View Full Version : How many woodworkers enjoy cooking?

Tom Ghesquiere
02-14-2005, 2:35 PM
I enjoyed reading the thread about retrofitting a drawer for knives and was curious to see how many of you also enjoy cooking. Seems like the same types of processes and rewards. As an example, yesterday afternoon I finished up a rolling cabinet for the shop and migrated to the kitchen to make a Valentine dinner for the family. Two hours later I had salad, roasted garlic cream sauce, fish cakes (special order from LOML) veggie, dessert and a nice pinot griggio served. Anyone else have the same passion for kitchen stuff as the shop?

Jeff Sudmeier
02-14-2005, 2:42 PM

I also love to cook, but not as much as woodworking. LOML says that my cooking has suffered since I started woodworkings, she is right, I just don't spend the time I used to on it! :)

I definately enjoy woodworking better than cooking. When I throw something in the shop, I am the only one that knows. When I throw something in the Kitchen, LOML seems to think I shouldn't :D

Bill Arnold
02-14-2005, 2:52 PM
Woodworking is tops on the list, but cooking is a close second. I enjoy cooking a variety of things on the grill, in the smoker or on/in the stove. I'm sorta retired and my wife still works, so I prepare dinner most nights; weekends we share the duty.

The best thing about cooking is that my wife will gladly clean up after me no matter what I cook. She has a number of specialties but prefers for me to cook. She pretty much insists that if I cook, she cleans; if she cooks, she cleans. (actually, I usually do a decent job of cleaning up after myself.)

One of my specialties is chili; I usually get to make a batch of several gallons once a year for my wife to take to work. Smoker favorites are turkey with an injected marinade and pork butt with a cajun rub. Mmmmm - yum!

Mike Tempel
02-14-2005, 3:17 PM
Being from Texas, knowing how to barbecue is somewhat of a requirement for being allowed to stay in Texas :cool: . Being a modestly average woodworker gives my pit plenty of kindling in the form of shop scraps and the occassional finished project that just didn't turn out :mad: . The two kinda go hand in hand. When the WW'ing goes bad, the pit goes good (since I now have plenty of wood to stoke it with). I have smoked many a box brisket, drawer sausage, and the occasional side table chicken in the past and have always returned to give both a second shot. There is nothing like quarter sawn oak smoked bacon wrapped shrimp or fish smoked over a failed attempt at inlays. Either way it always has some sort of reward:p .

Frank Pellow
02-14-2005, 3:28 PM
I very much like cooking and, in particular, I like baking (and, I like eating what I bake -particularly apple pies made with Ontario Spy apples).

As a child, I learned both cooking and woodworking skills from both my parents and there was no bias in our family towards which was done by which sex. Thanks Mum and Dad!

Steve Ash
02-14-2005, 3:34 PM
I don't mind cooking, my wife says I'm very good at it but I wonder if that is a ploy to get me to do it more often. I've never got the hang of baking though, recipe calls for something I measure it, put it in, the wife says " No, you need to put in a little more". Well if the recipe calls for a cup, why put in a cup and a quarter? Guess it must be a woman thing.

Dan Mages
02-14-2005, 3:45 PM
I am a big cook, especially baking. My co-workers dont mind on fridays when I bring in a tub of cookes or something. One of the first projects when I refurbed the house was to redo the kitchen. One of my ideas for next summer is to build an outdoor brick fireplace and oven. All I need are some good plans.

Michael Stafford
02-14-2005, 3:51 PM
I am a food scientist and like all aspects of food. I find cooking and eating to be an almost sensual experience. I like dabbling in pastries and breads. I love the smells of breads cooking...

Jim Becker
02-14-2005, 4:02 PM
Me!! That's one of the reasons that I did the kitchen renovation in 2003. Besides, there are kewel power tools for the kitchen, too........ ;) Seriously, I saved so much doing the renovation myself that we were able to easily afford pro-style appliances which are a joy to work with. I figure that I saved about $30K, based on costs in this area for similar work, and of the $20K I put into the kitchen, half went to the appliances. And it was worth every penny, IMHO...

Dr. SWMBO and I both enjoy cooking and good food. We've actually been trying to eat at home more and more often. We no longer travel for breakfasts on the weekends; the investment in the espresso machine(s) and other appliances has paid out well over the past five years and we are down to eating outside the home for evening meals to 2-3 per week, on average. I still eat out for lunch during the week when I'm not traveling as my office is in the house and I "need to leave" for an hour or so just because...but I eat good food, not fast food most of those times unless there is a time constraint or a long errand involved.

Someone mentioned pies...my mother taught me how to make "real" pie crust many years ago. Such a simple thing that so many people (and companies) struggle with...truly an art form and I'm glad I learned so that it doesn't die in our family. Our family "recipe" is just flour, Crisco shortening, a pinch of salt and a tiny bit of ice water...blended with a fork before rolling out. Very light and very flaky...just the way I love it!

When we cook, we also use good ingredients; fresh as much as possible. Dr. SWMBO also keeps a nice organic garden in-season, so we literally can pick something right before making a meal. But we only grow the things that are "best" fresh from your own garden and don't waste space on things that are more economical and just as good from the local farmer's market...speaking of which, I stopped there on the way home from lunch and picked up some red and green squash, eggplant, cilantro, red bell pepper and some beef for a nice Thai-style stir fry for this evening's Valentine's Day meal...Prep time starts at about 6p and "dinner will be served" at about 7:30p when LOML gets home from her office... :)

Karl Laustrup
02-14-2005, 4:36 PM
I am retarded, err retired. :) Sometimes I think it's a lot more of the former.

Anyway, I do 95% percent of the cooking. I really enjoy it and just finished prepping a large pot of Hot & Sour Soup. It is simmering now and will be a first course for tonights meal. I'm baking chicken tonight.

I really enjoy grilling and BBQ. :D I grill all year long, even up here on the frozen tundra, just not as often as in the summer.

Bill, I envy you with your wife willing to clean up after you. Of course I can't complain as LOML is working and bringing home the bacon, so I'll clean up too. I like when my mom comes to visit, though, cause she always insists that if I cook she'll do the dishes. After she left the last time we ran out of dishes before I realized that I had better do the dishes if we wanted anything to eat on. :eek: :D

Most of the meals I prepare are simple homestyle type fare. Not a lot of frills, just "Good Eats" [thanks Alton Brown].;)

Jim Becker
02-14-2005, 4:45 PM
"Good Eats" [thanks Alton Brown].
Dr. SWMBO's favorite!!!

Lou Morrissette
02-14-2005, 6:36 PM
Growing up as the oldest of nine kids with working parents kinda forced me to learn how to cook at an early age and I learned to enjoy it. Living where I do, my specialties are seafood with baked stuffed lobster on top of the list. I get a certain amount of satisfaction from preparing a good meal but it does'nt approach the feeling I get from a woodworking accomplishment. Lasts longer too.;)


John Shuk
02-14-2005, 7:49 PM
I love cooking. I also love the fact that many of my turning projects find a way into the kitchen. I've made a mortar and pestle, a tenderizing mallet with round head, bowls, and carved a spoon or two. Wood is such a pleasure to use in the kitchen for me. I often think about what Raffan has said about using a wooden bowl for your cereal every day. After a while all you'll want to do is stroke it.

Scott Parks
02-14-2005, 8:18 PM
Cooking? :confused: What's that? Oh yeah, it's spelled "Papa Murphy's".:D

(I hate cooking)

Glenn Clabo
02-14-2005, 9:04 PM
Cooking is my real passion. Woodworking and photography are hobbies. My dad was a great cook...my Italian grandmother loved to have me around and show me what she was doing and why. I can remember almost every meal she cooked. I cook 90% of the meals at home...and when we have people over. DrLOML is the baker...she's more precise. I don't use recipes...I like to create...but I love to look through cookbooks for inspiration. It just comes natural and seems to be something in my genes.

