Gourmet Cooking

On my recent Alaskan cruise, I was privileged to enjoy gourmet cooking on a daily basis. In addition to having unusual names and being delicious, each dish set before me in the beautifully appointed restaurant was a work of art.

A tour was offered to watch these works of art being prepared in the ship’s kitchens and I accepted the invitation. There I observed mid-day meals being prepared with the largest kitchen equipment I have ever seen. At the end of the tour I purchased the Princess Cruises volume titled, Courses: A Culinary Journey – autographed, of course, by one of the executive chefs. I was now prepared to begin my own journey into gourmetdom. Judging from the number of cookbooks sold times price paid for said volumes, I’m guessing that enhanced revenue from cookbook sales might have been the desired outcome for the tour.

Back home and ready to cook again, I chose the courses for the meal I planned to prepare according to “presentation,” as those who cook for show like to say.  The appetizer was be a “Caramelized Onion and Bacon Tart;” the salad, “Radicchio, Endive & Butter Lettuce;” the entrée, “Farfalle Alla Rustica;” and for dessert, “Opera Cake.” Now I needed to assemble the ingredients.

The four basic recipes for my meal called for 102 ingredients. Checking my kitchen for what I had on hand, I found seventeen of the ingredients. Had the entrée recipe not informed me that farfalle is “bowie pasta” I would have thought that I had only sixteen. But I do keep an emergency box of bow-tie pasta for times when I’m out of ideas. Those little dehydrated shapes can be easily transformed into either a salad or an entrée.

The list of ingredients I assembled did not include ingredients for additional recipes for the sponge cake, chocolate ganache, and the two sauces needed to complete the dessert, or for the entrée's demi-glace.

Sadly, I’m quite certain my little condo kitchen will not accommodate all of the ingredients needed for a gourmet meal, so I guess I will have to stick to my old standbys: pot roast with potatoes and carrots, pan gravy, garden salad made with tomatoes, cucumbers, and iceberg lettuce, and apple dumplings with cream for dessert. But I do have a beautiful, autographed book!

Watermelon Sculpture - Princess Cruise Kitchen


  1. I, for one, can testify that the meal you set on your table is every bit as delicious as those in that book. You do more with seventeen ingredients than most people could do with a grocery store.

    Bring on the pot-roast!

  2. Vanilla, thanks! I will bring on the pot roast when you bring yourself and BBBH out this way for a visit.