Anyone can cook. As I mentioned before, if you can read a recipe, you can cook. But I have to admit that those who would disagree aren’t entirely wrong.
Cooking is sort of like reading. Both are skills that develop to some extent as a result of necessity and interest. Both happen more readily in an environment where they are encouraged. Kids who love to read are often from homes where reading is valued and modeled. Kids who love to cook are often from homes where they’ve been taught how to do so. My earliest memories of cooking involve cookie cutters and lots of raw dough.
Just as our ease with reading grows and we progress from rhyming flashcards to picture books and onward, so too does our ease with cooking. One moves from boiling eggs to scrambling them to being able to make a decent omelette. Our literacy increases as we read more and more difficult words and works, the more literate among us being able to appreciate and even enjoy reading Shakespeare, James Joyce and Margaret Atwood’s poetry. As our, let’s say, culinariacy increases, we learn more difficult techniques and are able to cook more complex and wonderful dishes.
Perhaps, as we become more literate, we experiment with creating our own works with words. We dabble in poetry, blogging or even writing a novel. And maybe, as we become more practised in cooking, we might expand beyond what is written in the recipes we use; we might begin to tweak, to alter recipes and maybe even to stir up a little something of our own creation.
Although I began cooking as a strict recipe follower, I find myself becoming more and more comfortable with tweaking and altering things to suit my taste. And that’s part of what this blog is about. I want to try out recipes until I come up with my favourite versions, perhaps taking best elements from the ones I try and adding ideas of my own.
So what about you? Are you a die-hard recipe follower? A tweaker? Or maybe you’ve sailed right on by to developing recipes of your own, heading toward the shining horizon of culinary greatness!