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.)
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.
I’ve never cooked much, except for a few dishes–and microwave popcorn. However, the cook in the family occasionally experiments with new dishes, and so many of them aren’t worth making again.
That is a pretty dish, btw.
One of my rules is that if the recipe has more than ten ingredients, I’ll pass… unless it’s fantastically special for some other reason. Good luck with the class!
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