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Anna N

Are you generally a “one of cook” or a “repeater”?

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Today a member contacted me to request a recipe that I had posted about some time ago. So long ago in fact that I had forgotten all about it. It was a very good recipe as are many of the recipes I follow.  But very rarely do I make them again.  Repeat recipes used to happen when my husband was alive and would request them. Now that I am alone I almost never make the same thing twice.

 

If I do repeat something, for instance poached eggs, it is as much out of sheer laziness as it is out of devotion to any particular dish (although I do love poached eggs so it is perhaps a poor example). 

 

The downside is that I never perfect a recipe. The upside is that I rarely become bored. 

 

It is interesting that one could point out the “one of cooks” and the “repeaters” on eG without much difficulty.  I appreciate both but I am often more drawn to those of us who seem to crave variety. 

 

There’s a third variety of cooks who I would describe as “serious students”.  They pursue a particular cuisine or particular author until they have sucked all the juice out of the subject and have become quite proficient. 

 

So how would you describe yourself? Are you a “one of”, a “repeater”, a “serious student” or something else?  Can you see another way of classifying some of us? 

 

 None of it is meant to be judgemental.  Just a fun thing. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Well, I think I am a little of both. Much depends on how the family "votes".  If I find a good recipe, I'll test it out on the gang. If they give a thumbs up, then the recipe gets bookmarked and used again.  If its a thumbs down, then, I don't save it.   

 

If the kids aren't around, then I'll just ask hubby if its a "make a again" dish, or "lose that recipe" dish.  He's quite honest.  If its something I like and he doesn't, then I will make it for myself and the kids while he's on business trips. =) 

 

The only area where i qualify as a "serious student", is the arena of chocolate.  And, really, I cannot think of another type of food to be that serious about. :D

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When I am cooking for guests, I generally make something I've made before, at least for the main course. For myself at home I very rarely repeat, since I tend to cook my way through cookbooks and then move onto the next book. 

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Posted (edited)

I am generally a “repeater”. I do like to “experiment” on occasion. Can you hear my husband groaning? xD  If it works, the recipe goes into the list of recipes to repeat.


Edited by robirdstx (log)
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Mostly a serious student. I spent two years trying to perfect falafel. In college, I made brownies every day for a year in an effort to get a high altitude recipe right. (and now I can't make great sea-level brownies and I am about to embark on a series of tests) I also spent months working on high altitude popovers, succeed, and gained some acclaim with local acquaintances at the time.

 

When I was married, I had a dozen or so tried and true meals I would repeat -just to keep the husband happy. He tolerated the experiments and studies, but would be disgruntled at any failures. He told me once that he really was just a passenger along for the ride, he did not share the craving for novelty. (and, he enjoyed the fact that I'd make big batches of certain foods and freeze them, so he had access to lots of portions of 6 basic things)

 

I am much more of an experimenter by nature, I love variety. A new recipe for something novel is pretty much the only thing which will derail me from my study projects. I'll be infatuated, make the new dish, and then either file it away as good, file it as an unredeemable failure, or work on 'fixing' it. And then return to the current field of study. Ultimately, as a student,  I want to know what I am doing wrong, why it's happening, how can I perfect the dish, and how I can improve upon it.

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I'm kind of all over the map. I have favorites I'll make once or twice a month. At least twice a month, I'll take a flyer on something I've never made before. In between, it's usually riffs on something I may have made, but how about if I subbed this for that, and something for something else?

 

I do like to perfect things, and there are a few things that I have gotten pretty close to perfecting. But there's always room for one...more...tweak...

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15 minutes ago, JoNorvelleWalker said:

A new recipe is justification for a new kitchen toy.

 

 And I don’t need very damn much justification. 

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In general I am a one of cook.  There are dishes we love and I make those a couple times a year.  An example is Rick Bayless’ Roadside chicken which we are having tonight.  Probably made it last summer.

 

That means I am always looking for something to make which sometimes I find frustrating because I can’t make up my mind.:(

Because there is just the two of us I usually choose ethnic dishes in bunches in order to use up special food purchases.....like the half bok choy that is left in the fridge from Wednesday’s stir fry...we’ll have Chinese tomorrow to use it up.  In the summer I am looking for new recipes to use my garden produce.

 

When we have company I don’t shy away from making a new dish.

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@Chris Hennes, I would have put you in the "serious student" category, with your deep dives into various cookbooks and especially recently with breads.  I guess there's an element of "one of" experimentation there, too, but you are building what you've learned in each area and becoming more expert as you go.

 

I used to be a repeater.  I did most of my cooking on the weekend, mostly on Sunday, sticking with things I knew would freeze well or hold a few days in the fridge, plus a few quicker dinners during the week. I tried new things but depended on some version of the regulars for most meals.  I made some sort of smoothie for breakfast every day for years!

Now I have more time to play so I'm certainly leaning in the "one of" direction.  

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Little of both here. 

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We are definitely both.  On the weekends, we'll make a large batch of sauces/curry which we'll distribute into several portions and freeze.  Makes a fast dinner during the week... plus a lot of these curries are a lot of work between grinding spices and spice pastes, frying, simmering ,etc...

Here's today's example: nyonya chicken curry (to eat with my roti prata)

20180311_181142-01-1.thumb.jpg.86c699a774beb725b2d17bb27fd9c3e3.jpg

This is the rempah (spice paste) frying... almost done... then added potatoes and coconut milk:

20180311_181751-01-1.thumb.jpg.2c33e072026ff94adf4d61544cc12619.jpg

Once chilled, I'll distribute this into 4 parcels.  Then, during the week, I'll get home from work, take out a package of sauce, get it simmering, then add the chicken for about 12 minutes and dinner is done!

