Deb, my favorite foodie blogger, recently asked people to label their cooking fears. I was surprised by the extraordinary variety (she had over 200 comments the last time I checked) and thought, at least on my small scale, it might be interesting to address people's frights in regards to cooking.
I answered the post myself because the question immediately brought to mind pork. Now, pork in the slow cooker or dutch oven is one thing, with its marbles and chunks of fat that melt into the meat to create a perfectly gorgeous texture; lean pork that requires a quick, hot pan before it sends its juices to the ceiling and toughens up to make chewing leather is quite another.
I am terrified of pork chops and pork loin.
There is also the matter of a certain episode of House M.D. that I've watched, involving a girl with a parasite from pork living in her brain and causing bleeding and certain death. This only feeds my paranoia.
Israel is a pork on the barbecue expert, and I think I might be able to do that, yet usually I cook indoors. Coals are not my thing, but that is for another post.
Italian icing is the other thing I have never been able to get right. If you're not familiar with the process, it involves hot sugar syrup set to exactly the right temperature, and moves on to a slow stream incorporated by whisking into egg whites. The pictures of it are lovely. Not lovely enough for me to attempt it, again.
So tell me, readers, what is your cooking fear? Maybe some of us know how to help.