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Old 11-12-2010, 03:12 PM   #11
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I take the Jackson Pollock approach to cooking. I just flail around the kitchen with bevy in hand firing things into the mix. Any recipes I actually adhere to are ones that I have developed myself and was happy with the results. Even then, I may substitute, omit or add other ingredients depending on the mood or what's in the fridge/pantry...

That is why I don't really enjoy baking. And, probably why I don't have great success with it. I love baking breads, but that is about it. I don't eat, or crave many sweets, so I rarely bake. I used to do it every day for years when I had my diner, but it was quite a limited list of things. Cinamon buns, pies, brownies, cookies. But, these were all of the rustic style and nothing fine or fancy.
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Old 11-12-2010, 03:13 PM   #12
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I'll leave the baking to my other half. I don't have the patience for it.
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Old 11-12-2010, 03:23 PM   #13
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Sometimes you just can't improve upon perfection.

Not that this is you, but tell me, what is it about a beginner to cooking who thinks that they are going to set the culinary world on fire by changing a 100+ year old recipe to something extraordinary by simply changing the amount of an ingredient from 1 tablespoon to 2? To me, it demonstrates a lack of understanding of the complexity that cooking regularly... routinely acquires.

Just as engineering has a finite set of physical laws that apply to its world, so does cooking... only at least 100 fold more complex. Variations of quantity, quality, time, temperature, reactive, non-reactive and interactive agents from among a list of ~400,000 ingredients, and combining a selection of them in a way to eventually become flavorful, and hopefully nutritious to the palates of many people without poisoning them...

Given all of the variables, someone who has the desire to learn to cook has undertaken one of the most complex tasks any human can ever learn to do, and they are to be applauded!
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Old 11-12-2010, 03:25 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Secundinius View Post
I'll leave the baking to my other half. I don't have the patience for it.
I pretty much do the same, with a few exceptions for the same reason. Not a fan of fussy work.
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Old 11-12-2010, 03:39 PM   #15
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I disagree with the notion that you can't fool with baking. It's true you don't have the same degree of flexibility with it but if you understand the role of each ingredient in a pastry recipe you can shuffle some things around. Case in point, the pumpkin pie I usually make calls for sweetened condensed milk, however, I recently came across a recipe that uses a combo of evaporated milk and honey in place of the sweetened condensed milk. Granted, that wasn't my own brilliant idea but it does go to show there is some flexibility in the baking world.
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Old 11-12-2010, 03:40 PM   #16
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Sometimes you just can't improve upon perfection.
Agreed, but it never means "Don't try."

Quote:
Not that this is you, but tell me, what is it about a beginner to cooking who thinks that they are going to set the culinary world on fire by changing a 100+ year old recipe to something extraordinary by simply changing the amount of an ingredient from 1 tablespoon to 2? To me, it demonstrates a lack of understanding of the complexity that cooking regularly... routinely acquires.
That would be best described as foolheartedness. I know better, even when I started, I knew better. I knew I had to learn the basics first before I could begin messing around with different things and even still I would probably never change a recipe that old to something world changing.

Quote:
Just as engineering has a finite set of physical laws that apply to its world, so does cooking... only at least 100 fold more complex. Variations of quantity, quality, time, temperature, reactive, non-reactive and interactive agents from among a list of ~400,000 ingredients, and combining a selection of them in a way to eventually become flavorful, and hopefully nutritious to the palates of many people without poisoning them...

Given all of the variables, someone who has the desire to learn to cook has undertaken one of the most complex tasks any human can ever learn to do, and they are to be applauded!
I have to completely disagree here. I have yet to start my physics course and from the prep work I have been doing, between reading books and watching videos on it, I can honestly say, I would much, much, MUCH, rather bake than take a physics course. Difficult, sure. Most complex, not even close by a long shot.

I often wonder why people have a hard time cooking. It's not that difficult, especially if you stick to a recipe 100% to the gram for your measurements. Again, preferring one in no way puts the other down. It's all a matter of preference.
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Old 11-12-2010, 03:50 PM   #17
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Early in my career, when I worked for Rockwell, International as a design engineer on the Anti-Ballistic Missile Defense System (Ronald Reagan's Star Wars Project), and knowing what I know now, I would gladly attempt to hit an incoming missile with a 6" diameter laser beam from 2,200 miles away than to ever attempt to make another strawberry souffle for company at a dinner party!
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Old 11-12-2010, 04:04 PM   #18
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Early in my career, when I worked for Rockwell, International as a design engineer on the Anti-Ballistic Missile Defense System (Ronald Reagan's Star Wars Project), and knowing what I know now, I would gladly attempt to hit an incoming missile with a 6" diameter laser beam from 2,200 miles away than to ever attempt to make another strawberry souffle for company at a dinner party!
It's all about the challenge. I know it goes against what I said about my physics class before, but I love a good challenge. In the end, to me cooking and making that meal unique compared to the basic directions, is more of a challenge than measuring 7 ingredients, mixing them slowly together and sticking them in an oven for an hour.

Truth be told, my favorite thing to cook is baked (zips up flame suit). Nothing is better or easier to make than a baked potato. Coat with oil, poke a hole or seven, stick in oven for an hour. *NOTE* this baking requires NO MEASURING or MIXING, therefore, lies outside the confines of the definition of "baking" used as the premise of this thread.
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