forum: Food & Drink

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#1 Tue 18 Dec 12 6:16am

TerryKay

Forum champ
Occupation Beer Reviewer, Freelance Writer and Pole Dancer at Peppermint Hippo.
From London
Member since Sun 06 Dec 09

I'm suffering from heavy handed cooking syndrome. Am I alone?

If its in the cupboard I have an overwhelming urge to add it to the cooking. Now as much as my results are often tasty, every dish is tasting the same. The obvious answers are; stick to a recipe, or put less in etc but its like an addiction.

Does anybody else suffer from this or is it just me? mad  help

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#2 Tue 18 Dec 12 7:29am

mummza

Forum super champ
Occupation avoiding housework
From The land of song.
Member since Tue 04 Oct 05

Re: I'm suffering from heavy handed cooking syndrome. Am I alone?

Wine is the problem for me .
A big problem.
A Slosh here a slosh there !

( but not in me ... In the cooking )

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#3 Tue 18 Dec 12 8:10am

JoyYamDaisy

Forum super champ
From Melbourne Australia
Member since Sun 12 Apr 09

Re: I'm suffering from heavy handed cooking syndrome. Am I alone?

This is such a common problem!  How many times did I get an exciting looking recipe and go to make it: Hmm, it says these vegetables, but I have these ones (that I always use) right here, so I will substitute them. They say these spices, but hmm, I will add in my favourite ones, it says this sort of vinegar, but I don't like vinegar, I will leave it out. It clearly says this technique, but it is a bit long and fussy, I will just cook them like I normally do...

Oh dear. It tastes like everything I normally make!!!! yikes  shocked  whistle  whistle  roll

I have learnt to be very stern with myself and EITHER make my usual quick thing, OR make the exciting new recipe, and if I try the exciting new recipe MAKE IT EXACTLY AS THEY SAY!!!!!!!

The result is as you would expect! I now have a much wider range of wonderful dishes and the saminess is gone. But such discipline it takes!!!!!! wink  cool

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#4 Tue 18 Dec 12 8:38am

cohphanta

Forum champ
Occupation Book Seller
From Jacksonville, FL
Member since Sun 04 Apr 10

Re: I'm suffering from heavy handed cooking syndrome. Am I alone?

I get stuck in "ruts" and I have 2 or 3 dishes in a row that have similar if not the same ingredients.  One of the reasons is I have to shop and cook for one but some items come in "family" size.  For example, if I buy smoked sausage....I end up making gumbo, jambalaya and maybe a sausage stew. I try my best to buy things that I can get individual amounts (like fruits and veg) or ask the meat or seafood folks to separate a package when it can be done so that I'm not eating similar tasting meals every day.

I also have to watch the spices so that I'm not seasoning all  my dishes the same.

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#5 Tue 18 Dec 12 9:16am

hippytea

Member
Occupation Chief cook and bottle-washer
From Scotland
Member since Mon 12 Sep 11

Re: I'm suffering from heavy handed cooking syndrome. Am I alone?

Yes, the temptation to cook freestyle does tend to lead to things which taste similar. I'm trying to get more into cooking from recipes, at least every week or so, to broaden my horizons. And I try not to substitute when I'm doing that.

However, I have a rule about oil and vinegar. if I bought a new bottle of fancy oil or fancy vinegar for every recipe, I'd be bankrupt and buried in bottles! So I keep one fancy oil (suitable for dressings) and one fancy vinegar at any one time, and I substitute that, unless it's a crazy substitution - say, I have sesame oil and the recipe calls for olive oil, or I have balsamic vinegar and the recipe calls for cider vinegar. Then I might go and buy some specifically.

It is infuriating, though, when a recipe calls for a tiny amount of some condiment or a really obscure spice. I have a huge range of spices in the house, including things like cassia bark and amchur powder, but even so, sometimes I'm defeated by recipes!

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#6 Tue 18 Dec 12 9:37am

Thistledo

Member
Occupation Retired something or other
From English immigrant in S. Wales
Member since Fri 07 Dec 12

Re: I'm suffering from heavy handed cooking syndrome. Am I alone?

