.  I was ready to toss them and buy new ones.  And then, with a few passes through this magic new kitchen gadget,

my knives were like brand new.  As a matter of fact, they were so sharp I cut my finger nail right off

while preparing your Parsnip and Ginger soup.
NOTE:  For those of you who had dinner at my place the other night, rest assured that you did not unsuspectingly ingest my thumb nail.  I found the severed item before I put the veggies in the broth.  It went straight into the garbage.  You are safe.  

I not only bought the knife honing tool but also this really cool Mandolin gadget.....

which can slice onions so fast you almost don't shed a tear.  Unless you are Tamara.  Then you shed tears for hours AFTER slicing onions.  I don't know why, but onions get me every time.

I sliced onions for your fabulous Baked French Potatoes (page 224 of your Jamie's Food Revolution cookbook) and stirred them with my brand new Pampered Chef bamboo wooden spoon.
 Who knew I could get so much enjoyment out of a wooden spoon?!  Of course, Jamie, YOU knew I would love my new spoons, didn't you?  You suggested I buy good quality kitchen tools in your cookbook but I didn't listen at first.  It took me 12 months of dabbling in your book to finally bite the bullet.

WHY did I wait so long?! 

I love the slicer so much that I had to do the potatoes the same way!

Admittedly, it took me a fair amount of time to figure out exactly how this gadget worked.  I almost gave up at one point in time but I didn't want to let my favorite TV chef down.  Little did I know, the blade had slipped out of position and I was trying with all my strength to slice with absolutely no progress.  Eventually I clued in and then it was smooth sailing from there on.

Would you just look at how beautiful this recipe is once it's all put together?
And it tastes as yummy as it looks!  Perhaps it was that little extra dash of Parmesan cheese I added between the layers just because I wanted to try out my new Pampered Chef cheese grater....

Jamie, are you reading this?  Give me a call.  I've got a few pointers for you.  You need to add Parmesan cheese to your French Baked Potatoe recipe.  And there are a couple of mistakes in a few of your recipe's we need to talk about as well.

And you know what happened while I was busily making all your recipe's with my new kitchen toys?   The Big Guy started getting excited and wanted to join in the fun.  I set him to task on making the "Never Fail Gravy" recipe from Jamie's cookbook which really is a goof proof way of making delicious beef gravy!
Since the Big Guy doesn't really have any hobbies besides WORK, I thought I'd try to get him involved in the kitchen.  I watched your show "Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution" and figured if you could get people into the kitchen who had never cooked before and helped them successfully make some simple meals, then I could do the same at my place.  The bonus here is that, not only does my guy do a great job as sou chef, he also looks really HOT in an apron!

Now, how can I get my GIRLS to start cooking?!  Jamie, that should be your next TV series, "How to Get Your Teen Aged Daughter's Into The Kitchen To Cook Their Parents A Gourmet Meal".  What do you think?  Can you get on it right away?  I really need help over here.

Well, Jamie, my roast worked out just fabulous as well, although I cooked it 4 times longer than you suggested in your cookbook. 
We dutch folk love our roast cooked to a pulp.  It's kinda like am American pulled pork recipe except it's beef.  It's the way my Gramma taught me to cook Roast.  As you know, you should never mess with a recipe from your Grandmother, right Jamie?

I served around 20 people that evening.  We had a great time eating your dishes with the exception of my sister Lisa who doesn't like Ginger and refused to try the Parsnip and Ginger soup.  She's a traditionalist.  I don't think Ginger grows in the Netherlands.  The dutch are more inclined to eating boiled potatoes, carrots and onions with a little sausage on the side.  You are going to have to visit Amsterdam some day and teach them how to add a little spice to their dishes, Jamie.  You are going to rock their world!

By the way, I showed everyone your cookbook and told them it was a "must have" in the kitchen.  If cookbook sales spike here in Langley, you know why.

So here's to YOU, Jamie......
Thanks for a great meal!  Sorry the photo of us is so fuzzy.  We took 4 different pictures but they were all just as blurry.  Or.....maybe I should stop using my blackberry and start using a PROPER camera?!

Cheerio!  Check out Jamie's tips on essential kitchen equipment.


8 Responses to “Dear Jamie,”

momofcrt said...

I envy your kitchen. Oh wait, we're not supposed to envy people, okay um well oh forget it, I envy your kitchen, might as well face the truth.
If I had that kind of room man I'd have a heyday cooking and baking. I shall be satisfied with my old, small, dilapidated kitchen until my husband has the time and inclination to fix it up for me. Won't be any bigger, but it will look nicer.

Rosa said...

Man do I ever wish I was there!
I too am a traditionalist but I have learned over the last few years that you have to taste EVERYTHING you've never had before because you just never know!
I would have missed out on some awesome food otherwise.
Happy cooking!

Lynne said...

Tamara, a husband who can/wants to cook is one huge asset! Good work - I must find a copy of Jamie's book and try out that soup recipe.
Hope he take your advice for the next book.

Chandra said...

I'm so proud of you!! The girls might have somewhat intimated that the kitchen was not your favorite place to be. Something about McDonalds having kept them alive as they grew up... :P

But seriously, I LOVE my Pampered Chef!! If you don't have any of the stoneware, they are definite must haves! Bar pan, square pan, pizza pan, cookie sheet, 9x13 deep casserole dish...mmm, I love them all!

Nancy-Mom said...

That grandma wouldn't have been MY mother now would she have :o) Yep, she'd be grossed out to see how we do our meats these days at medium rare to rare, mmmm no more stringy stuff here. Of course that's how they cooked their meat way back then or we'd get sick you know :o)

Anonymous said...

Hello...it was not the ginger that I objected to, but the parsnips..I don't like stompotcorappen either(sorry for the bad spelling).Do you recall the clam chowder incident of my childhood!?..do you? Do you?!!!I will never eat a soup that I know I am not going to like ever again! LOL..It used to drive dad crazy when we went out to eat, that I would not try alot of different things(unlike my baby sister)but even then, I knew my limits, and I have actually come a long way since then. The rest of your food was fantastic...
You can invite us for dinner anytime, Lisa

Tiziana said...

Hi - I have been enjoying reading your blog for a couple of months.

I love Jamie Oliver! He's a great cook, good and fun teacher. And he looks like the boy next door :)

Donna said...

Jamie Oliver is terrific, I love all your Pampered Chef...I have all those same fun gadgets and glad you didn't cut off the WHOLE finger!!! Your family looks like it really has fun together in the kitchen!! I bet it all tastes great too!!!