Wednesday, August 5, 2009

The "Chase Terms" in Recipes

I like to cook, but I usually look for recipes that are less complicated and less time-consuming. I am definitely a full tier below those who cook regularly and who take on the tough recipes. What's a tough recipe?

Well, there are terms that I call "chase terms" -- words you read within a recipe that tend to chase away amateur cooks like myself. These terms signal difficulty. Here is an example of chase terms:
  • cheese cloth
  • clarified butter
  • dry yeast
  • bouquet garni
  • parchment paper
  • creme of tartar
Now, I'm not suggesting that every single recipe with one of these terms is necessarily tough to prepare. I'm simply saying that I've learned from experience or observation that a recipe with one or more of these items is likely to be tough or time-consuming. Plus, most of us don't have cheese cloth lying around our kitchen.

I noticed that posted this forum, asking visitors to name "the most difficult recipe" they had ever prepared.

I like to cook, but I also have a busy job and an active social life. Eating and cooking should fit into my life, not control it. So, for the time being, when I scan a recipe, I will keep looking for those chase terms.

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