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Old 05-10-2006, 02:29 PM   #31
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael in FtW
...Who was it that once said, "A recipe is to cookery as paint-by-number is to art?"
I don't know who said it but it sure sounds arrogant and overly simplistic.

I see nothing wrong with the repeatability written recipes provide. I see repeatability as critical to the way many of us eat and cook. Do you have a favorite restaurant? I'll bet it's because you love the food there and if you have a favorite dish, you count on it's being there when you go back.

Any foodie or chef can follow recipes exactly, wing it with whatever is on hand or start with a written recipe and modify it. These are not mutually exclusively approaches.

I don't see 'never following a written recipe' as a badge of honor or a reason to boast.

Cooking should be a creative activity without losing sight of our cooking roots.
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Old 05-10-2006, 02:40 PM   #32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andy M.
I don't know who said it but it sure sounds arrogant and overly simplistic..
True ... I'll have to dig and find who it was - I just know I read it once and had the same initial reaction that you did.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Andy M.
Cooking should be a creative activity without losing sight of our cooking roots.
Humm ... fire, sticks, rocks ..
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Old 05-10-2006, 03:09 PM   #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RDG
Well, I see there two mai lines of thoght.
There is who thinks that a recipe must be looked as possible, and who thinks that a recipe is something useful to have an idea for starting to cook something else, according to their own taste and to the foods they have at home.
Of course, both lines are possible, but I need to make some specific observations.
The first ones will be sure to have the correct dishes on their table. They will cook in a wonderful way, but always in front of the book. If a dish is good, "their" dish will be good too. No danger.
But, they will not be able to invent anything. For them, it will be always difficult to open the fridge and arrange something tasty with the foods they have.
The others, on the contrary, will be very expert in this matter, and, generally, in their homes you will eat always curious but interesting dishes. Sometimes good, sometimes less. But they will lose the great dishes, the ones that have made the cooking history. Those for which is necessary to make no questions, and obey literally to the recipe. All their efforts to get a better dishes will brig to the losing of the dish itself.
As usual, a good fifty-fifty is the solution, according not to the quantity, but to the types of dish you are preparing. IMO. (is it correct? In My Opinion? I'm learning.... )
WOW you are a great observer, and you presented both answers with quite charmfully and you stayed neutral with your findings,great job
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Old 05-10-2006, 05:29 PM   #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andy M.
I don't see 'never following a written recipe' as a badge of honor or a reason to boast.
I agree with this statement.

Seems like an inverse sort of bragging, implying that "I'm so talented that I don't need your raggedy little recipe to create something that will be even more special once I alter it."

Most of us should admit that we don't know how to cook a new dish the first time we hear of it and that we should follow the specifications until we figure out how to make it into something else--which becomes a "new" recipe (but a recipe nonetheless).
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Old 05-10-2006, 09:46 PM   #35
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I wrote a piece about recipes recently after reading that the average British home has 1000 recipes (in cookbooks etc) but uses only about three dozen. Here's the link if anyone's interested.
http://www.cookingdownunder.com/books/1000recipes.htm

I've been involved as a cookbook publishing manager for a couple of cookbooks and that is an interesting exercise in itself. Sitting in on the photography sessions opens one's eyes.
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Old 05-11-2006, 04:41 PM   #36
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Hiya, patch. Bienvenue and all that. I believe you about the recipes available versus recipes used. That would be me!

Re: the photography, are you talking about the tricks that food stylists use, such as oiling down a raw turkey or chicken to make it look grilled, or using a scoop of Crisco to represent ice cream?
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Old 05-12-2006, 01:00 AM   #37
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What a wonderful patchwork of ideas and thoughts on a subject that I love. When I make a dish for the first time (especially one that I know very little about I like to find several recipes and pick and choose what sounds best----this is how I arrived at winning first place in a Gumbo cookoff years later). And Patch, what an awesome job it sounds like you have. Mudbug has asked an interesting question that I hope you find time to answer.

Question? Anybody ever take the time and trouble to give a friend a recipe (linguine with clam sauce in my case) and then be accused of giving wrong ingredients or leaving essential ones out because theirs didn't taste the same---then when you question them you learn that they had totally changed it?? For example, my sauce called for 7-8 CLOVES of garlic--she used 1/2tsp of garlic powder, mine called for fresh parsley (she didn't have any on hand so left it out), oh, and did I mention that she used one can of clams with juice instead of 2. To this day I still tease her about the fact that hers didn't taste anything like mine. Ha!
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Old 05-12-2006, 08:09 AM   #38
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I chime in with those who look up a lot of recipes, then wing it. I often cannot reproduce a dish exactly or give someone a recipe for what I've made. I usuall cook from what I have at home rather than go out in search of a specific ingredient (I love to cook, but have limited patience for endless shopping), but do keep a very full pantry and spice rack.

However, I have great admiration for the Stick To The Recipe friends. They have overall better results -- I think fewer spikes of genius (that moment when you KNOW yours came out better than any of the recipes you looked at), paid for by almost no total failures.

I think it is simply personality, and I love a world of people who are NOT like me.
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Old 05-12-2006, 08:13 AM   #39
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I, too, think that in this world of fussy eaters, food allergies, etc, that if you're a person who "wings it", it is easier to accomodate people than when you use a recipe verbatum. I've answered questions about whether you can use canola instead of peanut oil, seed or not seed cucumbers, use mushrooms instead of meat, etc. The ability to substitute in recipes comes from many years of messing with recipes to accomodate what is seasonal in your area, what is in your pantry, etc.
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Old 05-14-2006, 01:37 AM   #40
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What is a recipe

Quote:
Originally Posted by mudbug
Re: the photography, are you talking about the tricks that food stylists use, such as oiling down a raw turkey or chicken to make it look grilled, or using a scoop of Crisco to represent ice cream?
Yes, spraying stuff or painting it with oil, only half-cooking things, dumping baking soda in the greens so they are super green, using hairspray, soy sauce etc.

Unfortunately when I take my photos I don't have too much time to resort to subterfuge as it's usually our dinner I am photographing!

I had fun with the ice cream the other day. I had stupidly changed some settings on my camera and kept getting overexposed pictures and had to keep putting the glass of ice cream back in the freezer while I hooked the camera up to the computer to see if I had got things right.

Once or twice we've eaten a dish before I discovered I needed a better photo.
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