Posts Tagged ‘water


cooking without water

My sister and I have decided that the Food Network should stage its chef’s challenges in kitchens like our mother’s: no counters to speak of, a 3/4-size stove with four unreliable burners, and complicated access to water.

Yes, there’s running water here (it’s not that primitive, dial-up aside), but it comes from a relatively shallow well–and it tastes like it, full of sulfur and iron. Nothing you really want to cook pasta or vegetables in. And even though it rained all night, there’s no ignoring the fact that central Texas is at heart a dry place. This kitchen’s other source of water–a cooler with 5-gallon jugs that come from the nearest supermarket, 20 miles away–only reinforces the shortage.

So last night, I riffed on this parsley sauce idea from the Bitten blog. I adapted to my circumstances by using one large pot and one small pan, and only about 4 quarts of water. The small pan sweated a leek from Austin’s Green Gate Farms, but everything else (blanching parsley, then broccoli, then cooking pasta) happened in the large pot of water. Which I filled by patiently running tap water through my sister’s Brita–about six fills to supply that pot. No way was I repeating that for every ingredient. Instead of draining things in the colander, I fished them out with a slotted spoon, then put the next ingredient in to boil. Worked just fine, and the food was delicious.

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