 

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I'm an occasional repeater, not sure if it's enough to firmly place me in that slot though. Most repeats are things the kid requests but there are a few things on my own repeat list as well. I went through a serious student phase but I feel like I'm at a point where I no longer have to invest that kind of time to fully grasp something new or create something I want to create. That's not boasting, I'm sure most here can say the same if they think about it. There's a point where experience and instinct eventually replace a lot of the experimenting and fiddling time required to learn or create something. Sometimes you think you're having to work really hard to get something but when you step back and look at it objectively, you realize that you just learned or created something in a couple or few tries that may have taken many tries and/or a lot of time at some point in the past. That doesn't mean I'm no longer serious about learning though... I hope I never think I know all I need to know.

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I am the perennial student always...thus my sign-off signature. 

 

I guess I've been cooking now with pleasure for about ten years and have learned bits and bobs from a lot of different 'non-North American' sources.   But I've quit buying cookbooks, cut off most of my followed blogs, ceased to borrow cooking books and periodicals from the library, and stopped experimenting in the various cuisines I dabbled in...and so I'm mostly a repeater now with maybe one new dish a month from discoveries.   

 

I'm quite happy making and eating the same things over and over.  And so is my DH.  

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Repeater with certain holiday dishes. If I am cooking for 12, I want to know that the recipe works and everyone liked it. I tend to mostly wing it on everyday meals for the two of us. And leftovers are often planned for repurpose, so that’s a second iteration without a recipe. I kind of play “Chopped” with my pantry at times.

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BORED...BORED...BORED repeater for Johnybird as he has a delicate digestive system.  I love the ideas of cooking but ..........

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We love to cook through many cookbooks and magazines but never repeat a recipe (but have kept record of all the ones we tried since living together)

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Definitely both. While I do very much like to attempt something new, there are few firm favourites I go back to again and again and sometimes I am just too lazy or tired so pull out an old standby.

 

That said I very rarely cook from recipes as such. I read them, but to get the gist, put the book away, then wing everything, so you could say I never repeat the same dish precisely. There are one or two exceptions, though.

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51 minutes ago, Honkman said:

We love to cook through many cookbooks and magazines but never repeat a recipe (but have kept record of all the ones we tried since living together)

 

And you're still living together?

 

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Posted (edited)

After more thought, there is definitely a recurring set of dishes. Lasagna, sausage and peppers, Kung pao shrimp, pork roast, miso salmon, steak and root veg, andouille meatloaf make monthly visits. The rest are new recipes or freezer dives. 

 

Dinner guests get something tried and true and our kids have veto power on Thanksgiving, Xmas and Easter meals...maybe I can change a side dish...maybe not. 


Edited by gfweb (log)
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Mr. Kim and Jessica complain that I cook something wonderful and then they never see it again.  I am easily bored and love to try new recipes.  I do repeat stuff like basic weeknight meals - spaghetti Bolognese, fried pork chops and, as anyone who has seen my posts in the dinner thread lately, "Chinese" salad :laugh:.  But that's not where my heart lies.  

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Posted (edited)

I am not confident in the kitchen at all. My husband works late so unless I use my slow cooker, a lot of nights result in hotdogs or take out. 

 

  It literally makes me insane to waste food. So when recipes turn on me I get really down and won’t cook anything for a while. 

 

  That said, I am comfortable making lasagna (with homemade sauce), plus a few other random things like beef and broccoli or Swedish meatballs. We do order a lot of take out and knthe summer fire up the BGE. But in general I stick to the tried and true. I’m a crappy housewife— my mom is a good home cook and I just never got into it after I stopped working. I love reading about others meals and reading cookbooks but I am never really comfortable in the kitchen unless I’m making lasagna. 


Edited by MetsFan5 (log)
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I definitely fall into all three categories as does my husband.  We have a series of recipes perfected over the years that we make repeatedly.  These are things such as beef Bourguignon, bolognaise sauce, chicken in a white wine sauce that can all be portioned and frozen so that we have a good supply of our own ‘ready meals’.  Other things, in particular those that require a great amount of time, are not often repeated but recipes are annotated just in case.

 

In patisserie I will work at a recipe in attempt to perfect it.  Far from sure that I’ve achieved that with any recipe to date but trying is fun.

 

That best sums up my approach to cooking: curiosity and fun.  

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I find cooking to be super frustrating unless I know I can make something on instinct. That’s no doubt a result of my working in the FOH for a while, getting a non practical BA in Hotel & Restaurant management. 

 

  I think I really enjoy dining out after years of waiting on people dining out. 

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Professionally, of course, one is always a repeater. It's the nature of the business. 

 

I lack the obsessiveness to fall into the "serious student" category. I could never make the same thing 25 or 30 times in search of the One Perfect Recipe, I'd just lose interest. In my personal cookery I'm more the one-off, "just wing it" type. I almost never cook from a recipe, but I'll bake from one if it's something I don't normally make. 

 

I'm much more omnivorous/omni-curious than anyone else in my life, which is an ongoing frustration. The only time I've been able to cook exactly what I wanted, whatever I wanted, at any meal was when I was single...and how much fun is cooking for one? (sigh) My GF is actually pretty good about trying things but she's currently doing the keto diet, which means there is only a very small overlap between what she eats and what I eat in a given day. 

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