My books can be purchased as e-books for only $1.99. If interested, just click here: Books.
Match Play is a golf/suspense novel. Dust of Autumn is a bloody one set in upstate New York. Prairie View is set in South Dakota, with a final scene atop Rattlesnake Butte. Life in the Arbor is a children's book about Rollie Rabbit and his friends (on about a fourth grade level). The Black Widow involves an elaborate extortion scheme. Doggy-Dog World is my memoir. And ES3 is a description of my method for examining English sentence structure.
In case anyone is interested in any of my past posts, an archive list can be found at the bottom of this page.
My newest novel, Happy Valley, can be found here.

Monday, August 1

Cooking Tips

I thought I should write down all the cooking knowledge I’ve acquired over the years, my advice to young cooks. When I think about it, it’s a pretty slim list considering how many years I’ve had to acquire it. First, hard-boiled eggs are really hard-cooked eggs. That is, it’s a misnomer to call them hard-boiled when you shouldn’t boil them at all. The trick is to put them in cold water, bring the water to a boil, and then cover them and turn them down to low for no longer than twelve minutes. Something else about eggs: scrambled eggs are much lighter and tastier if you scramble them with water instead of milk, about a teaspoon for each egg. Coring lettuce. You must buy a head of lettuce that has a nice firm light green stem end, one that sticks out from the head itself by a half inch or so. Then you slam the stem end onto the counter and pop out the stem and that which intrudes into the lettuce head. Then some water into the core, let the water drain, then stick it in a lettuce keeper for the refrigerator. Another good tip: any jars of pickles or olives or whatever that seems hard to get the lid off, just take an old-fashioned bottle opener with a sharp tip, insert it under the lid, and pry upwards until you hear the vacuum seal release. Then it opens right up. Any meal that can be prepared ahead of time and put in the oven is better than any meal that must be prepared right at the time with all dishes coordinated for the same time. In other words, all hot dishes and casseroles are the best of all. Once upon a time I would grill steaks to go with baked potatoes, salads, and some sort of veggie. Well, I always found that cooking the steaks, watching them dutifully, after all else is ready and served only made me late to the table. The steaks were almost always either undercooked because I wanted to get them done in time to go with the other stuff, or cooked just right but always way after everything else was eaten. A word about recipes: don't follow them except in a general way. You don't need something telling you exactly what ingredients you should use and how much of each. Just go by feel. Chili and beef stew is better by simply adding whatever strikes your fancy, then tasting a bit to see how it's going. What's the fun in following someone else's recipe? And it's amazing how many good things you can create beginning with a cream sauce, then putting it on baking powder biscuits--hard-cooked eggs, tuna, diced chicken or turkey or ham, ground beef or pork, even hot dogs. There, that’s it. The wit and wisdom of Chef Travis.

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