A New Year: Some Things are Good As Is

Ten days into the new year and I’m still thinking about what I’d like to do differently in the next 355 days with regards to Mangoes and Mojitos.  There is so much information out there about cooking and how to cook food better — so much noise and excitement.  And a lot less time to sit and enjoy all these wonderful cooking tips and recipes faithfully blogged by so many creative and talented people.  There are so many bloggers and we all seem to be showing up in your inbox offering the same information albeit in our own voice.

I began M&M a couple of years ago as a way for me to connect with others in the quiet afternoons when I am typically alone in my kitchen wondering what to make for dinner or more often than not what cooking technique I want to learn or feel I need to improve.  Blogging helps me share — express my love of food — and it spares others the torment of listening to another one of my food stories.  Is that all she ever talks about? 

Quite frankly, yes.  And it’s all I ever read about as well because I really don’t know a whole lot.  For instance, why is it that every chocolate chip cookie recipe I make leaves me with flat crisps covered in small bumps of chocolate that ok, taste great?  These are recipes meant to improve upon the original and delicious in its simplicity Nestle Tollhouse cookie accidently invented by Ruth Wakefield in 1936 –with additions such as expensive chocolate, exotic nuts and spices.

And why does every butter cake I painstakenly attempt from Rose Levy Beranbaum’s The Cake Bible always turn out dry and yet when I follow Betty Crocker’s approach of dumping all ingredients into a bowl and beat for three minutes – I serve up a moist, yellow cake that my family devours?  Unlike Rose, Betty has a complete disregard for the science of building a cake’s structure!

All leads me to wonder why attempt to change the classics?  Why be so ready to dismiss our “Grandmothers” of invention?  Surely there is wisdom in what I now feel is their message, “Honey, why make such a fuss?  When something tastes this good, leave it alone.”

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One thought on “A New Year: Some Things are Good As Is

  1. I’ve heard that the flat cookies have to do with the fat (butter, in our house) or is put into the recipe melted. Hmm, I did use extremely soft butter on my last patch of cookies, and hoo, did they come out thin and flat!

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