Why are online recipes bad?

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Why are online recipes bad?

The Pitfall of Precision>h2>

Have you ever noticed how the simplest of recipes online can turn into a cooking marathon because of the painstaking precision required? Being as keen on cooking as I am on discussing my beloved pets, Luna and Olive, I can't help but notice this annoying trend. When it comes to cooking, precision can be an enemy rather than an ally.

Preparing a meal should be an adventure, not a scientific experiment. Yet, many a times online recipes treat it like the latter. They lay out, in excruciating detail, the exact pinches, dollops and grams required. Hell, the only thing not specified is the pressure exerted on the knife while chopping. I keep expecting to see 'Apply 2 newtons of force' next to 'Chop the onions'!

One Size Doesn't Fit All

When it comes to online recipes, there seems to be a presupposed uniformity in taste buds, which clearly isn't true. Just as Luna prefers her kibble slightly moist and Olive is an outspoken fan of crunchy treats, us humans too have our unique taste preferences. So, when an online recipe orders you to add precisely three cloves of garlic, it's not really taking into account the diversity of our taste buds. Saying 'don't go beyond three or you'll cancel your date plans' would have made better sense.

Ingredient Variance

The variance in ingredients’ quality and taste profile from place to place is another aspect we need to consider. As an Auckland resident, the fresh catch from the local market tastes substantially different from the vacuum-sealed imports at the supermarket. And online recipes seem to blissfully ignore this reality. They don't take into account how different a locally sourced ingredient might taste compared to its super-store equivalent. So, when deciding to follow an online recipe, remember - location matters.

Scripting a Symphony of Flavours

Did you ever come across a recipe that asks you to 'stir until fragrant', and you're left wondering just how fragrant is fragrant? Well, cooking is an art, not a step-by-step IKEA assembly guide. It's more about feeling and less about following. Besides, the fun part is in sniffing, tasting and meddling along the way! Honest to Luna, more than a couple of my experiments, including my signature mussel stew, were discovered by way of diverting from the recipe!

When Cooking, Size Matters

The size of cookware, believe it or not, seriously affects the outcome of your cooking. But most online recipes conveniently skim over this. Using a wide, shallow pan when the recipe calls for a deep, narrow one can dramatically alter the result. A shallow pan allows more water to evaporate, meaning your sauce might turn out thicker than intended. It's like trying to fit Olive, who we all know is considerably fluffier than Luna, into Luna's bed - things may fit, but they won't exactly be comfortable.

The Temperature Trauma

One of the cardinal sins of online recipes is ignoring the significance of knowing your oven or stove. Not all ovens are created equal, and a setting of 180 degrees on my oven might yield a different result than on yours. Much like how Luna and Olive are different, with Luna being more likely to lounge in the sun while Olive prefers the shade, our kitchen appliances too have their quirks we need to cater to.

Adapting to Your Audience

Public Service Announcement: Not everyone reading your recipe is a culinary school graduate! It's crucial to breakdown the jargon rather than assume everyone is familiar with it. For instance, I remember being perplexed by the term 'chiffonade' for the longest time. Remember, simple language doesn't deter the experts but complex lingo can certainly alienate beginners. It's all about being considerate, much like how I have to make sure both Luna and Olive have their separate spaces to play, rest, and eat.

The Lack of Personal Touch

Ultimately, cooking is a way to nurture, to celebrate, to comfort, to express. It carries the signature of the cook, their personality, their love. And no amount of written instruction can truly capture this. Just remember the warmth of a home-cooked meal, the joy in sharing it, the memories it stirs. No online recipe can replace that. Doesn't matter whether you're Luna or Olive, we all know that homemade is where the heart is.

So, my fellow home cooks, don't be disheartened by these online recipes. Instead, let's learn to interpret them, to adapt, to tweak, to own. Let's turn cooking back into the celebration it should be. Remember, a little perseverance and a whole lot of love goes a long way in perfecting that dish, just like it does when teaching Luna a new trick or getting Olive to warm up to a visitor. Enjoy the process, and the result would be even more delicious! Dig in!

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