The tyranny of the recipe

If you’re like me, you’ve delegated a lot of your food decision-making to supermarkets. So too have I bowed my head to the recipe.

I need a recipe just about for everything. Last Thanksgiving I wrote all my recipes out in my computer, developed a timeline and then printed out a little book, much to the humor of my guests.

We’ve come to treat recipes like crutches, limping through cooking a dish, rather relying on our own experience and judgement.

The purpose of a recipe is to instil confidence, to inspire and allow ideas to be shared.
Recipes are not culinary chemistry formulas. We live with the fear that if we tamper with the ingredients or the proportions we are tampering with the something precise and ordered. Chaos and disaster will surely arise out of the pot.