@OnionSoup My X1 followed a newspaper recipe for a chocolate cake early on, and the result was closer to an anvil. I didn’t tell her about the fact that when I worked at the Miami Herald, one of the columnists confided to me that a percentage of the recipes they published were made up on the spot when there were column inches to fill at the last minute.
@Kidsandliz@werehatrack the apple fell far from the tree with my sister. My mum is an amazing cook. My sister… well, let’s just say she can’t even make instant mac and cheese. The kids have told me horror stories when they’ve gone to stay with her and I’ve witnessed some first hand.
@OnionSoup@werehatrack I hate to cook but I do know how and can do a decent job. After all DHS takes a dim view if you don’t cook for your kid. When she was older we had a deal. If she cooked (and wasn’t allowed to spice it until I took mine out as she used cayenne pepper like sugar - actually she’d eat anything when younger as long as you buried it in cayenne pepper) then I did the dishes (which was her job she chose off of the list of jobs that needed done daily). She actually likes to cook.
@Kidsandliz@werehatrack experimentation was how I learned too. My wife used to joke how I would never follow a recipe, I always had to experiment and tweak everything. Like you, early on had mixed results… but it really gave me a good understanding on how flavours blend.
I still don’t follow recipes, but usually, because of all the experimentation I did in the past I know what works, what doesn’t, and how much is a reasonable amount of herbs/spices to add to change a flavour. I don’t make many monstrosities anymore… when I f something up and an experiment fails, I know how to fix it now to save the meal.
@Kidsandliz@OnionSoup@werehatrack My ex-MIL once asked for my potato salad recipe, which I had learned from my mom. I could only tell her what was in the dressing, not how much. Apparently, “until it’s right” isn’t a quantity used in standard recipes.
@lisagd@OnionSoup@werehatrack Flour in a kuchen of my grandmother was an “until the spoon stands up straight”. My mom and her sisters once made her hand everything she was going to put in to measure it before she did. That got a recipe for us all but I still judge the flour by whether the surface of it looks “right” and the spoon only droops over at the “right” speed.
@Kidsandliz@OnionSoup@werehatrack My mom made the best mac and cheese. She used the recipe from an old cookbook that eventually broke in half where that page is. I copied down the recipe, but it didn’t taste the same. It wasn’t a case of Grandma leaving out a secret ingredient; it came from a cookbook, and my mom doesn’t deviate from recipes. I’ve helped her make it, so i know she doesn’t add anything special, but mine just isn’t the same.