Random Saturdays – Recipoods

Normally, I follow instructions pretty well.  Not following instructions makes me nervous.  I don’t want to rock the boat unless I have to because I generally go through life trying not to be noticed.  When it comes to recipes, though, I have a very hard time following instructions.

The first time I use a cooking recipe, I try to follow it to a T.  Usually, I fail at this.  I don’t like onions, so I’ll compromise and use shallots because I like them better than regular onions.  I don’t have peanuts, so I’ll use pistachios.  I don’t have dill, so I leave it out entirely.  I want to try this Mediterranean recipe to go with Asian food, so I adjust all of the spices to make it Asian.  At that point, I don’t know why I even bother with the recipe, but it does make me feel safer using the recipe.  I get frustrated with myself when I screw up, but I don’t  follow the directions in the first place, so why should I care about mistakes?

With baking, everyone says to be very careful about following the directions because it’s a very delicate chemistry experiment.   I’m even worse at following directions with baking than I am with cooking.  I’ve done enough baking that I always think I know what I’m doing.  I usually do, too!  It’s just that I forget that if I do A, then I need to do B.  For example, I’ll try to healthy-up a cupcake recipe by substituting some whole wheat flour.  I’ll remember to increase the liquid to compensate for the extra absorbing whole wheat flour.  I’ll forget, though, that I have to use more liquids when substituting soymilk for wate.  I’ll also forget that I decided to use butter instead of oil, which means that I need to add more liquid for the whole recipe in general.  When my cupcakes come out dry, I immediately know what happened.  The next time I make cupcakes, I make the same durned mistakes all over again!

When I’m cooking or baking for myself, I give myself some leeway, but when I cook for others, these mistakes feel like a completely devastating failure.  I get so upset at myself for disappointing people and letting them down like an idiot just because I couldn’t follow a simple recipe.  For the most part, I’ve tempered my reactions when dealing with the results of a failed recipe.  I’ve learned that only ingrates will berate you for screwing up a recipe.  Most people are grateful that you even considered cooking something for them, much less from scratch.

As for the title of this blog post, there’s a short story.  Ben and I came home from getting groceries one night.  I mentioned something about having a special recipe for something.  I said, “I have a great recipood for that!”  At first, I didn’t think Ben caught it, but I started laughing immediately.  Then, he started asking me to tell him more about this “recipood”.  In my jacked up brain, I somehow combined “recipe” with “food” to come up with a word that sounds like…not…good…Even so, it’s funny.  For some good recipoods, visit Vegetableau, Cathy’s Tumblr!

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One thought on “Random Saturdays – Recipoods

  1. I haven’t tried baking–yet. Maybe one day I will. For now, I’m happy discovering new savory ideas I pick up from the Food Network and online websites. Having said that, I love experimenting with new things. Like you, if I’m missing an ingredient, I’ll substitute. Well, if there are no peanuts in the house, walnuts will have to do! Anyway, I think it’s great to work with different ingredients, regardless if they’re meant for other recipes. That’s the way we learn! 🙂

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