16 Things I Do “Wrong” When I Cook — And Refuse to Change, Ever
Something you should know about me is that I like rules. My childhood home was affectionately lawless, so I rebelled by engaging in the opposite behavior — creating rules for myself and following them with religious zeal. But the apple didn’t fall as far from the tree as I like to pretend it did. I’m still rigid about my rules, but I realize now that most of them are of my own choosing, and I often ignore society’s expectations. For example, I refuse to fold towels, I let guests clean, and I put hand-wash-only items in the dishwasher.
This inclination to do what I want, rules be damned, is never more apparent than when I’m cooking a meal for my family. Whether decided by society, pro chefs, or home chefs on the internet, here are 16 ways I don’t do as I’m told when preparing food.
1. I don’t debone fish.
I can’t be bothered. I hand my family their plates and encourage them to proceed with caution.
2. I wear my hair down when I’m cooking.
My kids live with a dog. They can deal with removing the occasional human hair from their plate.
3. My bread rises in the bowl I kneaded it in.
I remove the dough with one hand, oil the bowl with the other, and return the dough to the bowl. I’m not a contestant on The Great British Baking Show, and my bread rises just fine — no washing a second bowl required.
4. I store my butter in a cabinet … longer than recommended.
I’m not saying it’s OK — I’m just saying I haven’t died. (And neither have my husband or kids.)
5. I use food past the “best by” date.
I like to think of the printed dates as an educated guess — which, ultimately, I’m pretty sure they are.
6. I lick the beater when I bake.
Every single time. Isn’t that the best part of baking?
7. I use salted butter in all my baking.
I am fierce about this one, and I *never* buy unsalted butter. Why would I?
8. I underbake cookies.
9. I don’t use plastic wrap.
People prepared food before plastic wrap; it’s really not that hard.
10. I rarely have everything ready at the same time.
My solution? This problem is easily solved by pretending I planned to serve the meal in courses.
11. I skip the vanilla.
If I’m spending more than $20 on a tiny bottle, it had better be made of stronger stuff. I’ve found that I like Cointreau better in my brownies anyway.
12. I don’t cook pasta in an ocean of water.
If I’m making Trader Joe’s spinach tortellini for my kids, I’m definitely not washing a giant stockpot for that. The smaller, the better.
13. I overcook broccoli.
But only for my kids — they like it “burned.” I choose to say it’s caramelized. Everything’s a preference.
14. I turn the heat up too high when I make pancakes.
As a result, my husband always offers to make weekend pancakes. Why on Earth would I change?
15. I feed my dog while I cook, constantly.
She loves carrots so much that she’s basically more rabbit than golden retriever now.
16. I always triple the amount of garlic and/or lemon zest in a recipe.
There’s never enough in the original (for my taste, at least).
What rules do you break in the kitchen? Let us know in the comments!