Who?What?When?Where?Why?

What I really love about this book is that it is not at all stuck up, it covers all of the possible (well for little ole me anyways) meal genres and includes a plethora of culinary teachings from poaching eggs (which have scared the bejeebuzz outta me since forever) to making pastry (again- scary. Like, Lindsay-Lohan-in-daylight scary). Neil also explains what tools are absolutely necessary to ensure the smooth operation of a kitchen and proper preparation of said dishes, such as; an oven thermometer. And to think all these years I’ve trusted the temperature knob on the front of the oven! He is also explains in detail how to sharpen a knife (an act I have never performed, forgive me Lord) caveman style – with a rock?! His prowess is immeasurable. For serving said dishes, Neil recommends plain white, large dinner plates – my floral Corelle simply will not do. Well Neil, my credit card and I will take all of this advice under serious consideration.

How will my project work? Originally I thought I would just start at the start of the book and finish at the finish. Since this brash initial decision, I actually opened the book and discovered, due to the structure, this will not do. I will pick and choose as I go depending on season, occasion and state of mind but pledge to finish all 200 and something recipes but by when? Always in the spirit of the Julie/Julia Project – one year, so by the 15th of June 2012, I vow to have completed all 200 and something recipes from Neil Perry’s cookbook The Food I Love. (I know that Julie completed like over 500 recipes in a year but, I mean, come on??! I’m not totally crazy).

So, why??? I hear you ask. Boredom? Hunger? The Masterchef phenomenon? Nah! I just want to cook better.

I’m feeling like the clichéd kid on their first day of school! I feel apprehension yet excitement. I feel scared yet exhilarated. I need a recipe that is going to whet my (and yours) appetite (so to speak) but not scare me away. I think for my first Neil Perry recipe attempt, I will keep it relatively simple (stay over there poached egg!) and try a smoothie along with bircher muesli and maybe a seafood recipe for dinner? My hubby, Willy, is pushing for scallops… so let’s see if he gets his way.

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The Food I Love

Julie & Julia is a heart warming tummy grumbling movie about a young woman living in Queens who decides to cook her way through a Julia Child cookbook in an attempt to distract herself from her shitty apartment and even shittier job. If you haven’t seen it, watch it – it will make you want to jump into your kitchen (no matter how small and/or shitty) and cook up a storm! In the spirit of this motivating movie, I have decided to cook my way through a cookbook. Namely, The Food I Love, by Neil Perry, an assorted cookbook assembled by one of my absolute favourite chefs.

Neil Perry is one of Australia’s leading and most influential chefs. He has managed several quality restaurants in Sydney and today concentrates on his numerous restaurants in Sydney, Melbourne and Perth, and Rockpool Consulting.

(Excerpt from Neil Perry’s bio here)

I chose this particular cookbook because;

a) it was given to me for Christmas 2010 and I haven’t yet used it but more importantly,

b) Neil expertly dissects and explains the culinary techniques that are required to create fine cuisine at which I, let’s be honest, am hopeless.

I mean, sure I can bake carrot cake muffins like nobodys business but when it comes to say, filleting a fish, for example, I am decidedly inept.

Please join me on this journey of amazing food and self growth. I hope you learn something because I certainly intend to.

First recipe to be tried, tested and blogged this coming Saturday…