Sunday, October 31, 2010


I never follow recipes exactly. I find a couple, sometimes a few, and use them for inspiration to make it my way—modifying a little here and there, to taste, and based on what I have (or don’t have) on hand. Jill cooks the same way. She and I share recipes over the phone without ever giving measurements. Isn’t that the fun of cooking as an art? (I commend Amy and Chris for inventing dishes while keeping track of measurements so they can post the recipes later. Seriously.) Baking is the science. (And, oddly enough, not for me.)

Deanna, on the other hand, follows recipes to the exact letter. When I tell her I tried a new Ina (Barefoot Contessa) recipe, she gets excited…until I say “I modified a bit.” Last night I texted her that I planned on making a butternut squash and apple soup today. Her sour reply? “I’m sure you’ll alter the hell out of it so what’s the point?” She was kidding, of course, and not. I explained to her today during our weekly Sunday chat that I usually make notes of my modifications, and that the issue with the soup is that Ina has two recipes, and I couldn’t decide between them, so maybe I’d combine elements. But after discussion I decided to go with the roasted vegetable version and accept her challenge not to modify. That way she could make it on my recommendation if it was good—sans modifications.

So cooking today was all about multi-tasking: using some of the free apples from the eight or so bushels in my parents’ garage (which incidentally my mom picked for free), ditto a butternut squash from my mom (also free but not one in a lot of bushels, just one from a bag), and following a recipe exactly so that Deanna could use it if I liked it without making note of modifications.

Success, success, success…further substantiating that I’m as frugal as my mom and becoming more and more like her with every dip in my estrogen...and as good a friend as I have been told I am?....

cubed squash and apples

roasted and caramelized squash, apples and onions

roasted butternut squash and apple soup

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