Following Recipes

There is this widespread belief that cooking recipes are similar to mathematical equations where the final outcome is proportionally dependent on your ability to juggle with numbers. In my humble graphic designer-ish opinion this is offensively wrong. Mathematics deals with numbers and you could say numbers are in a way independent from the human mind. If civilization goes kaboom and all that’s left on this planet is a flock of flying cockroaches, there is still going to be 1 Sun in the Solar system and 8 planets swirling around it. The same scenario however will render your favorite recipe totally useless.

The big moral of this story is that cooking is a form of art, not a natural science. While there is a good measure of calculation involved, the core of the process is totally dependent on improvisation and taste. This is why I have so much fun comparing it to graphic design – in both cases you have predetermined rules, which common sense tells you are good to follow. But the decision is yours and sometimes breaking a rule might mean discovering something new. Because those rules are nothing more than pre-agreed, artificial concepts.

The point of this pretentious post is very simple – if a recipe requires 25 grams of sugar and you have only 20 in your jar, don’t commit suicide. It will work anyway. Just have fun.

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