Outstreched arm

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Salt to taste

I'm one of those people who say that they never measure ingredients when they cook. Of course, when pressed, I'd say it's not ALL ingredients that I eyeball; in baking especially, that method doesn't work. But measuring black pepper, flour for roux, or olive oil? No way.

Except when I follow recipes closely, busting out the measuring cups and spoons, two things happen. If the recipe is good, it turns out really good. And, more importantly, as I measure out the pinches and smidgens, I think about how much I would have used had I been estimating. The measured amount is almost always much different.

The conclusion? My culinary instincts aren't all that great.

I wonder if there's a bigger lesson to be learned here - something about how, when you think you've got something all figured out and you don't need to double-check or refer to the manual, maybe you ought to do it anyway every now and then and calibrate your instincts.

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