So of course my mind is turning to cooking all sorts of things in 2013 using all of my new tools and more, and the Buzzfeed article on food resolutions reminded me something.
I need to actually use my cookbooks.
To say I have several is an understatement. I have a whole lot. You know when there are bargain books in the bookstore? I’ve found some great books in there. But the other problem is I set them aside after perusing them once. I know there are good recipes in there, but I don’t use them enough.
But the bigger thing for me is to make sure I keep a cooking notebook this year. I’ve already started one and I need to build on it.
I started the notebook because I buy a lot of cooking magazines. I rip out recipes and the pages pile up, so they needed to be organized. So I took a sketchbook and started pasting those recipes on the pages.
But I should expand on it and already have started. A lot of my cooking is building off of recipes or throwing things together to invent something on my own. A lot of my cooking isn’t a recipe so much as it’s ratios and knowing what things work together.
But I never write any of it down. I keep it in my head and just know what works. Like adding a little flour to my marsala sauce to get it to thicken right. Or that you need to finish off the cavatelli in the chicken broth-based sauce so it’s not soupy. Or the ratio of potatoes to butter and milk in my mashed potatoes and that boiling an onion with the potatoes (and mashing it too) makes all the difference.
So I started the notebook with my oatmeal cookies recipe, which isn’t all that different than the one under the lid of Quaker Oats. But it is good to have it written down not only for me but for anyone with whom I want to share it.
All the rest of I do this year in cooking doesn’t really matter unless I keep notes and recipes.