Double, double, boil and trouble (Day 209)…

September 25, 2007

I once went to a dinner party hosted by a 20-year-old who had no idea how to cook. When he tried to make spaghetti, he put the pasta in boiling water, then for whatever reason decided to switch the burner off and let it sit there for 20 minutes.

At first, I thought it would turn out underdone because it wasn’t cooking at a rolling boil, then thought maybe it would be overdone because it had been sitting there for more than double the amount of time suggested.

But somehow, it turned out perfectly.

I came to realize that, in almost all cases, a gentle boil is enough to get the job done. Barely anything really needs to be cooked at a full-throttle, spluttering-splashing boil despite what the recipe’s directions may say.

So my change today will be to heat up my soup, cook my pasta and steam my vegetables at as low a temperature as possible, trying not to go beyond the halfway point on my stove dials. This will not only save electricity, it also means reducing the amount of water required in the first place as less of it will be evaporating.