There’s no wrong way to cook

by rivka on October 1, 2007 · 1 comment

in various and sundry

Really, there’s no such thing as a wrong way to cook.

Yes, there are some exceptions to this rule. Baking is far fussier than cooking, and it’s best to follow a recipe as precisely as one can manage (or at least to follow one of many successful wet-to-dry ingredient ratios when improvising).

But in cooking, this is a truly important rule of thumb. It occured to me this morning while scrolling through the comments that were posted on an entry by one of my favorite bloggers, Danielle over at Habeas Brulee. While most commenters offer compliments and thanks for posting any given recipe, there are always those who offer “corrections” to make a recipe just a bit more perfect.

That’s fine and good — aren’t we all looking to perfect that apple pie recipe or really nail that tomato sauce? — but the “corrections” offered are really nothing more than alternate methods. To one, the latter method may yield a better texture, a finer consistency, a more robust flavor — but as we all know, these things are really matters of individual taste. My favorite chocolate chip cookie may seem to you too crumbly, hard, not big enough, too heavy on the cholocate…and on. But it’s my favorite. Get my drift?

So when it comes to cooking, where proportions are flexible and the food can withstand a fair amount of tampering, a recipe is merely a suggestion. To my very recipe-loyal friends: remember that the cookbook isn’t a rulebook. It’s a guidebook. Change anything you like.

Just label your sugar and salt jars conspicuously.

Happy cooking!

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