9 Oct 2018
I’ve wanted to write a journal entry about measurements, directions and timing in the kitchen. How more time spent in the kitchen gives one a better grasp on how much salt and pepper to add and how long to roast a duck without using physical forms of measuring. In our home kitchen, I was taught to eye-ball certain amounts. Adding pinches of herbs here and a splash of white wine there. Overtime we learn how much oregano is needed for your batch of Chimichurri or how much of a splash of red wine is in a reduction sauce.
I’ll dive into that some other day.
For today, I want to quickly share a recipe one of my wonderful “mothers” gave to me. She has been one of my culinary mentors ever since her children, my brother and I would run up her water bill by playing with the water hose on their trampoline during hot Houston summers. In between the YMCA camps and neighborhood pool outings, she would gather the children up and put us to work in her kitchen.
Below is an image of the recipe she gave me after she invited her son and I over to help her make Chilean Empanadas. You can click here to be directly linked to the Chilean Empanada Recipe.
At first glance, I understood the recipe. Thinking to myself, I’m going to add this to our recipe list tomorrow if permitted. It contains a small ingredient list, and a direction list of four-steps.
It was the shortest recipe I’ve seen in a while, but the longest one that I would be adding.
The comedy lies in that I completely forgot about the countless other steps in preparing a food that I’ve grown up with. A food that I’ve done countless times, where I don’t really stop to consider all the necessary steps in between.
My perception of what I thought was a simple, repetitive recipe turned out to be one of the hardest recipes I have typed up. I called up Veronica, and told her that I would need a more detailed list of exact measurements. We laughed, we edited, and she urged me to make sure that the readers understand that this is a community recipe.
I’m a firm believer that recipes can be adjusted for whom you’re cooking. Keep busting it out in the kitchen and you’ll realize that a splash, handful, pinch, drop, and even a sprinkle are units of measurements that hold no boundaries other than what you decide.
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