I'm not good at following recipes.

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Ricard with an H
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I'm not good at following recipes.

Postby Ricard with an H » Sat Oct 07, 2017 4:36 pm

Probably because I followed recipes that may have been poorly researched and I do know that many cook books in the past had 'page fillers'. Then there is the issue of opinion when it comes to the outcome.

I cooked for a family of five during my early adult years, mostly I regarded cookbook recipes as an excuse to employ a photographer because I have some very basic cookbooks that don't have photos though encourage artistry in the cooking process.

Recently I realized that in some cases, maybe many cases, the detail and technique are supremely important in order to achieve the outcome perceived by the author.

Genarally what I'm trying to describe is my attitude of always improvising a recipe when I have learnt recently that that many techniques are very important and the recipe won't survive an improvised approach.
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Re: I'm not good at following recipes.

Postby Westi » Sat Oct 07, 2017 9:11 pm

Hi Richard!

I always try to follow a recipe I like by the cook book for the first time but always end up tweeking it. Taste is a subjective thing as we have memories from our past & likes & dislikes of our own. That is why I get angry with some chefs who just think they are so right & we all should like as they are so clever.

I think cakes & breads have 'rules' to get a result but anything else can be adapted.
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Re: I'm not good at following recipes.

Postby Geoff » Sat Oct 07, 2017 9:49 pm

I'm no cook but my wife is. Recipes are for ideas and guidance. If you can cook just use what you have as best you can, you can't grow to a recipe. We buy very little that is finished just ingredients.
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Re: I'm not good at following recipes.

Postby Ricard with an H » Sun Oct 08, 2017 8:30 am

Ok, take bread making. At least I can offer some qualified comment because I'm still making bread that wouldn't hold up too the recent explosion of artisan bakers.

Most bread making recipes do not illustrate the importance of some techniques, they don't even illustrate important techniques and in one worst case the whole book is a variation of the same theme that misses important point that will steer the reader towards success. But the photos are brilliant.

Moving on to recipes that use herbs and spices I've been so disappointed in the past by the outcome that I learnt a little about what goes and what doesn't, some cookbook users just do not have any ability to do this so end up producing an inert tasting meal because the author was too scared to illustrate possibilities.

I have a lovely neighbour of 74 years old that has never used bay leaves, my partner omits herbs and spices in a recipe because she doesn't understand how they work. Isn't a cookery book about teaching ? Illustrating importance ?

At the age of 74 I still don't know the correct way to do certain things and after baking cakes for as long as I have known her Mo still makes crap cake that collapses because some important technique hasn't been illustrated. After all those years she shouldn't need a recipe.

Some cookery books are clearly streets ahead, we have a collection of cookery books with the worst offenders having the most photos.

A recent technique used to make sourdough bread more palatable to more people is the raise the dough using bakers yeast then adding a sourdough at the final stage just for flavour. Few bakers talk about this technique known as 'Hybrid sourdough'. I have unearthed it and it makes a nice bread if you get it right but why should getting it right be such a gamble in any form of cookery if we pay for a book to learn.

The Alf Garnet in me says it's because a lot of cookery and baking techniques want to be retained as 'Black art'.

I feel much better now.
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Re: I'm not good at following recipes.

Postby Stephen » Tue Sep 18, 2018 3:10 am

Hi
I don't use recipies for savoury dishes, relying on straightforward techniques with improvisation.
But for cakes and bread, the proportions are more criticsl so I get the scales and measures out.
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Re: I'm not good at following recipes.

Postby Stravaig » Thu Jul 18, 2019 9:32 am

I do the same as Stephen (above). And that's how the professionals do it too. Improvise for savoury and always measure for cakes, bread, pastry, etc.
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Re: I'm not good at following recipes.

Postby Westi » Wed Nov 20, 2019 7:39 pm

If work takes over life I have been known to pimp a ready meal or pizza. I find them flavourless & lacking unless I do. I rarely have to do this fortunately but always tweak savoury recipes even if made from scratch.
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Re: I'm not good at following recipes.

Postby Geoff » Wed Nov 20, 2019 10:39 pm

Add some chilli sauce to your baked beans.
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Re: I'm not good at following recipes.

Postby Cookie_2 » Wed Feb 19, 2020 10:55 pm

Hmm..I think that it all depends on what you want to get. For example, if I am doing something for first time and I don't know what to do I strictly follow the recipe. But if I am acquainted with the dish I improve it in the way I like. I am really bad at preparing desserts so very often even if I follow recipes, something goes wrong and the dessert is a trash :P
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Re: I'm not good at following recipes.

Postby Primrose » Thu Feb 20, 2020 12:57 pm

I looked at New posts, saw Ricard with an H's name heading it up and although we hadn,t heard from him for a long time, hoped he might be making a welcome reappearance. Sadly not.

With regard to desert recipes which go wrong my standard "rescue" tactic is to crumple a couple of meringue nests over the top of it plus a quick dash of cream and that generally makes it edible! !
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Re: I'm not good at following recipes.

Postby oldherbaceous » Thu Feb 20, 2020 1:31 pm

Dear Primrose, i'm just off to the wholesalers to buy a bulk load for cook.... :)
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Re: I'm not good at following recipes.

Postby Westi » Thu Feb 20, 2020 6:42 pm

Wot you like OH! :) :) :)
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Re: I'm not good at following recipes.

Postby Chantal » Tue Feb 25, 2020 1:11 pm

Shortly to be dead, I would think! :lol:
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