Sunday, July 09, 2006

Dim Sum -- Ten Quick Thoughts After An Evening Out 

  1. With three kids under the age of nine, we are still in that phase of life where the cost of babysitting can overwhelm any other expenses when parents want a simple evening out -- but it's worth it.

  2. A three hour course in the finer points of making dim sum entirely from scratch is not a simple evening out.

  3. It is possible for a guy -- even a guy who likes sports and pizza -- to attend a cooking class held in a language he barely understands and still have a good time -- and a lot of dim sum.

  4. However, it is best not to inhale a bag of cheetos while driving to the dim sum cooking workshop since that volume of cheetos can displace at least two and possibly three units of the finished class product.

  5. Having attended several different cooking classes in the last few years, I am now convinced that accomplished chefs only convene these amazing yet complicated and labor-intensive affairs in order to convince gung-ho cooking afficionados that it really is worth it to pay to eat in a restaurant.

  6. This cooking class's registered attendees were divided about equally into two groups of people: those who didn't show up, and those who had no idea the World Cup Final was today (apparently that's soccer, which I'm told is popular in a few countries).

  7. I have now witnessed two master chefs lecture for hours on the finer points of chopping ginger and whether sugar works better with vinegar or lemon juice. I have also enjoyed lengthy conversations with devoted culinary hobbyists about choosing the optimal tomato paste for proper water content and consistency. For some reason, a love of cooking seems to include a love of sharing that love of cooking with the rest of humanity. I say this in contrast to those of us with expertise in my chosen field -- computer programming -- many of whom would rather not speak to another human being if at all possible.

  8. Spending three hours making a big batch of dim sum from scratch has left me even more amazed that humanity ever bothered developing recipes for anything more complicated than dry toast and cave-fire-roasted chicken on a stick. Dim sum requires a tremendous amount of work that doesn't directly involve killing or burning anything, but it tastes pretty good so I guess it was inevitable someone would invent it eventually.

  9. Bringing home leftovers from the class confirmed one of my hunches: dim sum is wasted on the young, unless maybe the dim sum are filled with chocolate -- which we were told really is quite delicious.

  10. Cooking is much, much easier when someone else chops and mixes all the ingredients for you beforehand.

If you really, really liked this -- or even really, really hated it -- there's lots more: