Wednesday, December 3, 2008

anyone can cook

a party conversation
me (slightly intoxicated): so you like to cook?
friend-of-a-friend (nibbling cheese): yeah, well, sort of. i use a lot of recipes.
me: do you improvise ever?
foaf: i follow every recipe exactly. i don't want to mess anything up.
me: you shouldn't be afraid. you know what flavors and ingredients you like, right?
foaf: yes, i think.
me: you're most of the way there. just start experimenting.
foaf (doubtfully): really?
me: yes. trust me. trust yourself. anyone can cook.

what i didn't tell her: there may be a learning curve.

i do read recipes, usually for inspiration or new ideas. but i never measure anything and may 'adapt' the recipe at whim. and i'm a much better cook than i was 5 years ago when i decided i needed to learn because i could not afford to eat the food i wanted at restaurants all the time.

so, in the spirit of cooks who throw caution to the wind (like jeff), here are my top 5 favorite flavors for experimenting:
- citrus: usually lemon, sometimes lime or orange
- cilantro
- oregano
- cinnamon
- ginger

what are your favorites? and what kind of cook are you?


jeff said...

Haha, thanks.

I used to consider myelf much more cavalier about recipes, actually, until I met my now-ex. Wonderful woman, but I swear she would make penne with whole star anise and Tylenol Gelcaps. Just because.

To directly answer your question, though: orange. Or, more specifically, orange comma making things kind of taste like. Muffins, ice cream w/ Grand Marnier(sp), salads with bits of., etc.

skinny fat chick said...

My feelings exactly: recipes are for inspiration, but you have to just use the recipe as a base and then make it your own. Much more fun that way!

liberal foodie said...

Couldn't agree with you more. I've always been the add this and that mostly on a whim type of a cook. recipes are my tour guide suggestions to discover different types of foods.

roesmary's fun to play with, as is fennel.