Thanks for the add! Gros bisous :-)

Monday, January 17, 2011

Recipes ARE so annoying

Yes that's right, you read the title correctly recipes ARE just a nuisance. And I know, it's rich coming from a French person for whom cooking is meant to be second nature. But boy oh boy, who wants to follow recipes? Seriously...

There is something very wrong with the concept of the 'art of cooking'. When did you last see a 'paint by numbers' Monet book, to make you believe that you too can paint like the great painter, the way cookery books are flaunted at us?

When did Picasso ever go to great lengths to tantalize me-simple mortal soul- into thinking that I too could be an artist, if I just bought the 'right' paint, the way some well-meaning TV chef insists that, if you buy the right organic ingredients your dish will be just as yummy as this artistically dressed squash soup?
 
Enough of the propaganda already! Yeah cooking is a form of art supposedly, well Julia Child thought that French cooking was anyway. Can you imagine the pressure for me to produce something, anything?!

And even if per chance, I actually get it together to gather all the necessary ingredients, potions, spices, produce, bouillons, and so on ... then what do I do, huh? I read the darn book, stain the beautiful pictures which henceforth will forever be stuck together... then you have to convert your ounces into grammes, you milliters into fluid ounces, your Farhenheits into Celsius, turn on your oven, whatever, yawn.... and that's before you even start breaking the eggs... and seemingly I am told you cannot make an omelette without breaking said eggs.

OOO, and now they want me to believe I can cook 'light', when the real so-called art of cooking relies on mostly 3 fundamentally unhealthy ingredients -butter, cream, salt.

I hear protests .... but what about garlic ...and wine! The saviours! Sure garlic is a natural antibiotic, and wine is full of good stuff, but they have yet to prove that the latter ingredients can counteract the great artery-blocking powers of the former.

Art? My foot!  More like science to me, and really who in their right mind ever liked solving an equation? I don't think I have what it takes to be a cooking 'artist' because real cooks do not need a recipe to make a squash soup. Recipes are for quitters... like me.

I resign (je rends mon tablier), you'll find my apron burried in Escoffier's grave.

7 comments:

Mademoiselle Antonova said...

very well written Daniele! ;)
I understand your frustration... but from my own experience I can say that whenever I open up a book (usually some cookie/pie/cake related bakery book) look at the picture and then try to follow the recipe and reproduce something myself... in 98% of the cases I fail miserably In the other 2, the outcome is just 'addible'.
I think the best way to cook is think of something that you love eating... ask your mum/nan/sister/friend for advice... then put your apron on and try to follow your own 'imagination' incorporating the advice! Improvisation also helps. If the book says bake something for 20 minutes it probably just means bake something until it looks good and you think its ready... But this also means that for the first time you make it you have to sit next to the oven and watch the product closely!
I would also say that butter, salt and garlic... are the best ingredients :) when appropriate, of course...
you shouldn't give up! art in any form is experimentation and fun, and cooking is also soothing after a long day :)

Becky said...

I go for the 'make it up as you go along' technique...

Danièle said...

Apologies for first version of this post. I was writing at 3 AM. Insomnia strikes again. Anyway I think I fixed all now. Anyway, I was of course trying to be funny. Not so easy when it's not your native language, but of course there is some real irritation behind all this, and I don't go with the make it up as you go along technique either as it never turns out as my grand-mother's cooking. BTW I don't think ever read a single recipe book. She just knew what Julia Child had to learn, just as singers don't have to read the words they sing. And this is why Julia is still so relevant, she will tell you the rationale behind that extra bit of salt or the importance of having your oven at the right temperature, because she was a nerd, like most cooks, and was actually interested in the chemistry of it all, unlike the other more modern guys who portray themselves as being 'inspired" and passing on the inspiration while reaping the fruits of our misplaced ignorance, and lost knowledge in their very ripe bank accounts.

But I guess if ya wanna cook, you gotta start somewhere. So back to square one.

Rebelde said...

Dani guapa, tengo un premio esperándote en mi blog. Un beso ;)

.::P-G-de-R::. said...

food, art, science, 20 years ago now one would ever thought about saying those words in the same sentence, and here they are, yes, I believe recipes are annoying, at least when I try them and dont work out well.. I hate when that happens.. anyway, love to read you, :)

Danièle said...

Thanks :-) Well, you know I never ever saw my grand mother open a recipe book, like a singer who knows songs, she had her own repertoire, and that repertoire allowed her to improvise, I guess the secret is practice!?!

Annushka said...

Very interesting post for me, inspires the recipe to me very much it is pleasant!!! You always so is interesting write, I very much love you and your remarkable blog!!!))) the excellent recipe, you the heroine of cookery!!!))) Love, love, love)))