After you cook a dish repeatedly, you begin to understand it. Then you can reinvent it a bit and make it yours. A written recipe can be useful, but sometimes the notes scribbled in the margin are the key to a superlative rendition. Each new version may inspire improvisation based on fresh understanding. It doesn’t have to be as dramatic as all that, but such exciting minor epiphanies keep cooking lively. – David Tanis
FOCUS: Everyday Object
My husband’s request for a ‘new’ birthday cake yesterday (see previous post) got me thinking about my old recipe book. This little binder was given to me shortly after we got married and is filled with index cards, torn articles and other detritus of the cooking world. Most of the recipes are handwritten, and all have scratch-outs, highlights, special notes, drips, splatters and stains smeared across their pages. Many of the pages are falling out, the binding is held together with packing tape and the whole thing would be nothing if not for the rubber band that keep everything in its place. I love this little recipe book. Even though I have copied many of the recipes from it onto a slick new app on my iPad, I know I will never give this little book away. It is like an old friend.