Although my cooking skills aren't legendary, there's one thing I don't mind doing: stirring. I make killer cheese grits and a mean roux. Somebody once said of making roux: You can drink two beers while you're stirring and it still may not be ready. Of course, I'd never do that. You have to watch the roux very closely, without impairment. If it burns, out goes the whole batch.
I didn't think I loved risotto, however, and I'd never attempted actually making it. Although it's OK when a restaurant sneaks risotto under the dish I've ordered, I get more excited when my shrimp is heaped on grits or polenta. But I decided to give it a try. And I didn't bat an eye reading about stirring risotto. That part didn't worry me. I'd stirred grits longer, and with grits, you have to be careful not to get scalded.
I was ready for risotto.
Some recipes insist you should stir nonstop for an hour, but I'd watched my friend Joan making it, and she wasn't a slave to her stove. We took turns stirring that night. But tonight, I was on my own. Lots of stirring. And plenty of time to think about writing, while stirring.
I decided writing is like making grits, roux, risotto-- a bit of this and a spoon of that. Stir, stir, stir. Add more broth, a pinch of salt, sample it. Stir some more. And occasionally, regrettably, toss the whole thing.
With risotto, I was lucky my first time out. Here's the pot, mid-way through stirring. With occasional breaks to write about it.
All it took was arborio rice, sauteed onions, vegetable stock, a spash of white wine, and a bit of grated parmesan cheese. And all that stirring.