So I’m in the home office, working away, and my husband sticks his head in and says, “How about some baked potatoes for supper?”
And I say, “Sounds good!” and continue working.
Fifteen minutes later, he sticks his head in again and says, “Did you think I was going to make them?”
However, when I went in the kitchen to get the potatoes going, though he hadn’t even taken the spuds out of the pantry, he had prepared fried apples, which were happily cooking their hearts out.
Imma tell you about fried apples, in case you’ve never had them, but first a word about my recipes, which tend to be kind of Medieval.
Medieval cookbooks were not intended for the amateur, but for experienced cooks or for those under the guidance of experienced cooks. Details like whether to use salted or fresh meat, how much of anything to use, how long to cook something, or how to prepare the ingredients were left out, since the people using the recipes would either know those things or be able to ask someone who knew.
Instructions tend to say things like, “boil a good piece of beef as tender as you may”, “chop it as small as you will”, “boil it well until it is done”, “strew it with sugar and spices enough”, “salt it just right”, and “when it be done, take and serve it forth.”
Everyone I know who cooks a lot does the same thing. Ask for a recipe, and they either say, “…Recipe?” or they give one and then give so many possible variations you see the recipe as no more than a basic idea.
So here’s a recipe for fried apples:
Take as many apples as you will. Peel and core them and slice them thin. In a pan, melt a lump of butter the size of the end of your thumb. Put the apples thereto and strew with sugar and cinnamon enough. Cover and cook at medium low heat until the apples are tender. Remove the cover and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until liquid is mostly gone.
Take and serve it forth.
WRITING PROMPT: Do you cook with a recipe, without a recipe, or not? Write a character who does it differently.