Oh boy!  You guys have really hit the spot.  So relieved that other cookists have a similar problem to me.  My policy is always, cook a new recipe to the letter - you can always substitute ingredients on other attempts but at least you know what it should taste like.  I have quite a lot of spices/dried herbs and admit that I do substitute recipe requirements with what I already have in stock.  Suppose you can flavour your own oils in small quantities, if required.
Different subject:  Who, in this forum, said they always use olive oil for roast spuds?  You might just as well do chips/fries?  Has to be fat from the joint or goose fat for me.  Olive oil has a limit as to what heat you can take it up to, anyway.
I like your inputs here Hippytea and for your info, I'm expecting a delivery from Scotland of proper black and white (hogs) puddings.  Been far too long since I enjoyed the best in the UK.

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#7 Tue 18 Dec 12 12:26pm

Ashen

Forum champ
Occupation Why is the Rum always gone???!
From out to lunch
Member since Sat 07 Jan 06

Re: I'm suffering from heavy handed cooking syndrome. Am I alone?

I  can relate to that  , but have managed to push myself into not falling for that trap  all that often anymore.

I love garlic and can get pretty wild with microplane , grating in massive amounts  into a lot of dishes . I have started to take a step back and decide if I  want a garlic bomb dish or one that has a  good flavouring of garlic but lets other things come through.  I will  often slice cloves of garlic now , and then slowly fry off in the oil  first to flavour it. I then will pull the slices out and go on from there, getting a definite but refined garlic flavour.

As for following recipes to the letter, It very very rarely happens.

If it is something I am not sure of,or have never cooked before.  I will look up 4 or 5 different recipesones online and break them apart to see what makes sense to me ingredient and technique wise. I think  tom kha gai (thai chicken,galangal,coconut soup) was the last dish I remember doing that for.


Only a fool argues with a skunk, a mule or a cook.  { cowboy saying}
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#8 Tue 18 Dec 12 2:21pm

TerryKay

Forum champ
Occupation Beer Reviewer, Freelance Writer and Pole Dancer at Peppermint Hippo.
From London
Member since Sun 06 Dec 09

Re: I'm suffering from heavy handed cooking syndrome. Am I alone?

mummza wrote:

Wine is the problem for me .
A big problem.
A Slosh here a slosh there !

( but not in me ... In the cooking )

Yeah me too. The recipe says half a cup. My heavy hand pours in half a bottle. Its like being possessed. Like Dr. Strangelove.

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#9 Tue 18 Dec 12 2:24pm

TerryKay

Forum champ
Occupation Beer Reviewer, Freelance Writer and Pole Dancer at Peppermint Hippo.
From London
Member since Sun 06 Dec 09

Re: I'm suffering from heavy handed cooking syndrome. Am I alone?

JoyYamDaisy wrote:

This is such a common problem!  How many times did I get an exciting looking recipe and go to make it: Hmm, it says these vegetables, but I have these ones (that I always use) right here, so I will substitute them. They say these spices, but hmm, I will add in my favourite ones, it says this sort of vinegar, but I don't like vinegar, I will leave it out. It clearly says this technique, but it is a bit long and fussy, I will just cook them like I normally do...

Oh dear. It tastes like everything I normally make!!!! yikes  shocked  whistle  whistle  roll

I have learnt to be very stern with myself and EITHER make my usual quick thing, OR make the exciting new recipe, and if I try the exciting new recipe MAKE IT EXACTLY AS THEY SAY!!!!!!!

The result is as you would expect! I now have a much wider range of wonderful dishes and the saminess is gone. But such discipline it takes!!!!!! wink  cool

Supreme self discipline. You're a kitchen cyborg. wink  lol

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#10 Tue 18 Dec 12 2:28pm

TerryKay

Forum champ
Occupation Beer Reviewer, Freelance Writer and Pole Dancer at Peppermint Hippo.
From London
Member since Sun 06 Dec 09

Re: I'm suffering from heavy handed cooking syndrome. Am I alone?

cohphanta wrote:

I get stuck in "ruts" and I have 2 or 3 dishes in a row that have similar if not the same ingredients.  One of the reasons is I have to shop and cook for one but some items come in "family" size.  For example, if I buy smoked sausage....I end up making gumbo, jambalaya and maybe a sausage stew. I try my best to buy things that I can get individual amounts (like fruits and veg) or ask the meat or seafood folks to separate a package when it can be done so that I'm not eating similar tasting meals every day.

I also have to watch the spices so that I'm not seasoning all  my dishes the same.

Oh now the cooking for one thing, I have solved. I cook massive batches, then pour it into ziplock bags and freeze. That way I have the job of preparing and cooking once and have loads of healthy convenience food at hand. thumbsup

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