I always marveled at my Grandma’s ability to throw together ingredients without the use of a measuring cup or recipe and have a meal turn out great. Her cooking was meat heavy – bacon grease in the green beans, lots of fried foods, homemade chicken noodles and beautiful, scrumptious pies.
My eating style is much different now than it was when she was living but it seems I inherited her talent for instinctive cooking. It sounds arrogant to say that because she was as much better cook than I will ever be but I did at least inherit a fraction of that skill.
The problem is that I can never recreate a dish.
Even my breakfast smoothie is different every day. The only thing I bother to measure is the almond milk and then just toss in random amounts of other ingredients. I made a great bean soup last week but I’ll never taste it again since I just diced carrots, celery and onion until it looked like I had enough and tossed in minced garlic until I panicked because it seemed like too much.
This is partly because I’m often adapting recipes to make them vegan so there’s a lot of fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants experimentation happening. Other than that, I have no good excuse but I have had some really good meals.
The other day, I made some maple peanut butter granola that was divine. I used oats, almond slivers and pecan pieces with a pinch of salt. Then melted peanut butter, agave nectar and pure maple syrup in the microwave and mixed it all together with those dry ingredients. When it just started to toast, I pulled it from the oven and added a small sprinkling of vegan chocolate chips and some golden raisins. Amounts? No clue. Temperature? I think it was 350 degrees. Time? Not sure. About fifteen minutes, maybe.
I let it rest on the cookie sheet for over an hour to finish roasting and then to cool for storage. That, I remember.
While the results were fabulous, I clearly won’t be writing a cookbook anytime soon. That’s ok. This, luckily, isn’t a cooking blog and I have fun in the kitchen so that’s all that really matters!
What meals can you cook without a recipe? We all have a collection of dishes that we toss together this way so tell me all about yours!