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March 5, 2013 / tyandolivia

Happy Birthday to a Culinary Engineer

Today is a very important day. No, it isn’t a holiday, you still have to go to work. It is the day a culinary engineer was born.

Julia Child? No. Giada De Laurentiis? No. Colonel Scholars? No.

Today is the day my brother in law, Geoff, came into the world. Ten years ago he swept my sister off her feet and married her a year later. Geoff is an engineer. Perhaps it is his attention to detail and systematic way of approaching things that makes him such a good cook. Everything he makes is cooked just as it should be.

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Geoff rocking some fun socks (photo courtesy of Bones)

Here are a few cooking tips he has generously passed on to me:

  1. It is not necessary to use an entire head of garlic in every meal. One or two cloves will do just fine.
  2. Taste your food while it is cooking to adjust as needed.
  3. Always add more liquid (stock or water) to chicken pot pie than you think you’ll need to prevent it from drying out.

After making this list, I realize his tips have more to do with my mistakes than his skill. But no matter.

Some of my favorite dishes he makes are:

  1. Guacamole – I never liked (or even tried) guacamole until Geoff made it. He purees it in a food processor with salsa, sour cream, a lot of salt and other deliciousness. I could eat an entire bowl of his guacamole in one sitting.
  2. Sandwiches – Geoff can throw down a Bumstead-like masterpiece like no one else. His sandwiches usually involve perfectly melted cheese on lightly-toasted bread with a garnish no one thought to use like avacado, sauteed mushroom or evenly diced basil. I always end up salivating over his sandwich while eating my plain turkey, tomato and lettuce on white.
  3. Birthday meals – ok, this isn’t technically something he makes but something he requests. Every year, my parents have a birthday dinner and the birthday guest gets to chose the meal. Geoff always picks something I never would have thought of. Last year it was the most amazing low country boil with shrimp, sausage and potatoes. This year, we celebrated with “pub food” complete with buffalo wings, chicken wings and sliders. Yum!

So, happy birthday Geoff! Thanks for bringing your culinary flair to my family kitchen. It wouldn’t be the same without you.

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