So, I was watching an episode of 'Barefoot Contessa' this afternoon, and Ina was baking a cake. She says something about how you can't overmix the batter until you put in the flour because too much beating of the flour causes too much gluten to develop and you end up with something with a texture more like bread than cake.
It occurred to me that this is quite a useful tip for home cooks and prompted me to think about other little tidbits that I've learned about cooking over the years. I started making a list and decided there were quite a lot of things I've picked up, mostly from watching too many cooking shows on TV (Alton Brown's show 'Good Eats' is one of my favorites), but also from my mom and friends, and from living in both the US and the UK. Many of these things I wish I'd learned much earlier than I did!
I'm not an expert. I'm not a chef, nor am I a food scientist (although I do have a couple of degrees in biochemistry). However, I love to cook and enjoy learning about the science behind making home-cooked food taste fabulous. Although not every tip has a scientific rationale behind it, many do, and understanding the science makes these tips make sense.
I hope that this blog will provide a forum for interesting and useful tips about cooking - the ingredients, the science, the methods, the tools, the books, the websites. I also hope that I'll have time to post frequently (I have a 4 month old to deal with right now and soon will have a job to go back to as well). Enjoy!