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Thursday, April 22, 2010

Crazy bantering : cookbooks

I reckon many wannabee cooks are like me whenever they see a recipe from a cookbook - dive into the actual hands-on without reading the pages before and after.

So it was to great chagrin that I discovered after several episodes of near failure that essential information is stated in the pesky page called preface.

For once, I realized that when the author mentions butter, it is "room temperature" unless otherwise stated. The trouble is that what's room temperature in the north is freezing at the tropics. Or a finger of butter ( but is it the thumb or little finger ? )

Likewise it's a certain wattage for the oven so good luck if your oven is anything but that. Worse still, who knows what the oven's wattage is when the heat box has been lying around for ages?

Yet, cooking is a precise art, a food science. While estimation is fine in home cooking, approximation in the commercial world is a no-no.

So what's for dinner mum? Help me locate my cauldron, stirring stick and the wonky charcoal stove. That's it : a 15 kg cast iron cauldron, 2 meters walnut stick and 400 watts charcoal stove.

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