The computer was supposed to revolutionize the recipe book, so were laptops, and then tablets. Then why do I still have scrawled notes on scraps of paper and greasy flour marks on my screens?
I decided to organize (yet again) my recipes. Some I have saved on a hard drive, but most are in a binder (my favorites), plus I still have cookbooks. I like cookbooks. Especially the old ones, the classic ones. I found and old bread recipe book which has some of my go-tos. I know I’s old because: it has no cover or publishing page, the pictures are all black and white, and there are a couple of politically incorrect names for some of the breads. Not going to make those…
I used to have the Culinary Institute of America’s cookbook. Needing to compete with European Schools, this was America’s answer. From Pate a Choux to sauces and other French classics, I learned a lot of my techniques from this.
I rarely follow recipes completely. That is probably why most times it doesn’t turn out exactly as it should (Do ya think?). Don’t get me wrong, it is still quite tasty, but I’m sure it could be better. Often, I’ll use a recipe, then modify it as I see fit, depending on what I have in my fridge/cupboard. Some things I don’t mess with. My pizza dough, certain aforementioned breads, and the 2:1:1 ratio for mirepoix or the trinity.
I came across this on a piece of paper: 1 Cup flour, ¼ Cup lard, ½ tsp salt, ¼ water. I know that this is pastry, but why did I write it down? It’s not much different than the 5 other pastry recipes… Some recipes just are not meant to be written down. There is something magical about watching someone create by just dumping and handful of this, a pinch of that, and just some of that other stuff into a bowl and coming up with the most tasty delights time after time. My grandma’s rye bread comes to mind. It always tasted the same. My soups are somewhat like that, but they never turn out the same. They are always delicious (so says I), but it always differs due to what I have on hand. Fridge soup…
Cooking shows are my next favorite way to get recipes. For me it started with Emeril “BAM!”, Iron Chef (the original from Japan), then onto Alton Brown and Guy Fieri. I never had the chance to watch Julia Childs, but I did watch Julia & Julia, so I appreciate what she accomplished.
I just came across another cookie recipe that I haven’t made for awhile, so I’ll stack up the rest of the papers, cram them back into the binder, and maybe I’ll get to organizing it tomorrow.