I was recently in a workshop hosted by writing coach Don Fry, and he asked us this question: Are you a planner, or a plunger? Do you sketch out each piece of an outline before writing? Or do you just plunge in and let the process take you away? I was thinking of how this question applies to cooking and kitchen work, too. Do you read through a recipe before starting? Do you mentally outline the process? Or do you just pull out a few ingredients and get to work? Obviously this depends on the dish you're preparing (croissants vs. a simple green salad will demand different levels of planning!) but which one do you lean towards?
I deliberately didn't give you a third choice here, a recipe-dependent choice — I am just curious which way you lean, not necessarily what you do every time you cook.
Also, a little more about Don. He's a freelance writing coach — you can discover more about him at his blog, which is full of good musings and tips for writers:
(Images: Sara Kate Gillingham-Ryan; Leela Cyd Ross)