Maybe it’s fall, or the Jewish holidays, or some combination of the two, but I’m back into cooking again. Cooking is a habit, and so is not-cooking. If you lose the habit, and start living on tomato sandwiches, for example, you can almost stop cooking altogether. But if you’re in the groove, cooking is uncomplicated and a lot better than rummaging in the freezer, hoping to get lucky and scrounge up a forgotten portion-controlled brick from Trader Joe’s.
One person who gives me some cooking inspo on a regular basis is North Carolina chef and restaurateur Vivian Howard. I first saw her on A Chef’s Life, a PBS series that I used to knit to on the weekends. (It’s streaming on some PBS Passport channels.)
In February, on her Instagram account, Howard started a weekly series of short (really short!) videos called Just the Tips.
I’m in love with it. The series is a gold mine of little kitchen tricks that are fully as useful to cooks as Lorilee Beltman’s life-changing YouTube, Memorize the Kitchener Stitch, is to sock knitters.
Howard limits each Tuesday’s episode to some little nugget that educates, charms, and delights. The first one that hooked me back in February was her method for cleaning her spice grinder. Spoiler: you end up with savory rice powder that you can then use for a gluten-free coating for frying. Isn’t that cool? Every week is a morsel of kitchen wisdom.
Once in a great while, I already know the tip, and get to feel smart. (Example: just like Chef Howard, I use only one knife, a 10″ chef’s knife. It’s tough to share the kitchen with me because you have to wait for your turn with The Knife. But I hate poking around in a drawer full of not-as-good knives. You always want to use The Good One, so just have that one, like me and Chef Howard. Come at me, specialized knife lovers!)
Howard’s tips are easiest to watch on your phone, on Instagram. Just click on the highlights under Chef Howard’s profile (they are labeled Just the Tip, by month), and enjoy.
See the circles labeled Just the Tips, by month? Click and enjoy.
If you’re not an Instagram person, the tips videos are rounded up each month on her website. Start here.
Have a delicious Sunday.
In the MDK Shop