I learned something valuable today. Something, that is probably really obvious to everybody else, but for me, was an epiphany.
I truly learned what the difference is between an experienced cook and a novice. Let me tell you a little story…
My husband was running very late today. It wasn’t my day to cook, but I knew if I didn’t step up, we’d end up eating bad take-out food instead. So, I was bold and brave – called my husband and offered to cook our planned meal.
It was beef stroganoff and didn’t look too hard. After a 10 minute prep conversation where hubby lectured me and scared me about all I would have to do (it honestly sounded like he was trying to talk me out of cooking), I started.
I cut the beef, cut the onion, put them in the pan with some crazy thing called Fluffo (new vocab word: 1/2 shortening & 1/2 butter). Added the flour and broth — and it looked TOTALLY wrong. Things were sticking to the bottom of the pan, the meat was sticking to itself, and the color was all off. I immediately called him to get help, and of course, he didn’t answer. So, I just kept going with the recipe. Added the sour cream and mustard, hoping it would look better. Nope.
I was sticking exactly to the recipe. No deviations and I double-checked to make sure I read it all correctly.
Well, it was supposed to cook for an hour, so I left it alone on low and crossed my fingers.
Right about then my husband came in the door. And he knew exactly what to do. He added more broth, more sour cream, more mustard and more broth. He changed the heat, stirred a little differently, and viola – it was perfect.
And I realized what made us different. He had the confidence to steer away from the recipe.
He was unafraid to add or change something (according to his gut) to make it better.
His experience had given him the knowledge that changing something wouldn’t necessarily ruin it.
That’s what I want. That’s what I need. If you’ve seen my last two week’s recipes, in my gut, I knew something was wrong. I even had ideas of what could fix it. But I didn’t do a darn thing about it. I stuck to the recipe like it was written in stone and just hoped for the best.
I’m going to work on it, because I actually think I might be able to become a pretty okay cook someday.