#283 Eating the thing you’re cooking while cooking it

Also known as Chef Snacks.

When you’re stirring stew, popping corn, or frying fritters there’s nothing as nice as sneaking a few bites when nobody’s looking.

You can do The Wooden Spoon Slurp to see if the soup has enough salt or the macaroni has enough cheese. Or you can try the 7 Layer Taster where every combination of your 7-layer dip is tested — from cream cheese with salsa to guacamole with olives. Or you can do the classic Batter Binge, where that sweet and creamy dream liquid tastes like a chocolate-chip speckled swirl of heaven on your tongue.

And hey, come on — eating the thing you’re cooking while cooking it really is good for everyone. See, nobody likes a Saltless Surprise, so it’s good for the cook to perform these vital Tongue Tests early and often to ensure a tasty, tasty, tasty, tasty, tasty, tasty meal.

One tasty for every taste test.


Read the first 20 pages of The Book of (Even More) Awesome to see if it’s any good!

Photos from: here and here

76 thoughts on “#283 Eating the thing you’re cooking while cooking it

  1. For me, its pasta tasting, where I grab a string of spaghetti while its cooking and taste it to make sure its good or not. (I use a fork though).

    Indeed, it is Awesome!!!

    1. OHHH, I was thinking ding dongs after #950.
      How dare I forget or neglect…I would never live it down!
      My favorite thing in the whole wide world, and known as best in our family for, “The Doctor of the POPCORN!!! Very important to get perfect ratios of butter and salt…sprinkle with engevita…hmmmMust have popcorn!!!

  2. My siblings and I would always fight over who got to “lick the beater,” but the one unbeatable trump card was the chef card. If you helped Mom make it, you had first dibs on the beater.

      1. I always helped mom make the goodies, but my brothers always got to lick the beaters……….I got to lick the bowl.
        The first time I let my daughter lick a beater, she thought I was kidding and was afraid to take it. I finally convinced her that its ok and she loved it. Its still a very special thing

    1. My sister and I always got to lick the beaters! Good thing there were always two and there’re two of us :D

      1. Same here with my brother and I! Good thing I don’t have kids, because I would be selfish and lick them myself.

  3. Neil,
    I just finished reading the first 20 pages of even more awesome & you wanted to know if it is good?

    No. its not good.

    its GREAT :)

    very awesome in deed :)

      1. I read it yesterday and
        the intro made me cry. It was just so well written.
        I can’t wait to read the rest of the book

  4. One time, I made vegan chocolate chip cookies. They didn’t have egg in them, so I didn’t even feel slightly bad about eating the dough. :D

  5. When my mom makes lasagna, my sister and I always test it before she layers it by scooping up some meat sauce in a lasagna noodle and sprinkling some cheese on top. it is AWESOME!

    1. Wait.. you taste bacon WHILE you’re cooking it? Like, when it’s still floppy and only sorta half cooked?

      My friend, this might be something you want to wait until the tasty treat is done cooking before you dive right in.. :)

      1. Last time I was out camping with a bunch of people, I had to make the food for everyone. So here I was trying to cook for 20 people over a campfire and this one guy whispers in my ear to leave some bacon halfway done for him. When it was bacon time, I sizzled it for a while, held up a piece for him to examine. It was still very soft, floppy, and just gross looking…. he gave me a thumbs up.

  6. I’m a huge fan of cooking, and constanly trying new recipes……a couple of times i’ve ended up eating ahlf the dish before I serve it up……..need to watch my waist line now though!!

    Check out my blog. An ongoing list of not so awesome things


    Follow and share with friends if you like :)

  7. LOL… Sunday hubby was making some rice cripy treats with chocolate chips in them and he was halfway through making them and I said, “Oh, NO!” He looked at me with this really concerned face and asked me what was wrong. I said, “You didn’t let me taste it to make sure it wasn’t poisonous. I always try it out first to make sure its not deadly.”

    1. Cute!

      And the “tasting to make sure it doesn’t have poison” excuse is a really good one.. I remember my dad used to use that on me a lot while I was growing up, whenever he wanted a bite (or several) of whatever yummy treat I was eating..

      1. Hehehe :) my dad did that, too.
        And by “did that” I mean … “still occasionally does that”.

  8. I was going to remark about licking the beaters, but someone beat me to it. That was the ultimate treat when my sister and I were little. Surprise beaters, one for each of us! :D

    I guess I went ahead and remarked about them anyway. Oh well.

    I have a friend who, on multiple occasions, has mixed up some brownie batter with no intention of actually baking brownies. She’ll leave the eggs out and just eat it from a bowl.

    1. My wife (little-miss-safety-first) and I often have a philosophical disagreement about whether or not we should be tasting the batter after we’ve put the eggs in. She insisted that I would almost certainly contract Salmonella, die, and leave her alone (and I assume miserable, without my wonderful presence)..

      However, we did a little research online and found a study that estimates that only about 1 in 20,000 eggs contains salmonella.. that’s 0.005% of eggs.

      We agreed that was an acceptable risk to take to still get to eat the yummy batter throughout the entire baking process.. She still doesn’t taste it mind you, but she’s more comfortable about the whole “Freddo’s probably not going to die” scenario..

      1. I think the whole “raw eggs” danger is a tempest in a teapot. But it must have had a good PR campaign because a lot of people are freaked out about it! For example, Mike was really perturbed the first time we bought eggs in Europe where they are not refrigerated in the stores.

