I own more cookbooks than I dare admit. And my list of foodie bookmarks is well into the 3 digits. I love recipes, but you won’t see recipes in this website.
So often you see comments from people saying that wish they could do a recipe but they are allergic to this, intolerant to that, don’t like the other thing or just simply ran out of something else. This kind of comment frustrates me so much! And they are the reason I started Make the food.
The problem with recipes
Recipes are great, but they are just guidelines. Especially when it comes to home cooks. We don’t have to serve the same thing everytime to keep our clients happy. My ‘clients’ have no choice but to eat what I cook! My kids are not going to go to a different mum because the soup had a bit more carrot in it than the usual recipe calls for, or because I used couscous instead of quinoa. Of course I try to give them and myself tasty food, but I don’t stress over the little things.
There’s also the fact that recipes are made to please the recipe creator. They might absolutely love it, but I might think it’s disgusting. It doesn’t make it a bad recipe or them bad recipe creators, it just makes us different people.
Customising and adapting to what you have
Cooking at home and understanding why and how things happen gives us the ability to do whatever we want and get inspiration from recipes instead of having to rush to the supermarket half way through cooking something because the recipe calls for onions when I could be using leeks or a mashed banana instead of a chia egg.
For example, I am lactose intolerant and my daughter is allergic to walnuts, I also have my husband who doesn’t like desserts that are too sweet. I could spend hours trying to find a dairy-free walnut-free not-too-sweet cheesecake recipe, or I could just understand the reasons why and how some ingredients are used and replace them to suit my needs (and tastebuds) and I can make a cheesecake that is just as good with cashew nuts or tofu, almonds and a bit less sugar.
Don’t burn the cookbooks just yet
Next time you grab your cookbooks (or recipe websites) instead of blindly following recipes try to understand why things are done certain ways or why certain ingredients are used.
There are many resources out there to learn these things, but not as many as there should! Make the food is an attempt to help everyone (myself included) learn, and I invite anyone who stops by to share information and knowledge so we can all learn together and benefit.