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Hardest Skill to Master?

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Dear Alton,

Good Eats has taught me a great deal about the science and mechanics of cooking. Before GE, I had no idea what was going on with my food. Who knew hot water plus flour doesn't equal gravy? Of course, I still struggle with foods like custards and breads.

I wonder what culinary skills you found tough to master. Are there any foods that still give you headaches?




“The souffle will rise or it won't. There's not a damn thing you can do about it, so just sit back and see what happens.” Cpt. Benjamin Sisko

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Heck, they all still give me trouble. Your skills can never be too sharp...which brings me to knife sharpening, which is the one thing that I absolutely never could bet right. Sure I can hone with a steel but give me a stone and I just ruin everything in site. As for cooking, I guess my biggest limitation is my taste sense. I'm pretty good at recognizing the individual ingredients in the foods I taste but I seize up when pressed to identify most of them. I know them, I just can't put names to them. So when I eat out with people and they taste something and ask me "hey, what's in this?" I have to concentrate really, really hard on tasting the sample. Even then, I sometimes excuse myself to the men's room and then sneak to the kitchen to bribe a cook into telling me.

I probably shouldn't confess this kind of stuff should I?

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