Experimentation is half the story

About a year or so ago, I really flung myself into sous-vide cooking - it was new to me at the time (hey, it has only been around since 1799) and I have a penchant for new and shiny perhaps more so than has served me well.

I would sous-vide everything - mainly meat dishes, some veg - but I did it at least 5 days a week for many many weeks until it wasn’t new and shiny any more but perhaps like Brewster’s Millions I was over it.

But here I am now, having the odd steak or piece of fish in ye olde water immersion circulator and I can see myself doing this until it gives out at which point I will buy another one.

Now, I admit, I did have an initial thought of “was just that another expensive-ish toy / fad shiny thing, Mike?” but then I really thought about it’s strengths (perfectly cooked every time, lazy cooking times, doesn’t take up critical bench / oven / stove space), weaknesses (cooking times can be rather long in comparison, plastic bags) and mentally decided when and how it could work for me. When I have a larger window of time (i.e. weekends) and / or friends over at a cadence of twice a month (could be more, but twice a month is cognitively resonant). I feel at ease with this and I will review this again in six months.

There are two takeaways here and the first point is to experiment - do something new and shiny, perhaps not until you are sick in the closet from all those cigars “do” - but then you must take stock and ask “does this fit into my life? if so, what makes sense? what is sustainable?”. The taking stock step and how to do that seems to be often left out of the self help narrative. Discarding something because you over did it could be a loss.

Run a timed experiment, a month can be good or the tried and tested 21 days. Then take stock. Then embrace or discard.