Guest Author - Jason Hodge
Being prepared for whatever comes your way is highly underrated. It keeps you from being caught on the wrong side of opportunity. Here are a few simple tips that will keep your pantry full, your creativity flowing and your clients calling you back for more.
Always keep a variety of food items on hand.
You're going to want to always have certain things on hand: Grains; Pastas [there are many varieties]; Dried Fruits; Nuts & Seeds; Onions; Garlic; Shallots; Potatoes; Frozen Vegetables; Edible Packaging; Seasonings; Condiments; Tofu; Frozen Meats [red meats, fish, poultry & exotic meats] and fresh & dried herbs and spices [you can even start your own herb garden, even if it's a container garden, if you don't have the space for a bonafide 'victory garden'. It'll give you an inexpensive way of trying new flavors in your signature dishes].
These are your tools. The more you work with them the more proficient you'll become with them.
Try new things with your foods
There are so many things you can do with what seems to be your average everyday food items that the possibilities are virtually endless. Give yourself permission to try new things with the items in your fridge and pantry. Instead of only working with wheat pasta, try working with rice, buckwheat, yam or mung bean pasta. Instead ofsauteing your veggies, try braising them or instead of boiling your grains in water try coconut milk, broth or soup. You'll literally be blown away with what you can do by making just a few adjustments to your approach to your common and not so common food items. It'll be your newroad map to creating culinary masterpieces.
Who says that you have to cook things in the traditional ways for them to be good?
Have you considered before the 'traditional' method of preparing the item came to be someone tried something new with it that caught on and became the standard?
It's true, so try something new and you'll come out ahead of the game. At worst, you'll learn a way 'not' to prepare it and at best you'll discover a new way. Either way, you'll be all the better for it and before you know it... you'll be the expert on it.
Keep 'contents' lists posted
When you keep a running list of the things you have on hand at your fingertips you'll be able to know at a glance what you have and what you need to replace. One of the worst things is to get into the mood to create, start working and find that you are missing an ingredient, or two, or three, or...
You don't want to be in that position. Talk about a creativity zapper. So instead of getting caught with your blender in a bind, create a checklist of items that you have on hand, need to have on hand and the things that are running low and need replenishing. Post them to your fridge and pantry doors.
It'll save you time, energy and, believe it or not, a good amount of money.
Add that to your 'to-do list'.
If you do these things you'll stay organized, learn new things, reduce future headaches and help your business flourish in times of scarcity. You'll grow to be able to give your clientele something that no one else can... you're touch.
If you want to build your database and map out your ideas more efficiently, here's another piece of software I use to make my life a lot easier. I use it not only to flesh out my recipe ideas, but also to resource all of my 'foodie' information.
As always it's been my pleasure sharing with you. Until next time...