Creative Cooking

Meet blogger Elizabeth, who can be found on other days at Wearing Stilettos, Living On a Farm, which is, without a doubt, my favorite blog name of all time. Second favorite might be Not Yet a Girl, Not Yet a Wino, but I digress and this is Elizabeth’s post today, not mine!

* * *

I have kindly been asked to guest blog for Anna while she takes a hiatus from the blogging (and actual) world. I am beyond flattered that I would even be on the list to choose from for guests, and to be asked by Anna herself has pretty much made my week. (It was a week in much need of “being made,” too.)

It seems as though I should be writing about Anna or about our friendship, but in all honesty I didn’t know her very well until after we didn’t work in the same place anymore. I knew her well enough to know that she was a delightful person, a great writer and someone that I should be friends with, but alas, our friendship was virtually created. Literally. (don’t judge me by my puns)

From the beginning of my venture into the blog world, with Hank & Willie as one of my guides, she has commented frequently on my posts and offered supportive, funny, insightful, and just plain kind words. For that I am very grateful.
But enough with stroking her ego.
Let’s talk about the one of the several things we have in common. Food.

I adore Food Fridays. I love reading recipes, cutting them out, adding them to my stacks of recipes (one day to be compiled…yeah…) and thinking about for whom I will make them. I have an entire shelf devoted solely to cookbooks: the must-have Joy of Cooking; Tim Allen’s Food You Love; Alton Brown’s book; sushi, Chinese, Mexican, Italian all with their own books; the Betty Crocker classic cook book (with yellowed pages and all!); Cooking for One; later traded for Cooking for Two (don’t hold your breath for the next installment). I love cookbooks. I love food. I love reading about food and making plans to cook for my husband, my family, & my friends.
Here’s the thing. I don’t EVER use a recipe! I make it all up in my head. I take something basic and doctor the heck out of it until it tastes like it should.
With recipes I get bored. I get distracted. It’s one of the few moments when ADD makes an appearance in my life. And recipes stress me out. Too much thinking! Big “T” vs. Little “t”! AH! It can destroy your entire dinner. I prefer “dashes” and “pinches” and “what does this need more of?” If I’m following a recipe I’m bound to miss that line that says “1/2 c of soy sauce”. Can you imagine? No one would ever trust me in a kitchen.
In fact, I wasn’t trusted in a kitchen for awhile.

To this day, my brother-in-law is a little apprehensive about my cooking and I don’t blame him. I didn’t trust me either for a goof long time after the Great Garlic Bread Fiasco of 1996.
Ingredients included:
1 loaf of Italian Bread cut in half (long ways)
Melted butter
Garlic Powder
Some of the green flaky stuff that is always on garlic bread.
How can you mess that up?
Simple. Assume that Garlic Powder & Garlic Salt are the same thing.
So I think it best to stick with my culinary brain and leave my culinary books for reading and daydreaming. Everyone is safer that way, I’m sure. And not to toot my own horn, but since I gave up cookbooks, my cooking has been amazing. The downside? It’s hard to make the same dish twice.

But that’s just another kitchen adventure.


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4 Responses to “Creative Cooking”

  1. Kate Says:

    My husband will always remember what we have lovingly dubbed Fireball Beef. Cooked for the first time ever (and to make it worse for company) in a very tiny apartment, I found out that chili sauce and HOT SAUCE are not the same thing. Especially when you need the ENTIRE BOTTLE! Who cares what the cookbook said or suggested? Use what you have and deal with the after effects later!

  2. JenBun Says:

    I think those are the best kinds of cooks– those who don’t stick to the recipe, but who experiment with flavors until everything just comes together!

  3. Tash Says:

    There’s a lot of guest blogging going on at the moment!! But I digress!! How can you make up recipes as you go along, I simply could not do it, I would always fear getting it wrong! But then I bake rather than cook, so to my mind it has to be right!

  4. Bookmarks about Cooking Says:

    […] – bookmarked by 2 members originally found by vamp21 on 2008-07-22 Creative Cooking – bookmarked by 4 members […]

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