I’m the primary cook at our house, so I’ve had some time to think about this. Some people follow recipes to the letter, other people don’t use recipes at all. I use recipes as a starting point, a suggestion that can set me off in any number of directions (and sometimes one recipe can send me in many different directions over time).
A good example is my Thai Green Papaya Salad. Made as intended it’s delicious, but I don’t exactly live in a place with grocery stores that carry green papayas, so I substitute Granny Smith Apples. It takes on a whole new flavor profile, and it’s delicious in its own way.
Cooking this way involves experimentation, and the more you experiment with ingredients the better you get over time. That’s where my thought about personality comes in. I cook the way I do metal work.
I didn’t exactly choose a standardized metalsmithing approach. With Mokume-Gane, I chose an art form that has a few basic recipe elements, but ultimately depends on my ability to experiment with the “ingredients” themselves (a wide variety of different metals), the way the ingredients are combined, and the way the ingredients are presented. Sounds like cooking ,right?
Tonight we’re eating Tacos. That’s a great meal for someone who likes to play around with ingredients, because there are so many ways to make them. You could eat Tacos every night for a month and each meal would be different than the last.
So what do you think? Does your personality and individual creative style come through in your cooking?