I adore recipes! It's cooking's combination of math and science that pleases my brain. The marriage of precise measurements, proportions of ingredients, and set times fascinates me. I am always amazed that someone, somewhere used the process of elimination, failures and successes, to create something delicious or beautiful.
My husband prefers to cook creatively without recipes. His food is always amazing and delicious. I can't even guess the number of times I've stared into the refrigerator and declared there was absolutely nothing to eat, while moments later my husband whips up some extraordinary gourmet dish I never even knew could be crafted in my simple midwestern kitchen. If restaurants weren't so difficult and time consuming, I'd encourage him to open one.
I, on the other hand, cannot cook without a recipe. I lack creativity. My brain is black and white. This evening, I attempted to rush a recipe. My husband was winging a new dish, and it called for a balsamic glaze. Since he doesn't follow recipes, he forgot to make this vital part. Everthing was prepared when we caught the error, so I quickly poured some balsamic vinegar into a pot and added two tablespoons of dark brown sugar. The recipe asked me to bring the mixture to a boil and then reduce to medium for 10 minutes. If I had waited ten minutes, the chicken would have been cold. Instead, I tried to do as my husband does and I improvised. I cranked the burner up to super high and boiled it like magma from a volcano. Before I knew it, the liquid had turned to a black, frothy substance. I removed it from heat, whisked it, and drizzled it over the avocado caprese chicken breasts. Moments later my husband and I were in a fit of giggled because the drizzle had hardened into a toffee-like substance. It was stuck in our teeth like black caramel. So much for trying to veer from the recipe!