July 20, 2010

Kitchen Adventures: How We Roll

I've eluded to this before.  I'll be very clear:  I have difficulty following recipes.

I love recipes. I even read them in my free time.  I scribble them on scratch paper (and then I misplace them). I contemplate them when I probably have better things to do.  But when I get down to the nitty-gritty of a weeknight meal, I don't want to use a cookbook; instead, I want a method etched in my memory file, so that when I'm digging through my refrigerator, it comes together for me: "Green onions, carrots... some leftover rice, eggs... oh, add frozen peas, a protein and soy sauce.  We'll have fried rice!"

Even in baking, I make all kinds of modifications in my quest to make it a little better than last time.  I am the kind of baker who likes to substitute other flours for some of the all-purpose flour in baking.  At one point I counted eleven different kinds of flours and grains in my freezer.  And I don't tend to have whole milk on hand, so I frequently use 1% or 2%... or cream or yogurt depending on the desired result and what I have available.

Feeling flexible and learning how different ingredients work makes cooking easier, but it makes sharing recipes a little difficult.  I hope you will bear with me and feel a similar freedom to pursue your own kitchen adventures.

(I know you were expecting "Rich Chocolate Cake II" yesterday and it's coming, I promise.  And yes, it was a hit at my friend's baby shower this weekend.  I'm just having some technical difficulties in getting my photos of the cake to the blog.  Thank you for your patience.)


  1. AnonymousJuly 20, 2010

    I loved how you wrote that piece. It was informative, funny and insightful. I pretty much cook the same way. My partner Louie is challenging to cook for because he is a bit picky.
    What do about picky eaters. Got any ideas? Toni

  2. Thank you, Toni, for commenting. I think most people are picky eaters; it's just tricky when you are picky about different foods. What kinds of foods does he like? I'll be thinking.

  3. I made notes on baking recipes for when we lived at a higher altitude and they are still penciled into the cookbook...

    - Dad

  4. When I use a recipe that really worked, I make a note in the margin. If I make a change, I also note that. But, not all the time. I don't usually mess with recipes for baked goods, so thank you for giving me permission to do more of that. Your writing is very fun to read!