This month, I’ve been taking an online cooking class on how to cook without recipes.  I’ve always hated trying to cook using recipes.

It always seems like the cook-author thinks that I must enjoy cooking like they do.  Not!  And that my kitchen looks like theirs.  Not!

Oh, and that I have a big family and oodles of time to make a huge meal for six.  Seriously not!

Actually, in my travels looking up cooking without recipes, I was surprised to see that a lot of what goes into cookbooks isn’t tested at all.  That goes back to the publishers cutting what they pay the writers.  The writers have to get a book out and aren’t getting paid enough to test it, so recipes go in that may not work according to the way they’re written. 

The result is that I’ve been puzzled when I see recipes claiming, “Easy!” and, well, they aren’t.   Easy is not buying a non-standard pan for a recipe, and one that I will never use again.  Easy is not fifteen ingredients, two of which I have to go to a different store to find.  Easy is not twenty lines of instructions made to look like five.

This was my first meal, which is kale, red bell pepper, carrots, chicken, garlic, and salt and pepper.  (I picked the ingredients for their color, so I was looking for pretty.)

A plate of kale, bell pepper, carrots, and chicken, still steaming.

Unlike most of my past meals, it tasted pretty good.

Tomorrow I get to roast an entire chicken.  I’ve never done that before.  So we shall see.