The problem I have with recipes is all of the back and forth.
The contemporary recipe format (for home cooks) first lists ingredients and their measures, and then a list of steps for the procedure. But this design means that, as you cook, you have to keep jumping between the two sections.
It works if you practice mise en place, I suppose, if you have the kitchen space and prep bowls and patience. I do not.
And I realize this seems minor, but it’s a little more pressing when the vegetables are already in the pan and you need to add the garlic, mirin, and shoyu—uhh, 2 cloves of garlic, so double that to 4, two tablespoons of mirin, what was the third thing? shoyu, right—but now the timer is beeping because the noodles need to be pulled off before they’re overcooked, and, where were you again?
Also, it seems like a problem that doesn’t need to exist. And so: Designing a Better Recipe
This bothers me a lot! So much so that, when cooking more complicated meals, for the holidays for example, I’ll rewrite everything I’m planning on making in a different format that won’t need all of that back and forth.
- Yotam Ottolenghi. Plenty. 2010.
- Dominic Smith. “Pots of Gold”. Delicious, May 2021.