I bet you figured out, at a very young age, that food is pretty important. Eating became a real habit, and, at some point, you discovered that you could make your own food. But it didn’t always go well. It sounded good, but baloney and peanut butter with mayonnaise just didn’t taste so hot. And adding pickles didn’t help all that much either. That’s when you started to learn about recipes.
Recipes are lists with instructions. You get a list of ingredients and directions on what to do with them. If you understand the instructions and measure the ingredients carefully you usually end up with a decent meal. Some recipes have just a few ingredients and straightforward instructions. That makes getting a consistent result easier, fewer opportunities to screw up. Sometimes you’ll see a recipe that has a full page of ingredients and two pages of instructions. It can be pretty daunting. But if you have some experience and confidence, you can make it work. If you’re really good you may be able to substitute ingredients and still make something spectacular.
My favorite recipe is very simple:
1 Great tomato, sliced thick
1 Slab of very sharp cheddar cheese
2 Slices of great multigrain bread
Salt, to taste.
Spread the mustard on the bread, both slices. Lay the tomato slices on one slice of bread, salt if you want. Put the cheese over that and then add the other slice of bread. Note: the mustard should be on the inside faces of the bread.
Eat. Note 2: Have a good napkin handy.
Sometimes you get a great tomato but you don’t have the other stuff, you have to wing it with what you have on hand. Maybe you have bread crumbs and some parmesan cheese. That can work just fine. Don’t add the margarine. That would be gross.
I’ve just described building a house, too. If you can start from scratch you can specify the correct materials, where they go and how to use them. If you do all of that right, you should end up with a decent building. (Remember the “did everything right” part. It doesn’t always happen.)
With an old house you have to start with what’s there. If there are multiple layers of materials you either have to remove them or figure out how they work together and what materials will work with them. As with cooking, this takes a bit more knowledge and experience. The chances of getting something that doesn’t work right increase.
Follow along with this blog and we’ll discuss recipes that work and those that don’t, building construction wise. It’s good to go in with a bit of knowledge. If your soufflé fails you can order a pizza and still eat. If your house grows smelly things because the ingredients were incompatible, that can be very unappetizing.