I do not like to fail in the kitchen. My brain tells me I posses the knowledge, the intuition, the experience to not fail, but in reality I can and have been, as of late, unsuccessful. I do know better and understand that my instincts need to be always the guide because they were dead on correct when I made two recipes this week. What made me continue down a path? Trusting the verbiage written on the paper and my need to not want to pay $20 for 3.5 pounds of corned beef. Detail and quality are the essence of a successful recipe.
Failure happens even to those of us whom have been home cooks from the age of 13. Examining the situation it boils down to the recipes being exact and well written with the font type being larger than 4. My failure also has to do with trying to be frugal, which led to purchasing an unfamiliar packaged brined corned beef. In both cases, you have money lost, a bruised pride, and learned lessons.
There was a time when home cooks did not have recipes. They learned from their mothers how to cook. Over time a slow transition from the kitchen to attending school to entering the workplace took hold eliminating that precious time in the kitchen with mom to learn the basics. It took someone sitting with grandma to measure her palmed salt/oregano/baking powder/soda to create the recipes we’ve tried to save today. In some cases, such as mine – soda bread, I really needed to see the person make it. I would’ve had a better understanding of the process, texture, and timing.
In our family my mother-in-law is the best at making Italian dishes that have been handed down from generation of Italian grandmothers. As she tells it, they did have to sit with her mother-in-law and measure what she was putting in the sauce, bread, ravioli, or pork when making sausages. Even today she tells the granddaughters, “you have to watch me”. And she is correct, technique is 1/2 the recipe.
So the pity party is over and a need to move on with learned lessons will guide me in the kitchen. So move on.