It’s Friday and so we turn our attention to something food-related. With Thanksgiving right around the corner, I took notice of something in the store the other day and it triggered a thought. The product was Kitchen Bouquet, which is something one might use in making gravy. Of course, it has business implications as well.Kitchen Bouquet is one of several gravy additives out on the market. I believe they’re used to take the place of a decent fond, which is the brown stuff left in your roasting pan after you remove whatever you were roasting. It’s 100% reduced meat drippings and is the base for any great gravy (you deglaze the pan with wine or water to loosen the fond, add some sort of a roux or starch to thicken it and add more liquid – stock, generally. A touch of cream and/or butter – gravy!). I’ve never used this stuff but in doing a little research it’s basically caramel or caramel coloring, vegetable extracts, salt, and preservatives. Yech. But some folks use it as a shortcut to making gravy or in the absence of having a proper fond (I fry my birds so I have that problem). My solution is to make the turkey stock days in advance and roast the parts (legs, usually) to get that flavor. It takes longer than a few drops of this stuff but the results are worth it. And that’s the business thought.
I’m not opposed to doing things in business (or the kitchen) as simply as possible. There are, however, some shortcuts that greatly lessen the quality of your work. Take the web analyst who assembles analytics data but doesn’t tie it to business issues. They puke up the data – quicker reports, lesser product. Or the lawyer who doesn’t ask for the business issues and understands them prior to reading a contract. That shortcut could result in sound legal terms and a bad business deal.
There’s an old expression among developers – you can have it fast, cheap, or good. Pick two. Fast is generally my last option. No shortcuts for the product I’m serving my family next week (I’ll be making stock this weekend!) and the same thinking holds for what I serve my clients all year.
So what are you cooking up? Bet it doesn’t come in a bottle!