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Old 12-29-2007, 04:02 PM   #21
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I'm like that when I cook for Thanksgiving YT.

I'm pretty good at improvising. As someone said, it can be learned, but I think some aspects of it really can't be learned. Some people can "taste" what something will taste like even before they make it. I am pretty good at that. My biggest problem is that I don't have enough experience with some herbs and spices to know how they will make something taste. As I experiment with more of them, I am able to do that though. For those who aren't able to imagine how something will taste before making it, trial and error help. They can also look at others' recipes and see what kinds of herbs and spices others are using for certain kinds of dishes.

LOL For some reason this kind of reminds me of sewing. I know some people who can sew but have trouble picking the right fabric for a pattern (and the person it is being made for). Fortunately, that is a gift I do have. I guess cooking and sewing are alike in that way--finding the right ingredients to go with the pattern/recipe. Sheesh, can you tell I'm way behind on my sewing?! LOL

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Old 12-29-2007, 04:16 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by corazon View Post
I think it is either a skill you have or you don't. I don't have it. I need a recipe or at least need to have something planned out ahead of time.
I agree - I also think that's what separates the cooks from the bakers. I'm pretty good at baking because I measure exactly and know just what to look for in each step of my recipe's preparation. However, I completely fail at adding spices "to taste" or letting things cook "until done." I have absolutely no aptitude for judging when it's right. I feel that people who are detail-oriented and precise in the kitchen are likely to be better bakers than cooks. People who can create dishes based on what feels right are more successful as cooks than as bakers. Just an idea I've always had. Any thoughts on that?
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Old 12-29-2007, 04:33 PM   #23
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Cherryred, I agree with you.

I like to think I am good at improvising (since I am not good at baking) I can create something with whatever I have on hand. Although my daughter did once accuse me of cooking meals to be served on Fear Factor!
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Old 12-29-2007, 05:02 PM   #24
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LOL - my aunt once got that from her (then 6-year-old) son. As amusing as that criticism is, I'm sure there's really nothing wrong with your cooking. :)
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Old 12-29-2007, 05:05 PM   #25
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I agree - I also think that's what separates the cooks from the bakers. I'm pretty good at baking because I measure exactly and know just what to look for in each step of my recipe's preparation. However, I completely fail at adding spices "to taste" or letting things cook "until done." I have absolutely no aptitude for judging when it's right. I feel that people who are detail-oriented and precise in the kitchen are likely to be better bakers than cooks. People who can create dishes based on what feels right are more successful as cooks than as bakers. Just an idea I've always had. Any thoughts on that?
That's exactly me, Cherry. It's one of the reasons I have never been able to learn to cook til now. People would tell me "oh this is easy and you'll be able to make it no problem" and then proceed to give me a "recipe" that wouldn't include baking times or even exact oven temps and included phrases like "add salt and pepper". When I would press for things like how long to cook it or how much salt and pepper, etc., I would get blank looks. "Cook it until it's done, of course!" Only I had no freaking idea of how to tell when it's done!!!! (Oh my, I obviously still get worked up about this - sorry.) Anyway, I am good at baking and even my friends who are great cooks ask me to make baked goods. I can also sew up a storm but I can't work without a pattern.
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Old 12-29-2007, 08:48 PM   #26
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I think I am very good at improvising. As the matter of fact I am the complete opposite of you Corazon, I cannot plan ahead. I made plans the other day for Chinese food, bought all kind of stuff and now it’s been seating in the fridge for more than a week now. I’m afraid I’ll have to dump half of what I bought.
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Old 12-29-2007, 09:22 PM   #27
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I can also sew up a storm but I can't work without a pattern.
I'm the same way. I can sew anything--as long as I have a pattern. My aunt, on the other hand, saw some dresses in a store window one year and went home and made them for us for Easter!

I definitely need a recipe for baking. I will make some changes (raisins instead of dates, add spices or nuts, etc.) but I'm afraid to do too much or I'm afraid I will ruin it. I take more liberties with regular cooking, as it is more forgiving than baking.

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Old 12-29-2007, 09:33 PM   #28
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Thats because cooking is an art where you can really play around baking is science not much room to play around.I make jewelry creating designs is really hard but the color matching and size of stones is a breeze Im good with color but design is a pain.
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Old 12-29-2007, 09:41 PM   #29
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I'm good at improvising & planning, I find both fun. An unexpected guest shows up & I like the challenge of creating a meal & dessert with what I have at the last minute. I also love to plan ahead a great meal or try a new recipe.

When in Isla Mujeres, MX it is hard to plan....if my husband has a great fishing day then it could be sushi or grilled fish if not...I pull something out of the freezer or see what's left at the market. Some days the produce trucks don't make it over to our Island so you can't have your heart set on something.

One thing I find fun is grilling up a couple steaks & some veggies & making them into several meals....the first night steak & veggies, the next day, a salad with steak & veggies or a steak & veggies quasadilla or omelet or panini or fajita or philly cheese steak sandwich, etc. I do the same with chicken, fish, shrimp & pork tenderloin...one night could be a soup, pasta, rice dish. etc. It's easy & always tasty. Have fun experimenting!
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Old 12-29-2007, 10:03 PM   #30
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Improvising and tweaking is all I do even when I plan a meal. I like to play around with recipes and make them my own. I think it's a matter of experimenting and trying out new things in the kitchen. You'd be surprised at what you can create.
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