Thursday, April 29, 2010

Recipe Analysis

A while back, Sean and Julian were faking sick so I went to church by myself. I told Sean one thing he could do was make some soup for us for dinner later. I gave him this recipe I had copied & used before and he made it and it was delicious and that was that.

Many days and weeks later, the recipe is still hanging up on the wall. Sometimes i look at it and the more I do, the more I laugh. Let us analyze this recipe, from the point of view of someone who might one day want to follow it. Shall we?

Follow me, if you will.
First, point A:
Maybe I'm confused but aren't recipes usually, say, categorized in some way to, you know, indicate what kind of dish it makes, usually by, say, having a title or heading of some kind? I mean sure, someone could probably look at the recipe and deduce what it makes, but still. Somehow it renders a bit incomplete.

Let's move on to point B: A recipe used by Jen isn't a recipe used by Jen unless it looks like it was salvaged from WWII. Lots of food stains and smudged ink. And usually it's a bit of whatever the final product is. A crumb or some of the batter. It's a nice homey & gross touch.

Point C: "& celery." Ok, now, what is this? Is this truly part of the recipe? if one were to be following it, would it be clear? Is celery really one of the ingredients? Because to me, it looks like an afterthought. Or like I forgot what it was and was adding celery to a grocery list. And, how much celery do i use? These are usually questions one wants answers to.

Point D: I just wanted to give myself some props for separating the ingredients because the instructions begin "cook first group." Clearly you can see what the first group is. Now, which cooking apparatus to use, one would not know. Or the method of cooking. Nevertheless. You know which ingredients to cook.

Point E: "cook first group on med --->high." Ok. Does this mean medium to high? somewhere in the middle? Does it mean medium, oops i mean high? Or a medium level of highness? I cannot say. Choose your own cooking adventure.

Point F: I cannot copy this here for it is impossible. It appears the length of time is in question, and appeared to be an item of indecision for me. 3 hours! no 4! 3/4 hours? I cannot say. So, go with your gut. Cook 3, 4 ... cook some hours long. Feel it out. You'll do fine!

Point G: The remaining ingredients, clearly indicated in the "second group" are milk and butter. After you've cooked the first group for some time, add the milk and butter. Since I decided that a specific amount of cooking time limits the recipe, naturally the instructions here are "cook longer." By now you should have developed an instinct for this recipe that makes _______ (you decide) and it would be better to go with what you think. Maybe you like things half cooked? Maybe you like them a little bit burnt? Who am i to decide for you how you like your food. Some recipes say "season to taste." Well, this one is saying "cook to feel." Good luck and, again, bon appetit.


Joel said...

I have a few recipes written down that have no title, and only incomplete instructions. It's like when you were memorizing something for school and progressively took words away to test yourself. Except, you know, with the potential for food poisoning...

lindsey v said...

Haha. I also have some recipes that look similar to this. That's great that your husband was able to follow it though.

Kids are just faking sick younger and younger these days. What is this world coming to?!

Ruthie said...

Oh man. Too funny. And I'm excited cuz your blog just started showing up in blogger reader. Now I won't miss out when I forget to check frequently. !

Natalie R. said...

Oh man, that would be my nightmare!! I'm totally one of those people who has to have everything clearly written out, or I'm totally lost in the kitchen. I'm afraid this meal would be a complete disaster if I ever attempted it.