19 Nov 2010, Posted by admin in EAT, 1 Comments
Here’s the thing about today’s test kitchen-mandated recipe consumption culture. On busy days, those step-by-step directives can be a dinner-saver, ensuring that slow cooker pot roast hits the table at the stroke of exactly-when-it-was-supposed-to. And taste not half bad, either. But on days like Thanksgiving, when leisurely cooking is the entire point of the day, following every single recipe as it’s dictated takes the impromptu fun out of cooking. And sure, as my husband will tell you, it can be next to impossible to recreate the best version of that meatloaf if you never write anything down. But really, what’s the fun in “perfect” cooking?
Consider pie for a moment. We all have stories of that extra dash of cinnamon and nutmeg (gasp!) that grandmom added to her sweet potato pie one year just for kicks, or the pecan pie that really was better when you forgot to buy corn syrup and improvised with maple syrup instead. Even when things don’t quite work out (turns out forgetting to put the eggs in a cake really is rather disastrous), that deflated mess turns into kitchen laughs. Or in an ideal world, it’s supposed to. Because isn’t Thanksgiving really about hanging out and cooking together, for better or worse?
Sure, we crave nostalgia — grandmom’s sweet potatoes, mom’s cranberry sauce — and that’s just grand. But it wouldn’t hurt to have a little fun with that pie this year. You know, just for old thyme cooking’s sake.