Last night, my wife made her soon-to-be-famous Breakfast Cookies- a hearty cookie which includes whole wheat flour, rolled oats, milled flax seed, pecans, applesauce, and about 47 other ingredients which elude me. She’s scoured the internet and has combined some ingredients from this recipe with some ingredients from that recipe. This is the third or fourth time she’s made them and each time they seem to get better and better. After she finished baking last night, she commented that she thought she had finally gotten the recipe “dialed in” and proceeded to write it down.
While she tends to prefer the consistency of a proven recipe, I prefer to develop my recipes by feel. Lately, I’ve been concentrating on trying to emulate some of the principles that guided my grandparents and other ancestors, namely that expensive ingredients do not necessarily equate to good food and that inexpensive ingredients can often equate to excellent food. I’m starting to feel pretty confident about being able to make really good bread, pasta/ noodles/ dumplings, Swedish Pancakes, soups, pesto, and lately home-made pita bread or naan. All of these are very inexpensive to make. This fall I really want to start making sausage.
Good food, eaten with people you love, has the ability to bring people even closer. My Grandma Emma and Grandpa Dodge did not come from wealthy families, quite the contrary. But her culinary abilities made us feel like we were eating like kings. Always and without fail, my Grandpa Dodge would end a special meal by pushing his plate away, and with a giant grin on his face say, “What do you think the poor people are doing tonight?”