I like to cook and I like to share what I cook. Sometimes it’s the real thing. Other times it’s in a picture or a description in one of my blog posts. Often I’m asked for recipes.
But I’m not very good with recipes that say you need such and such and how much. I’m more of a conversational cook. I can tell you what I put in a concoction most of the time, but I’m not sure about the quantity. There’s a pretty good chance of never getting quite the same thing again if you’ve had something I’ve cooked.
That’s the problem my aunts and uncles had when they wanted my great grandmother’s recipes. She actually wrote recipes down. But she measured by the handfuls. Or cups full. Not a measuring cup, a tea cup. Or maybe it was a coffee cup. Or a cup used for water or milk or juice. Back to that handful. I don’t even know how big her hand was.
I remember a day when my Irish grandmother was going to teach my western grandmother how to make Irish Soda Bread. My Irish grandmother had the recipe book set up just so. All of her measuring cups were in order. The ingredients were laid out with care. It could have been a cooking show. Well, it was a cooking show. Because a person couldn’t have made Grandma’s Irish bread following the recipe. She measured the buttermilk (pronounced but-her-milk) with care. Poured it into the flour mixture. Added an egg and raisons. Mixed it a bit. And proceeded to pour a little more buttermilk. And then even more. Because it seemed to need it. I’ll add here that she didn’t knead the dough. There was a flurry of hands and flour and a little more flour and somehow there it was in the cast iron skillet. Ready to bake until golden. And then ready to eat with slabs (I kid you not) of cold butter (but-her) and a cup of real poured-from-a-tea-pot tea with real tea leaves that left a picture in the bottom of your cup when you were done. Speaking of real tea, Grandma had a way of pouring and then “jigging” the teapot to make it a little stronger if the tea didn’t seem quite the right color yet. Memories. I’m glad I have them.
I don’t have so many recipes. But I’m working to change that. I’m realizing that recipes can come in handy if I want to repeat a certain taste or look or feel. I’ve had a few instances where I wished I could make the same exact soup that I made two weeks ago. But there’s no recipe. Just a lot of cooking experience. A lot of cooking experiments. And some cooking where I meants to make something but it turned out to be something else. That’s where the name of the recipe comes in. I’m pretty good at that even if I’m not so good at the recipe.
Browned a little too long? Blackened something or other. Or caramelized. Or Cajun style. French roasted. Or maybe a disaster by any other name can salvage a meal.
There was that time when I was planning to make tarragon chicken from a recipe included with a meal planning kit. Except I didn’t have tarragon and I didn’t have chicken when it was time to make it. Marjoram and pork saved my dinner, but it wasn’t tarragon chicken.
So here’s the beginnings of my cookbook blog. Conversational Cooking. Because that’s what I do.
This book will be a combination of stories, pictures, guidelines, and some actual recipes with my side notes of variations. There will be recipes that contain sugar. Recipes that don’t. There will be gluten free, dairy free, sugar free, and combinations of the three. Because I cook and bake all of it. Even though I don’t eat it all.
I thoroughly enjoy the creative process, but I’ve learned I can leave the “eat” in creative and not have to mess with my sugar addiction. I enjoy feedback of texture, taste, and presentation. It’s enough. I don’t want what goes along with eating it. That story is in my first book.
The I’m Possible Journey: Learning to Live with Sugar Addiction is available on Amazon.com and Barnes & Noble. Perhaps the next book will be called The I’m Possible Chef: Learning to Cook and Eat without Sugar.