As I go through the year and make myself all this food, it would be remiss of me if I didn’t post the recipes.
Preparation is where I put my energy in. I find it far too stressful measuring x-amount of flour with a pot boiling on one hob and a pan slowly slipping off of another. In all recipes I have a full preparation stage, including a rough idea on what kind of vessel you can keep each ingredient in.
Similarly, the ingredient list should be just that, a list of ingredients that you buy. No one buys 3 diced carrots from Sainsbury’s. You buy three carrots and then have to dice them yourself. It’s part of a recipe as much as bunging it in a pot and turning the heat on.
I also like to try and include a list of utensils that you’ll actually need for the recipe. I live in a flat in zone 1. I don’t have a space for 7 pots arranged in size and colour order that can be press-ganged into use at whim. This is all about knowing up front that you’ll need a certain number of things and, if you don’t have it, making a plan to deal with the absence of one.
With a lot of stuff at the front end it makes the recipes look bulky, but it’s there to make the process easy once you do actually get going. I try and keep every stage as text-light as possible. And strictly in a logical order. You will not find “place in a pre-heated oven” halfway through my recipes. If a pre-heated oven is needed, it will be in the preparation stage, where it should be.
Maybe it could be labelled cooking for dummies, but I think that’s unfair. I faff, I procrastinate, mainly in the bizarre dread that I’m putting a foot wrong or missing something important. With rules in place like this, I know I have recipes that I can follow, without fear of having skipped a stage because I didn’t read ahead.
There shouldn’t be any fear in cooking. It should be fun, enjoyable and as stress-free as humanly possible.