Why the fuck am I so bad at recipe writing?

I’m not going to make excuses. I have been more than delinquent about posting — shameless plug — I was putting together an amazing magazine called frame. Please go look at it, it’s my baby.

Niceties aside, last week I was feeling fancy and made a three-course meal. I made a particularly tasty beet salad. Nothing fancy; some goat cheese, sunflower seeds, and a shitload of beets. But it turned out awesome.

So, before Adam and I sat down to eat, I shot like 10 millions photos of the dish and decided I was going to post a recipe as my triumphant return to the blogosphere. That’s when I realized:

I am really fucking bad at recipe writing.

Those who frequent the blog know there aren’t many original recipes on this site. In fact, there are only four, and one of them is a cocktail (a damn good one though — check out my Moscow Mule). When I cook, I rarely follow recipes. Even with the shelves and shelves of cookbooks I own, whenever I am cooking, I just can’t resist tossing in a little more cheese, an extra pinch of cumin, or a tad more salt. I like to feel my way through ingredients, smelling and tasting, and not be confined by a recipe. I find going off-script calming and satisfying, even if it’s not always successful. Being alone in the kitchen doing my thing to some great Bossa Nova is something I relish.

When I started food blogging almost three years ago, I was sure that in order for my blog to be successful (or enjoyable, at the very least) I had to include what everyone else had. That golden ticket was recipes: Gorgeous photos, fancy recipe plugins, and great stories were all over the internet, but I could never get there. Whenever I put pen to paper I just froze, never quite sure how much flour I had included or how long to brown the mushrooms. And it made me feel like shit. Last Christmas, I made a little cookbook for Adam, and it was the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do. How could I remember how many cups of crushed tomatoes go in my special spaghetti sauce? I wing it every time!

Sorry mommy bloggers…but I am bored of the recipe writing and I’m over feeling bad when they don’t turn out quite right. What I love most about cooking is chucking in the random ingredients, in fact, my sister got me the Flavour Thesaurus for my birthday, which might direct this randomness in a tastier direction.

My name is Gabby and I can’t write recipes.

My relationship with food has changed so much in the past few years, and I love to talk about the connection people make with food, with their families, or alone traveling the world (the most of the memorable moments seem to all revolve around food). Cooking is an experience, with emotions, and sights and sounds and TASTE.

Below is a loose recipe for the awesome salad I enjoyed with Adam with great wine and great conversation. One of those special nights evolved from tossing some tasty stuff in a bowl. Just go with it. You want more lemon juice? Go for it. Switch up goat cheese for feta? Even betta.

Gabby’s Beet Salad

Ingredients

4 medium sized cured beets

Handful of spinach (or arugula)

Tons of yummy goat cheese

Roasted sunflower seeds

For the dressing:

White wine vinegar

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

Olive Oil

Directions

Put it all in a bowl, top with some Maldon, and eat the shit out of this tasty salad.



1 thought on “Why the fuck am I so bad at recipe writing?”

  • Your article really brought a smile into my face. I am the same and recipe writing is a very hard task for me. I am not structured enough to be a good writer. Anytime I cook I need a different amount of an ingredient. My cooking style is improvised, however my result often statisfies my friends and they let me know. Their reviews make me feel good. There was one I am often thinking back: “Marley, when ever you cook one spoon or fork already fulfills the need of deliciousness for the whole menu.”

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