Today, we're quite married to these temperatures (myself included), convinced that a recipe just might not turn out as it should if our oven is off. I'm guilty of having three separate thermometers inside of our oven to gauge how off it may be at any given time. The article makes the point that temperatures are so often off and it would behoove all of us to get to really know our food and be able to judge for ourselves when it seems done. For me, easier said than done. But I like the concept.
Similarly, Mark Bittman just wrote a piece for The New York Times discussing a fish dinner he recently made for himself. Bittman discusses how these days he rarely relies on recipes; instead he feels as though "cooking is like music, but easier: the basic skills are not difficult to attain, and the creativity comes not in reinventing them but in imagining new ways in which to combine them." And this imagining often comes from simply opening the refrigerator door and trusting your instincts.
I think these two pieces are especially relevant as we sit here in August, many of us with hot kitchens and no desire to turn on the oven in the first place, and with a ton of wonderful produce at the ready: this is the time to let your instincts, cravings, and inspiration take hold.This is the time to put away the recipes, rely on your senses, and trust that you know much more about your food than you think you do.
Any tips or stories of August kitchen freedom to share?
(Image: Flickr member land_camera_land_camera licensed under Creative Commons)