Importance of NOT Following the Recipe
Many talented cooks will tell you they don’t cook with a recipe. They can create food from nothing, just based on an idea in their head. They may need to test the recipes several times to make it just right, but the original idea is often not far off. This can be a hard skill to achieve. When cooking, practice really makes perfect (or as perfect as possible). While you don’t have to be a master chef to work with the recipes on this blog, there is an importance to NOT follow the recipe.
Now wait, you’re telling me to NOT follow the recipe? That goes against everything I’ve ever known. Why on earth did you spend time creating this recipe just to tell me not to follow it?
Here’s the answer: when modifying recipes to meet a dysphagia diet, we know it’s important to test foods and liquids to ensure they are the right consistency. However, that exact consistency can sometimes be difficult to achieve. That’s where the recipe can fail.
Let’s think about eggs for a minute. When you open a carton, you’re often met with a variety of different looking eggs. Some are brown, some are white, some are big, and some are small. Not only does the outside of the egg look different, the inside is very different too. Some eggs are quite runny, while others hold their shape even in the raw form. Some eggs have big yolks and less whites, and others vice versa. Sometimes you crack the egg, and half of it runs onto the counter. Other times, you crack it and the yolk immediately breaks.
When measuring out how many eggs you need for a recipe, it can sometimes be difficult to determine the exact amount. It’s the same thing as going to the store and picking through all the zucchini to find the one that looks the ‘best.’
But why is this important? This will be crucial in your cooking process because you may need to adjust the recipe as needed. When a recipe says “a large butternut squash” or “two small jalapenos,” take those words with a grain of salt. Do the best with what you have. You’re going to need to trust your instincts with a recipe to determine if you need to add more or less of an ingredient.
Say you’re making a puree, and the recipe calls for one cup of chicken broth. You add the entire cup, just to realize that the puree is too lumpy to eat. You’ll need to add more liquid to make sure you get to the right consistency. This may seem like an obvious statement, but so many people become attached to the recipe and find it difficult to stray from it.
The size and shape of your appliance may affect this too. Are you using a Vitamix? An immersion blender? A food processor? Each of these appliances will puree your food in a slightly different way. Don’t let this scare you away. We are here to tell you that this is a skill you can achieve! You’ll need to spend some time in the kitchen honing your skills, but soon you’ll be making modified diets like a pro. Believe us when we say this was hard for us at the beginning too.
Hang in there! Thankfully recipes are easily modified to fit whatever size egg you have. 😉
Have you NOT followed the recipe yet? Let us know how it went and leave a comment below!