My mom and I share many tastes, but we differ in one pretty significant way in the kitchen: she’s an improviser, almost always making up a recipe based on whatever’s in the house.
Her signature dish? Rice and stuff. Cook whatever protein and veggies are in the house in a large Dutch oven. Serve over rice. Rice…and stuff. It’s cheap, it’s healthy, and it works.
I have no criticism of mom’s approach to cooking, but I simply don’t do that. I just don’t make stuff up in the kitchen. If I’m not cooking from a recipe, I’m usually cooking with the intention of creating a recipe. I have no rational reason to avoid doing so; I’m sure I’d be perfectly capable of coming up with something tasty on the spot. I just don’t.
Since I’ve been home for winter break, my mom’s and my own approach to cooking have been…not really butting heads, in the sense of confrontation, but…the contrast has been highlighted, shall we say.
What we ate on Monday is a good example of this contrast. Thanks to Jenn, Laura, and Arman for hosting the What I Ate Wednesday linkup.It was my parents’ last day of break before they went back to work, even though I’m still here until the 10th. I got up and said: “Pancakes?”
Mom makes a mean pancake. She has an excellent whole wheat pancake recipe, and she’s improvised her own low-FODMAP variation in the past (with my coaching about what is and isn’t low-FODMAP.) Still, as soon as I said, “Pancakes?” I felt compelled to pull up a recipe–just in case she felt the need to follow some guidelines. She did follow the recipe, and they were excellent; Delicious as It Looks recipes always are!
After a morning of laundry, closet sorting, blog reading, and piano playing (I haven’t played piano in so long!), Mom made some quick vegetable soup with what we had in the fridge and pantry: ham broth from our Christmas ham, a can of tomatoes, potatoes, carrots, celery, and parsley.
In the afternoon, I worked on a recipe experiment for the blog, and then Mom and I went for a walk and ran some errands. Mom wanted to go to a spin class in the late afternoon, but I was too tired to go, so she put me in charge of making supper.
I wanted to make some of the leftovers we had from our Christmas feasting…but unlike Mom, I didn’t feel comfortable just throwing something together. I remembered that we had some frozen hash browns, so I Googled “hash brown crust.” The first thing that came up was this Paula Dean recipe that, not only did we have all the ingredients, was remarkably low-FODMAP! And delicious.
Not good enough to put up on the blog, I’m afraid. That is the downside, I suppose, of calling your creation a “recipe.” If it’s no good, you have to deem it a “failure”–as opposed to saying, “Meh. That turned out a little weird. Better luck next time!” But it was chocolate-dipped, so I wasn’t going to complain. 😉
Do you improvise in the kitchen, or do you have to have a recipe?