I got a love of food from both my parents. But there’s no question at all that my mom is chief the cook of the family. Dinner on the table every night. Specials meals for holidays and celebrations. Damn fine baked goods. My father’s cooking style is more experimental. He eschews recipes and wings everything. The results can be…unexpected. But when he stumbles on a hit, it’s his for life.
One example is his jarred chipotle peppers in tomato sauce, a sort of faux chipotle in adobo. Jalapenos roasted in his smoker, chopped, and then cooked with tomatoes from the garden. He makes this every year now with his glut of jalapenos, and the jar in my fridge is one of my prized possessions.
After a recent camping trip, my dad acquired a sourdough starter. Keeping it alive was his first goal, and it’s lasted several months so far. Lately, he’s moved on to actually cooking with it. The man who gifted him starter makes pancakes out of it by adding a bit of oil and “maybe one or two other things.” My dad thought that sounded a bit unnecessary. He just uses the starter straight from the jar. It works for him!
The resulting pancake tastes strongly of sourdough. But, think how nice it is to wake up with ready-made pancake batter in the fridge. Thanks for the breakfast and the fearless cooking, Dad!
Are you a “wing-it” sort of cook? What hits have you discovered by ignoring all the best advice and going with your gut?