What the Heck Am I Doing?

It’s funny how many culinary traditionalists cringe at the way I do things in my kitchen. I don’t measure. I rarely use recipes. And you know what? My food turns out wonderfully.

When I want to create a dish, I think about the basic flavours I want to feature. I also look in my fridge and cupboards to see what I have to work with. Then I add, taste, tweak, and do whatever I need to do to get my dish where I want it to be. It works for me. I think a big part of why it works is that I’m involved and invested in whatever I’m making. I’m not afraid to taste it, touch it, give a nickname and baby talk until it does what I want it to do. I think that makes a big difference.

Why would I rely on a recipe in a book from some person who isn’t in the room? For all you know, the person who wrote that recipe might have died thirty years ago. Or she might have been a terrible, nasty person you would never trust to cook for you. Food for me is about being present in the moment, and allowing the creation of the dish to develop naturally, not necessarily according to a pre-set plan.

I guess I’m just one of those people who cooks by instinct. I know how food works. I have taken the time to learn which ingredients taste lovely together. I’ve done my research on what could be used to bind a dish, or leaven it. I know about the chemical reactions that make things work. I’m also not afraid to try something new. My kitchen, actually, is about the only place in my life where I’m a gutsy risk taker. I cook with wild abandon, and it makes me deeply happy.

I’m often asked for recipes, but there really aren’t any in the true sense of the word. Each food post here at Blue Speckled Pup is, I suppose, more of a how-to than a true recipe. I’m sorry I can’t provide measurements or offer specifics, exact amounts or precise cooking times for the things I create. I truly hope you’ll try something I post. Give something new a go, and toss some things in a bowl until the magic starts to happen for you, too.

copyright 2011:  http://bluespeckledpup.com

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