Mind Kitchen

I like food.

And I like to cook.

And all cooks know that before you cook something new, you try it out in your mental kitchen.

What is a Mind Kitchen, or Mental Kitchen? It is that kitchen in you head, where you try out new recipes.

Or mix and match.

For instance, I have been using a variation of this recipe for Mac and Cheese. It is great! You can adjust the ratio of cheese sauce to pasta, and there is a crispy crust. Lovely. Made it many times. Best was when my nephew said it was the best Mac and Cheese he ever ate.


Mac and Country Gravy with peas and carrots


Then I saw this recipe for Country Gravy. Yes, I love Chef John and Food Wishes. (Here’s 10 life lessons from Chef John)

And I was thinking, “that looks gorgeous! I wonder if I could add that country gravy instead of the cheese gravy to the Mac & Cheese, and add the bread crumb topping to make it crusty?”

And in my mental kitchen, I was sure it would work.


For a crispy crust, mix panko breadcrumbs with soft melted butter, and spread on top.

And to make my Mac & Country Gravy a little less sinful (or to ameliorate the sin), I added green peas to the gravy. You could also add diced carrots if you want to further lower the sin quotient.

And after working it out in my mental kitchen I tried it out for real.

The thing about mental kitchens is, everything you try there works EXACTLY the way you think it would work.

But then you need to try it out.

And if I fail, I feed the results to PL.

But when it works in real life exactly as you planned it in your mental kitchen, there is a sense of accomplishment, that you know your kitchen well, and you are master of your craft.

But if it doesn’t work exactly, it is a learning experience.

And sometimes it is just a mix and match.

Take Bruschetta. I had Salmon Bruschetta. Which is Bruschetta with diced smoked salmon mixed in with the tomatoes. I thought it was a great idea.

But, the messiest part of Bruschetta is the tomatoes falling off the bread. How can you fix that? A taco shell? A hollowed out bread?

What else can you add to the tomatoes? Onions? Jalapenos? Olives? Anchovies? Prosciutto? Caviar? Truffles? Pickles? Bacon?

As you run through those suggestions, you would be wincing at the thought of some of the combos. That’s you in your Mind Kitchen realising (or believing ) that it won’t work.


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