Thursday, January 15, 2009

Cooking Loves Knitting

I think that becoming a skilled knitter has actually helped me become a better chef as well. Patterns for more complicated knitted garments can be intimidating and overwhelming. Time and time again I've watched people read through patterns like they were some kind of novel and exclaim: "But I don't understand what it means here in step 10."

In such cases I always urge the customer to just go ahead and start, and if they take the pattern one step at a time, by the time they get to 10 it'll make sense. (Of course, occasionally a pattern is poorly written or wrong, but usually by then you can also Figure A Way Around It.)

As another side note, I've heard the occasional novice knitter refer to patterns as "recipes."

Which is all to say that I'm a lot less intimidated by long recipes these days. I do them one step at a time, and at the end I usually have something tasty, if not always what I was going for.

Or I can just keep making a recipe I've already made once. "Ebi no Chiri So-Su" from Let's Cook Japanese Food! is a new favorite of mine. The main ingredient in the sauce is ketchup -- which illustrates why I'm really loving this book. While the accomplished Japanese chef may wow you with their tempura and sushi, the average Japanese person is more interested in how they can get more mayonnaise or ketchup into their diet. And since this book represents the latter, they are also very simple.

Too bad taking good pictures of food at night isn't like following a recipe...

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