Recipe? Does it really work? レシピ通りになる?


“You recipe didn’t work, you know,”
said a confused face.

“Of course, it doesn’t!”
said my silent voice in my heart.

Instead, I smiled and said,
“That’s too bad… I am sorry about that” 😅

Recipe Video: click here

I believe in sharing anything. Sharing means giving. I believe in giving means to offer ‘taking’. That’s how I think that the relationship opens its door or peace begins. Anyway, I like offering especially sharing my recipes with families, friends, and even strangers. Just take it, go nuts. And yet, some people come back and share some sad news – “You recipe didn’t work.”

Of course recipe does not work. Why? Because each ingredient has its own ‘thing’ and does what they do. For instance, I shared “Yogurt biscuits with orange…” recipe the other day. Each orange contains different amount of juice. Each orange differs in size. Some oranges are drier than others or sweeter than others. I don’t know how dry or sweet they are until I actually cut them or taste them. Oranges right now (where I live) are so delicious. They must be in season – they are so juicy and tasty. The fragrance that infuses into my kitchen when I pealed it – mmmm …. Que rico! Anyways, even if a person thinks that the recipe worked, I think they taste somewhat different from the one I made. 

 One day, I tried to make some bread from Europe. It did not turn out well. After doing some intensive research, I found out that the amount in grams for 1 cup in this particular country differed from where I live. Ah-huh! Of course my bread turned out rock hard because my 1 cup contained so much more flour! Different places understand seemingly the same thing differently. How do we live with the differences? 

I just finished my chickpea curry video. I always have the hardest time to determine how I relate the recipe ‘correctly’ – curry is hard. People from different cultures have different understanding of what curry is and how it should taste. In Japan, for instance, curry is gooey and typically people use packed ‘roux‘ sold in a grocery store. They all have different level of spiciness, but Japanese spicy is very different from other countries’. Once I tried ‘spicy’ curry that my friend from Africa made, and ….. I almost died. Not only did my mouth burn, but also I felt like my stomach caught on fire! After that …. You can only imagine. 

Then, what is recipe? Recipe etymologically means ‘to take’. So, recipe does not mean ‘representation’ of something. Perhaps recipe might mean to “take what I have”. I use the recipe for guidance. When I read someone else’s recipe, I first try to picture the dish and imagine the feeling of making it, tasting it, and sharing it with others. Next, I probably imagine the closest dish I have tasted before to see the imagination gets closer to ‘my’ reality. Then, when I make it, I listen to the ingredients – chickpeas, cauliflower, salt, water, and, and, and … They speak to me in their loudest voiceless voice. Have you tried it? They speak totally different languages in their form and style, but just listen to them with your eyes, nose …. with your whole body!

Just to warn you though, this listening does not happen overnight like soaking beans. This type of listening expand like chickpeas soaking up water in a long run through ‘experiencing and experimenting the ingredients’. Get to know them – just give them some time. I like what an anthropology scholar, Tim Ingold, claims about the idea on “creativity”. For him, use someone’s idea as a guidance and begin from there. Thus, being creative does not mean to create completely new or copy of something, yet adding new ideas from others onto your existing ideas … maybe? So, if you want to make curry that is a little different from what you make, then ‘take the idea’. Just start with remembering what you do with curry on your end, and begin to imagine how this new dish that you are just about to try might turn out with different ingredients. If the first try fails, then try again!  If you want to change a bit, then be creative! Just like how the life takes you …