Dan Mages
02-14-2005, 9:09 PM
One of my favorite recipes: Beer Butt Chicken

1 Whole Chicken
1 can of beer
Olive oil
Seasoning mix (like Cajun, McCormicks etc...)

1. Fire up the grill
2. Open the beer and take a couple of swigs
3. Clean up the chicken and coat it with olive oil
4. Coat the chicken with the seasoning mix
5. Place the beer can on the heated grill
6. Squat the chicken on the beer can so that it is fully inserted in the cavity.
7. Grill for 45 minutes - 1 hour.
8. Enjoy!

Jim Becker
02-14-2005, 9:11 PM
So, here's what tonight's meal ended up looking like...I mentioned it in my previous post in this thread. Dr. SWMBO was quite pleased with it... :p

Included green and yellow squash, baby eggplant, red bell pepper, shallots, fresh garlic, fresh cilantro, beef and a nice Thai coconut sauce from Trader Joe's (their "simmer sauces" are awesome and quick for mid-week meals) all over Jasmine Rice. Desert was raspberries over banana slices topped off with some Amaretto and a pinch of sugar.

Bill Turpin
02-14-2005, 9:58 PM
Mama started to teach me to cook at age eight. Nine years in scouts and ten years as commercial refrigeration mechanic observing others cook really helped. Have been diabetic for sixteen years. It has been a contest learning to make low sugar desserts that don't taste like cardboard.

Bill in WNC mountains

Michael Cody
02-14-2005, 10:21 PM
I also am the cook of the house. Wife will bake (she is good at it) but when it comes to making dinner she makes reservations or orders pizza.. been that way for 23 years.

Tonight I made a good Midwestern meal -- one of my favorites. Breaded pork cutlets, peas w/red peppers & onion, fresh bread hot out of the oven and steamed squash/peppers/carrots/onions/garlic -- combo.

I am T2 diabetic so I have to keep my hands off the bread (never met one I didn't like so it's hard) and not to many peas but I can load up on the steamed veggies & cutlets...

I love to experiment but my wife being a good old Michigan farm girl doesn't have some of my more exotic tastes like Jerk Chicken, Cajun (dirty rice is my favorite), etc.. -- she's threatened to password protect the food channel at times! :D That is why I posted a request for "mild salsa" ... got a pretty good recipe going now .. but I make a bit more violent one for my own personal use.

Being a T2 diabetic has made the last 3-4 years a real challenge as I am rice & bread lover -- 2 no-no's on the menu in any quantity. Really miss some Asian dishes to .. but the Thai stuff looked awesome Jim.. gotta play with that -- just w/o the rice! There are lot of good foods out there & I love cooking them...

Dan Gill
02-15-2005, 8:33 AM
I've cooked whenever I've had a kitchen. When my wife was pregnant with my daughter Rachel (about 13 years ago), I had to take over all the cooking because it made my wife sick. I've been doing the majority of it since. She cooks some things better than I do, so she gets to do those, and she picks up more of the slack in the summer since she's a school teacher, but I'm the chief chef most of the time. I like it that way. What I don't like is planning the meals.

Greg Narozniak
02-15-2005, 10:04 AM
Woodworking, Golf and Cooking (in no certain order)

Started cooking when I was 13 and have always loved it. Never took the time when i was younger to appreciate my Italian grandmothers cooking I would have loved to know some of her secrets.

The pics are this past Xmas dinner. Pear Salad with Gorganzola and a warm shallot dressing and Crown roast of pork with an Apple stuffing. YUMMY!