        1. Is that why we shouldn’t rub mystery teapots? They contain tempests?

          I don’t generally like to eat baked goods, especially cookies, but I LOVE the way my house smells when I bake, so I often make cookies or a key lime pie to make my house smell good, then give the treats to someone else to consume. Everybody wins!

          1. LOL, that’s correct. You don’t want to release that tempest on yourself! Not recommended.

  9. OK, so this really counts as eating after cooking, but it’s still great: eating the pudding that stuck to the kettle during cooking. I don’t really remember begging for the beaters as often as waiting for that kettle after mom poured the pudding into dishes. MMMMM, warm pudding!
    I agree with the brownie bowl licking, too! I still do this regularly. Hey, great idea to make batter without eggs just to eat the batter! AWESOME!

  10. after having your share of maggi and then licking the steel plate full of maggi curry and masala is like.. AWESOME !! <3

  11. btw.. just to let u know.. came to know about yourself through your interview in the readers digest.. :)

  12. Hey Neil – where do we submit our votes/requests for other cities for you to visit on your whistle-stop book tour?

    *writes something down on voting ballot*

    *folds ballot*

    *looks around for voting box*

    *finds voting box and submits ballot*

    *Realizes that I accidentally cast a vote of “Neil should have a book tour stop in San Diego” in my local mayoral election”

    1. *Votes for Neil for mayor*

      Bahaha … whistle-stop book tour. I like it. After he visits San Diego, he can pick you up and you both can cruise right through the greater midwest and come to STL … and you can bring my windshield wipers, k?

      1. *mental note: Stop offering to buy Laura stuff like new wipers, because she’s got a memory like an elephant in a steel safe and she will never forget*

        Sounds good, Laura! I’ll swing by with those wipers and we can all go to a sporting event… We’ll sing the national anthem and watch the fighter planes fly overhead.. :)

        Neil – get this tour scheduled! It sounds awesome!

        1. how about put a stop off to sydney australia on that book tour of yours?
          now wouldn’t that just be great!
          but please.
          just don’t ask us if we really ride kangaroos to school & work.
          because believe it or not.
          we dont.

  13. Anybody ever had a snow cone machine? I was maybe 5 and I decided I could make peanut butter, with marshmallows and a bag of peanuts, and how might you think that was…actually tasted pretty great, but I guess I broke the machine.
    Just read the first 20 pages…very awesome and thought provoking too:
    On page 7, for a second I pondered as to where would I find a microwave?
    Time is in “Jetson” far too fast and furious.
    This steady diet and insatiable appetite for Awesome, does not want to see the end…and as there’s already talk, pangs and tears; some knockin’ on that door going on in here, who agrees a vote sould be cast for a #1A Awesome to be included … Neil Pasricha?!*
    Who thinks Canada should have a new theme park/Adventure’s in Awesome Land?!*
    Just saying, it could be VERY AWESOME for Canada:D
    Anybody have that kind of visionary know-how, a personal friend in the Dragon’s Den…lots of Ka-ching floating around?
    Let’s get “cookin'”

    1. The only snow cone machine I ever owned was the Snoopy toy one that only crushed enough ice at time to fit on the tip of your finger. You had to work hard with that thing to get enough to fill the little cups

      1. My sister totally had the Snoopy “snow cone” machine! It came with like, medicine-cup sized paper cups that were supposed to be for the snow … it was pretty comical, but we still had fun doing it :D

      2. Had one back in the 60s! Got about a thimble full out of it before my hands hurt from the crank, so then off to the corner store to get a big ole’ sloppy grape one.

  14. well then, perhaps ONE of the treat booths in Awesome Land theme park shall have to be Snow cones for sure…Pina Colada anyone?

  15. I never understood the appeal of cookie dough until I found a oatmeal cookie recipe that, quite literally, kicks ass. Everybody who has this cookie loves it and asks for more…and what they don’t know is that I have to physically restrain myself from eating the dough. Good thing I’m low-carbing these days…

    1. Oatmeal cookie dough is unequivocably the BEST. I even put 1/3 cup of oatmeal into my chocolate chip cookies. Mmmm…oatmeal.

      1. I second that. Mmmm … oatmeal. Oatmeal cookies, oatmeal creme pies, and straight up oatmeal. Yum.

        I just have to say though, SANS raisins. Don’t hate me.

        1. Never! Besides, chocolate chips make an excellent substitution for raisins (except in hot oatmeal cereal. … Although, maybe I shouldn’t knock it until I try it!)

          1. I think we should be thinking outside the box a little here.. do we really need to add small, discrete items like raisins or chocolate chips? Have we considered just adding a few spoonfulls of Nutella to the batter instead?

            Can someone get on this and report back how it goes? I’m willing to sample whatever comes out of this little experiment if you’re interested in sending some “nutella cookies” my way..

  16. LOVE the picture you used for the post – that girl’s head in the bowl, mmmmm – what’s in there anyway?

    Just a thought – wouldn’t it be great to have a camera at the bottom of that bowl?

    All this talk of licking beaters and bowls and cookie batter slurping soup spoons and tasting pasta has gotten me REAL hungry.

    Thanks for this awesome thing

  17. This is why I never sit down to a real meal on days I cook. I constantly snack on the ingredients while making the dish and end up too full by the time it’s done.

  18. I agree with you Lara! Its so good when its raw that i dont even care for it when its cooked! Bahahaha

Comments are closed.