I chose Ina Garten to teach me to cook because she seems genuinely happy to be in her kitchen, talking about how to make food. I know this seems obvious for a person who makes their living developing recipes, writing cookbooks and filming a cooking show, but there is just something about Contessa Garten that draws me to her process in a way most every other person cooking on TV simply does not.
Contessa Garten loves bread, cheese, her cookies are always delicious and she hates cilantro. I hate it as well, it tastes like soap. I love it when she recommends using the “good” version of an ingredient. At first I was nervous it would be expensive and then I realized it was Best Foods (Hellman’s) mayonnaise and not something she got from William-Sonoma that costs twenty-two dollars an ounce. She insists making our own chicken stock will raise our finished dishes to a whole new level. That being said, I don’t get the sense she would refuse to eat a dish made with box o’stock.
Also, her recipes have never failed me, or anyone I know who has made them. One time my cousin made Contessa Garten’s coconut cupcakes for a baby shower and I literally ate 5 of them. And I was not, for one moment, ashamed of myself. And Contessa Garten would not be ashamed of me, either. I like to think that if I was at a baby shower at her house and ate 5 cupcakes she would be pleased and offer me a few to take home. There are many other TV cooking show hosts I get the sense would not be as gracious.
My younger son doesn’t say he is excited, he says he is exciting. Rather than saying, “I am excited to go to the park” he says, “I am exciting to go to the park!” I love that, it’s an active and catching emotion. A person feels excited and that excitement is specific to them. But when a person is exciting, that is external, other people can be a part of their excitement.
Ina Garten is exciting to share her love of cooking and entertaining, and I am equally exciting to get started!