I have never been able to follow a recipe. Not exactly; not precisely. This is probably why many of my baking attempts fail. Damn this part of me that always has to be different. A soup recipe -- well, now that is made to be amended. But baked goods, gluten free baked goods, require the precisions of a scale (even though we all know, that yes, they lie).
I refuse to get a scale, and still use my mom's measuring cups she gave me when I went off to college. I think she got them at Goodwill. One is a little dented from all of my moving. This does not help precision, these dents. There is some small cubic part missing, which is why I compensate by heaping the top, just a bit.
Maybe I get this from my Grandma Ida. Watching her cook is like magic -- she, a sorceress who throws things in a pot, pinching ingredients as she feels, here and there, "add a scoch," she says...and it all turns out beautifully. I don't know if she has ever followed a recipe...exactly.
Cooking, I am learning, is an art. And, while art may imitate...it should not duplicate. By the same principle, I have always despised paint-by-numbers. I remember, even as a kid, thinking..."You want me to put that color where?" And then my independent streak would defiantly paint the apple orange.
I apparently haven't grown out of this. "It says 1 tsp. cinnamon?" Nah, not enough. I'll double that. Crème fraiche? Not on hand...I'll use yogurt....that's ok, right...?
It really makes cooking more exciting when you don't know it will turn out. It's more of an adventure, if cooking can be that -- adventurous. Which, is maybe why I didn't like it in the first place, this cooking thing. It's planned, it's too safe...and other people have made, and are making, the exact same thing. God forbid. And I don't like that feeling. When, you throw things in, mix & match, and it actually turns out edible -- that is satisfying. And, if it doesn't turn out, you have dark chocolate with afternoon coffee and popcorn for dinner. This is satisfying too.
My sister bought Molasses Clove Cookies a few weeks ago. Now, I'm not a huge cookie fan, but I couldn't stop thinking about molasses and cloves. I love molasses and cloves. And Erica loved these cookies. By the time I saw the package, half had been eaten. This was, I'm sure, one of the benefits of having a gluten-free house mate...you never have to share your cookies.
I learned several things in making these cookies today. First being, I am still not really a cookie person. I never have been, never will be. Followed by the fact that I seem unable roll the cookies into the same size and have no patience for sheet after sheet of this process.
But, the imitated recipe worked and the cookies were edible.
2 1/4 cups all-purpose gluten-free flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/3 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
I still will probably have some dark chocolate with my afternoon coffee though...