I find normal cooking to be a good thing and something I like doing. What I find even more fantastic is experimental cooking. Experimental cooking is when you cook outside the norms and rules laid down by ancient unknown/invisible forces. I usually wonder why water should be boiled to 100 degrees Celsius before adding the rice, when I can put both at the same time or anytime and still get the same result. I have never understood some set rules in cookery when they all achieve the same results when done otherwise. I love challenging the normal and usual in cooking. I believe that is what makes a confident cook. This is applicable in all areas of life.
When I was in my late teenage years, my mum and aunts were always on my case about my inability to properly cook and make soups. This totally puts me off cooking and I always got apprehensive about cooking. My mum had this define rules/norms she followed. All her sisters and relatives followed these same norms/rules to cooking. She tired teaching me too but I was finding some unnecessary and challenged others.
I also had an older family friend who tried to teach me how to cook. She had totally different norms/rules to what my mum does. She obviously thought hers’ was the right one and my mum thought the same about her own too. They both gave me HUGE headaches when I was trying to decide on which to abide by.
When I moved into my own place and stopped eating out, I started cooking. However, I didn't really start enjoying cooking until I challenged the norms, doing my own twists and coming up with my own recipes. I use lime/lemon to cook every type of chicken, I don’t fry my tomato paste with oil and the list goes on and on. I have made lots of mistakes, try and errors but also learned a whole lot of things. When I now think back, I feel both my mum and family friend was both right, they just had styles that they stuck to when cooking.
I have gotten very interested in other cultures’ spices and food. I don’t believe there is a wrong way of cooking, I just believe everyone has their own way and should sometimes push and break boundaries, try things differently.
“Begin challenging your own assumptions. Your assumptions are your windows on the world. Scrub them off every once in a while, or the light won't come in.” - Alan Alda
What cooking rules/norms do you follow? Have you challenged it?