Tim Morton
02-15-2005, 10:13 AM
I think i do about 80% of the cooking in our home. And i do about 3% of the dishes. I would cook all day long in order not to have to do dishes. :D With 2 working parents and 2 teenage daughters in the home i would not say that we eat gourmet meals...but we all love eating good food and we do OK. lately we have been working at eating healthy and I have lost 20lbs and my daughter and wife have both lost over 1o. My youngest duaghter seems to have missed the "chunky" gene but she has always eaten more healthy than the rest of the family. My oldest daughter has taken an interest in cooking and i swear she makes the BEST meatballs. She is a picky eater, but for some reason if it is in a "recipe" she will eat it...last weekend she made sushi....not her best effort...practically unedible...but the enjoyment of washing her and her friend making it was better than any dinner at Nobu. :cool:

Jerry Olexa
02-15-2005, 2:04 PM
What an interesting group we are! Good to see the "other interest", in this case cooking, many of us share. I love cooking but LOML does 80% of the effort here and she's very talented. I like to cook special things on special occasions or when its just a night when we're going to eat in. My cooking interest run from soups to bread to ribs to salads to chili to etc etc. I have my own private recipe file and use the WWW to get new recipes and compare different approaches, I'm fortunate, LOML also does 70% of the cleanup altho I try to clean up as I cook. Food and cooking is one of the true pleasures of life (close to WWing). Now, how about a glass of Cabernet and some Brie or do you prefer a Bass Ale w some pretzels?

John Pollman
02-15-2005, 2:30 PM
I love to cook !

Actually I do about 99% of the cooking around here. The wife doesn't like to cook and I do so it falls to me. I enjoy it very much. I do like to bake also. Does anybody else out there enjoy "The Food Network" as much as I do ? Alton Browns "Good Eats" is a great show along with Emeril. Those guys are great...

BAM ! :)

Michael Ballent
02-15-2005, 3:10 PM
I love to cook, just about anything but the perfect pie just escapes me (must be the hand cut dovetail of the culinary world) I usually cook Italian, Thai, Chinese, and Spanish food. Also living in the Arizona it's nice to have access to Mexican/Southwest ingredient to cook up some of Stephen Pyles recipes. They are tough but man are they great. I even did the Romancing the Bird recipe from Alton Brown (Brine Turkey)

Jim Becker
02-15-2005, 3:16 PM
Michael, Dr. SWMBO did brined turkey (with just a breast since it was only for two) for Thanksgiving and it was incredible...

Thankfully, MY Ali doesn't box...or I'd be black and blue every time I forgot to listen or remember what I've been "told"... ;)

Karl Laustrup
02-15-2005, 5:27 PM
I tried posting this link once before here, but I don't think it worked. Therefore, I'll try again, much like some of my wood projects or my golf game.


A bunch of recipes broken down by various means. What I like is there are usually many variations of a recipe.

I hope Alton Brown is going to do some new shows. It seems all the ones I'm seeing are repeats [I still watch them, though].

Ted Shrader
02-15-2005, 6:26 PM
Tom -

I sure do. For V-day dinner last night, I made lobster bisque for appetizer. Blackened salmon (wild not farm raised) on a bed of wilted spinach (w/ garlic and shallots), steamed asparagus all with mustard/wine reduction sauce.

Bought the desert - Guaranteed heart attack producer - some triple threat chocolate cake.


Kurt Strandberg
02-15-2005, 6:45 PM
I love to cook !

Does anybody else out there enjoy "The Food Network" as much as I do ? Alton Browns "Good Eats" is a great show along with Emeril. Those guys are great...

BAM ! :)
We watched a show on Pizza we had tivo'd(we like to try different pizza places on our motorcycle rides) and the Iron Chef instead of Super Bowl at our house.

We watch alot of the Food network, Discovery Channel, TLC and all 3 CSI's


Tim Morton
02-15-2005, 7:26 PM
Does anybody else out there enjoy "The Food Network" as much as I do ? Alton Browns "Good Eats" is a great show along with Emeril. Those guys are great...

