We all love to cook, that’s why I’m here writing about cooking and why you’re here reading about cooking. Every now and then I find myself involved in a food one-upmanship with various people. It turns cooking which is usually a tame, essential, every day activity, into a competitive sport. You know, those smug, very natural cooks or bakers who seem to pull out the most amazing food every time you eat at their house and never seem to serve a dud.
It can start off innocently enough. You go to said expert baker’s house for a dinner party and they pull out the most delectable dessert ever tasted. Suddenly you feel the urge to invite them over and create something EVEN more spectacular. You’ve made beetroot and liquorice macarons and a 6 layer torte that has taken you the better part of the weekend to pull together. Everyone is understandably wowed and you respond with, “Oh these? You know, it’s no big deal. It’s just a few macarons, you know, I just whipped them up this arvo, no biggie!”
The other sort of foodie nemesis is the recipe hoarder. You know the type. I come across recipe hoarders all the time. When I was a teen, there was this one family we used to visit rather frequently. The mum was an incredible cook. Every time we went over I requested that she make this one particular dish – I think it was chicken schnitzels smothered in some deliciously creamy yet unique tasting sauce. I’d never had a dish like this anywhere. Even back then I was pretty good at figuring things out, but this particular sauce was alluding me, I couldn’t quite put my finger on the ingredients. One time I decided to ask this lady for the recipe. She mumbled something under her breath, “Oh, um, err, it’s got like, wine and flour and a bit of salt and pepper.” Mmmkay lady, sound like you left out a few ingredients. I kept pestering her all night until she finally cracked, “I don’t want to tell you the recipe alright? It’s a secret!”
I’ve personally never understood the desire to keep recipes a secret. Heck, that’s why I started blogging. When I find a great recipe and I tweak it so it’s just right, man, I want everybody to know about it. What’s in it for me? Well, it feels pretty awesome when people tell you that they’ve cooked your particular recipe and they loved it and it worked! So that’s why I can’t stand recipe hoarders. I’ve heard every excuse under the sun from “It’s my grandma’s secret recipe” to “I’ve worked so hard getting this just right, why would I just ‘give’ it to you?” It sucks, just share already. Trust me, you’ll be a happier person for it.
Worse than the recipe hoarder is the ingredient omitter! This is a subset of the recipe hoarder, the person who intentionally leaves out the one ingredient that sends a recipe from ho-hum to sublime. It’s insanely frustrating when you’re trying to recreate somebody’s masterpiece and it just doesn’t work or it doesn’t live up to the original. It’s foodie sabotage.
Tell me readers, are you guilty of any of these foodie crimes? If so, out yourself and explain your reasons! Are you a competitive cook?