I don’t know exactly when I started cooking without recipes, but I do know it had almost everything to do with my mother. Ideas from the Food Network and cooking magazines also helped in the process. If you watch a seasoned cook like my mother or your favorite TV chef, you’ll notice that most recipes (aside from baked goods) are by taste and feel – they will sprinkle in spices or drizzle in vinegar and olive oil. When you reference the recipe online or in the file, you’ll notice that exact measurements are listed, but when you watch what the cook does, it’s not that. They don’t pull out the measuring spoons and cups for every ingredient – things are “eyeballed.” They’re tossing things in here and there with zest and a flare. That beauty comes with some guidance, time, and practice.
It’ll start with a recipe that you follow to a T. And I would recommend that for a beginning chef, but as you go along, cooking with other people, you’ll learn where you can take liberties in a recipe. You’ll learn more about what flavors go well together and how to time things, and with any luck, soon you’ll be like my mother – not only whipping up delicious meals on the daily, but also whipping up a meal when it appears as though there is nothing to eat in the cupboard.
I love cooking, because the combinations of flavors are endless. There is always something new to learn (which is why I have this blog in the first place). It’s one of my favorite ways to spend time with people. And when you’re done, you have a beautiful meal to share.