Find out how my writing is going to save you money, by showing you recipes that you would probably think could not possibly work, and which don’t. You can avoid the same costly mistakes by not cooking what I have tried. It does not work. It is horrible. Don’t make it. In contrast, some of my recipes did work surprisingly well, and those will be listed too.
Seeing that my cousins are starting to sign up to my blog, I thought it might be prudent to give a bit of insight how I came to the name of “Heinz’s Worst Recipes”. If you look at me, you will immediately recognize that I like eating. I have always liked eating. For my birthdays as a child, when my mother asked me what I wanted, I asked for, amongst other things, a block of gouda cheese and a tin of smoked mussels. How many other 10 year olds do you know that ask for something like that for their birthday? As a youngster, I built my own little restaurant in the garden. My family were treated to delicious meals. They played along nicely. I would make big fires underneath the palm tree and then cook up a storm. The food was always pretty disgusting, I have to admit so myself. But they pretended it was nice and complimented me on how fantastic everything was. Fortunately I was not fooled myself, which led to me pursuing a career in computer science rather than as a chef.
Since I have a lot of kids, my work in the household is to cook. I never follow recipes. They frustrate me a lot. I live on an island, which means that special ingredients like Tibetan Sea Salt or coconut oil will be hard to find. Every recipe book follows the same principles. Glorious photos of picture-perfect food, expertly prepared with ingredients that are not available here. Ingredients are always measured precisely: 375ml of sunflower oil, 15g salt, etc. Whenever I try to follow these recipes, my food is a disaster. To me cooking is art. I want to create food that is absolutely delicious and which I won’t mind eating the next day if we have left overs. I don’t want to follow an exact recipe that won’t work anyway with ingredients I cannot source. You will thus notice that in all my recipes, I have some ingredient that you won’t find either.
I have spent a lot of money on fine ingredients. A few months ago, my friend Nikos called me and asked if I had my butcher’s phone number. “What a question is that, Nick?” I replied. “Obviously, I do. But the real question is – does he have MY phone number?” You know that you have a good relationship with your butcher when he phones you to inform you of some special cuts of meat that he knows you will appreciate. Your butcher is your friend. Treasure him. Support him. Don’t buy meat at your local supermarket. Buy only from someone that you trust. Support the small shop with meat that might be more expensive, but which you know is of top quality. It is easy to make great tasting food with excellent fresh ingredients.
Occasionally, the food I have made has been inedible. I will write about my famous super-fast potato smash, that even the dogs refused to eat. And the special vegetable soup that sent my child to hospital. You can save yourselves the cost of wasting ingredients on something that does not work.
I was brought up in a household where we never threw food away. We didn’t have a dog that we could feed our creations to if they didn’t work. It was simple: Whatever was on your plate had to be eaten. There was no option of “Oh, I don’t like that”. Sorry pal, the polony is on your plate, and it’s going down! This has put me into a bit of a quandary. My wife does not share my same enthusiasm for the sacredness of food. Thus if I cook something that is disgusting, and in large quantities to boot, guess who will have to eat it? Since I cook for the whole family for two days usually, one bad batch of food could easily stay with me for four days as I worm my way through it. I don’t like eating food that is not delicious and this has taught me some good lessons.
The more you practice, the luckier you get. Same is true for cooking. Eventually, something edible simply has to appear.