Do not be afraid of cooking. So many times I hear people say “Oh you are such a great cook!” Or that they can’t possibly cook. I always wonder about that. I mean, what is there but something tastes good or it doesn’t? I don’t know many things that don’t come with some sort of recipe attached to them, either verbally from the gifter or on the label..You simply follow the recipe and watch what happens. Then the next time you tweak to make it work better for your taste.
I don’t know how many times I have taken the heat out of a recipe for my family. My husband likes everything he eats to be volcanic levels of hot, and he has to use straight-up super hot sauce on every conceivable thing (no lie) but babies can’t tolerate that. So I remove the heat and slowly build up as they grow older. I do have one child who can’t tolerate any heat-even black pepper as a seasoning. I am not hip to what that means for digestion, but he is a teenager and just in the last 6 months has been able to at least be open to trying hot things. Of course, his idea of hot is sort of silly for even the baby, but we all grow at different paces, right?
Anyways, Do not be afraid to screw up food! Just play with heat temperatures, cutting sizes, seasonings and when you do eat, really sit and taste what you are eating. Have you ever heard that a cook is never happy with what they make? Except for on FoodNetwork, but that’s not real.
Of course, they are not happy! A cook always tastes what they can do to either improve or tweak what they are eating. That doesn’t mean they don’t enjoy what they are putting int heir mouths (heck I love it when someone else cooks-even a restaurant), but cooking evolves every single day for an inspired cook. One who is not afraid to make a mistake and then move on from it.
One of my favorite things to read, when I was younger, was the inside cover of many cookbooks for the substitutions section. That was where you could go if you were out of eggs perhaps, or find out that you could substitute an egg with ground flaxseed and water. That is where I learned that you could make buttermilk by mixing milk and vinegar. Who knew? I have only had access to real buttermilk when I make butter from our goat’s milk and have it leftover. In no way does it resemble that thick weird stuff in the carton at the grocery store..I am not sure whose brilliant scheme it was to thicken buttermilk.
I digress. The point of today’s post is to not be afraid of food. It is there for the cooking, marinating, growing eating, making mistakes with. Where do you think recipes come from? There are no new recipes..cooks just mess around with things they like to eat and write them down.
I know writing my books, that I shared hundreds of recipes with the publisher. Almost 600 of them actually. The hardest part of sharing was that many times what I cooked was jotted down on the back of a scrap paper and god forbid I measured…I had to make so many things just to measure them to submit to the publisher. It was tedious. But now, I can simply cook out of my four books and have a fairly wide range of my regular recipes turn out time and again. Of course, I play around with the tried and true ones still..that is because I am a fearless, rebel cook.