I have done it a few times, googling how to replace an ingredient when I’m in the middle of cooking and noticed I don’t have everything I need. Searching: What can I use instead of buttermilk? Or what is a good substitute for dry rosemary? With new recipes, when I have to replace any ingredients I can’t tell the difference in its flavor or its presentation, but with an old recipe, I can certainly see the differences? Small changes in flavor, consistency, and most importantly how your stomach feels!
When I was little sitting at the breakfast table my grandmother will decide what to make for lunch and sometimes for dinner. She would name a few dishes and make a decision, pick up her shopping basket, and head to the maker. After a couple of hours which was normal since my grandma would stop and have conversations with friends and neighbors while shopping. Catching up on all the news from, who is getting married, taking a vacation, or having a baby. She will enter her kitchen in a hurry with a basket full of seasonal vegetables, herbs, and fruits ready to cook.
The sound of dicing chopping peeling will echo through the house and later the aroma of herbs and rice and vegetables will take us to the kitchen. If I was lucky she will let me help with making spinach or lamb patties. Lovingly graciously, she would wrap a kitchen towel around me and pull a chair next to hers. I start with my small hands shaping quarter-size patties, I would have my special corner in the pan next to her perfect oval-shaped ones. I was always asking questions “ what is the green vegetable? And what is the yellow bean”? My grandmother in detail will explain, “ the green herb is mint and the yellow bean is lentil”. Then she will explain in detail again how every ingredient helps in flavoring our food and satisfying our tastebuds. She would say “Mint helps to settle your stomach since you have lentils in your food.” Every meal served was made with seasonal ingredients and was perfect for the time. Every ingredient had more than one purpose, to add flavor, and beauty, and to keep the digestive system healthy.
Trying new recipes is exhilarating and I am always happy to know I have found a new dish that my family enjoys. To make every dish perfect and original I take the time to read the recipe and stop at the grocery store to pick up everything I am missing. To create the original flavor takes patience, but all I need to remember is that every old recipe has been refined for years by experts who made it lovingly for their family, just like my grandmother did.🥰