Don’t Follow Recipes!

I don’t just not follow recipes because of laziness or whatever; I am radically *anti*recipe. I’m anti-recipe b/c following recipes disconnects us from our knowing, or even the possibility of knowing.

BlackberryVegan Cheezcake with lime zest and nut crust.  No recipe needed.
BlackberryVegan Cheezcake with lime zest and nut crust. No recipe needed.

Preparing foodstuffs is a relationship like any other; you must ask the ingredient how much of it is needed, etc. It is your partner, learn how to please your partner and what it likes etc. Because I experiment and don’t follow recipes to a T, I know what the ingredients are that thicken pumpkin puree and a ballpark of how much to put in. When you follow a recipe and it fails (as many of them do), you don’t really know why.

Apricot Chia Ginger Freezer Jam;  Because I know about how much liquid chia absorbs,  I added when it was about that cooked down.  I was off a little and it was too liquidy, so I just cooked it on low a bit more.  I knew I didn't need to worry about acidity or sugar levels from a preservation standpoint, b/c freezing it instead of canning bysteps that part.
Apricot Chia Ginger Freezer Jam; Because I know about how much liquid chia absorbs, I added when it was about that cooked down. I was off a little and it was too liquidy, so I just cooked it on low a bit more. I knew I didn’t need to worry about acidity or sugar levels from a preservation standpoint, b/c freezing it instead of canning by-steps that part.

So my recommendation is to forget recipes and get to know ingredients; what they do, what their properties are, what they marry well with, etc. then you can expand from there. If you really insist on having someplace to start, Sally Schneider’s A New Way to Cook, or The Improvisational Cook.  But a better place to start is your own curiosity. Be like a Wild Ferment and pick up bits of wild yeasts along the way.

squash-and-kale-croustade-kabocha-squash-lacinato-kale-dried-cranberries-hazelnuts-goat-cheese-onions-shallots-garlic-curry-powder-ginger-bone-broth-white-pepper-salt-gluten-free-pie-cr
Squash and Kale Croustade–This is a great type of dish to start improvising with because it’s going to taste delicious no matter how much or little you put in of a given ingredient; Kabocha squash, Lacinato kale, dried cranberries, hazelnuts, goat cheese, onions, shallots, garlic, curry powder! ginger, bone broth, white pepper, salt, gluten-free pie crust mix, walnut oil.

Some Tips

  • What makes it really works is attitude of freedom and willingness to have it be a flop.
  • Study your flops to learn what went wrong.
  • If you made something especially fantastic,  try to discern what caused that to happen.
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