Last night I dreamed about Julia Child. I think it came from a combination of having recently finished Dearie (which I enjoyed enormously!) and having a question on my mind that I could not answer but I figured she could.
I have been pondering constancy in cooking.
I told you how much I loved those “cowboy” beans from Hoover’s Texa-Mexi-Cue Trailer, right? So I went back over the weekend to get more. I bought a quart but asked them to package it as 2 pints. Wise, otherwise I might have eaten the entire quart at one sitting! They were just as good as the first batch I enjoyed, but they weren’t quite the same. These were a touch spicier and not quite as thick.
Now this could be because they were a newer batch, or because there was a different cook, or because the spices were fresher, or… too many variables! So that’s what I wanted to ask Julia about.
I asked her “How can I ensure the same taste and texture batch to batch in cooking and baking?” She replied “Well, that is an interesting question.”
Then I woke up.
I guess you just can’t. That’s part of what makes cooking so interesting and sometimes challenging. And I guess that’s why so many recipes state “salt and pepper to taste“, even though (in soups and stews and anything that has leftovers) taste will be different on the second day.
Or, there can be new pollen in the air or fresh paint in your living room or something else that can change how things taste to you even if the food is exactly the same.
Still, I haven’t had any complaints from my little friends. I guess my “simple syrup” is constant enough for them – they’re going through it like Sherman through Georgia; I sometimes have to refill the feeders twice a day!
Speaking of simple syrups, they aren’t always so very simple! I’ve had them on my mind as well, so stay tuned…!
Meantime, I gotta go refill some feeders. Until next time… mmmmm!!