Guilty!! I like "good eats" too...I made his prime rib, slow cooked in the terra cotta planter....like he said...it was "Good Eats!!" His recipe for pancakes with buttermilk is another winner.

Ian Abraham
02-16-2005, 4:37 AM
Actually, after spending a lot of time on another wood related forum, I was sorta mystified as to why there was little mention of food here :confused: :D
Many of you will know the place where no thread can run for more than 2 pages without food being mentioned.

I'm along Jim B's line of cooking, a good stir fry, either with a can / sachet or made from scratch. Whatever meat / fish etc you have and a selection of fresh veges on rice or noodles. There is a lot to be learned from asian style cooking. Intersting how many of the best recipes come from the I cook most of the meals in our house, but my partner is good at baking and cooking roast meals.

As others have said the process is kinda like woodworking, raw materials, plans, method, end result :)

I guess you dont want to start the Grits vs Taters vs Marmite thing here :rolleyes:


Jim Becker
02-16-2005, 9:06 AM
I'm along Jim B's line of cooking, a good stir fry, either with a can / sachet or made from scratch.
I actually don't do the stir-fry thing all that often. Most of my meal "creations" have a sautÚd "feature" or for the right piece of beef, pork or lamb, pan-seared in an iron pan and finished in the oven to temp. Veggies are sautÚd or steamed. Sometimes I skip the starch; other times there is rice (basmati, jasmine, carolina or brown) or some form of potato, depending on my mood. Of course, sometimes it's just some pasta/sauce or Celantano Eggplant Parm and a frozen veggie, thawed, of course... :)

I do use a few more pans that way, but unlike, umm...someone...I clean as I cook and there is little to do after the meal. ;)

Michael Ballent
02-16-2005, 5:16 PM
This was the second time that I have cooked the brined turkey... simply amazing, but the prep work *UHG* I have not tried the Alton's new brine recipe that he roasts on the grill, but I bet it's pretty good :D

Chris DeHut
02-16-2005, 5:23 PM
My wasteline shows I like to eat, but I have never been able to figure out cooking. Everyone in my family could cook and thank goodness my wife can cook, otherwise I would starve to death.

It certainly is facinating though. Even though I can't cook, I get as much enjoyment out of watching a cooking show as any other type of educational material, just wish I could taste all those wonderful things they make on TV!


Michael Ballent
02-16-2005, 5:39 PM
Unless you burnt water you can cook ;) Start off with simple recipes with a few ingredients and few steps and you are on your way :). Here is an easy recipe that you can try and you get to grill as well

1 lb pork loin thinly sliced (about 1/4" thick)
2-3 lemons
half a bunch of cilantro
2 cloves of crushed garlic

Finely chop the cilantro, and place into shallow glass/plastic pan
layer the pork loin over the cilantro
toss in the garlic
squeeze the lemons over all of it
let it sit in the fridge for 2-3 hours covered so the fridge does not smell of garlic ;)
fire up the grill
remove the pork loins out of the marinade
place on the grill for 5 minutes
5 more minutes
check for doneness (is that a word)
cook some more if you need to
remove from the grill and let me sit for a few minutes

Kirk (KC) Constable
02-17-2005, 5:54 AM
You people have seen pictures of my shop...so you know I hate to clean up...but I also hate to cook. I can make awfully good sausage gravy, and a mean queso...other than that, I'll leave it to somebody else.


David Klink
02-20-2005, 5:18 AM
I've been cooking since I was a kid, and I always have liked it. It also came in very handy when I was between marriages and got sick of take out and frozen food.

My wife didn't believe me when we first got together, and I told her I could handle myself in the kitchen. I made some sausage tortellini soup for her, and she became more of a believer. I followed that up with spicy chicken and broccoli stir fry, then burgundy beef, and that was the knockout punch. Her parents started asking me to bring dinner over for them, rather than her. ;)

Jim Dunn
02-20-2005, 11:21 AM
At 136lbs soaking wet I cook/bar-b-que but don't like to eat all that much.