Thursday, June 5, 2008

Recipe Deal Breakers, from an Organizing Perspective

tajine, also called couscousier

What keeps you from deciding to try a recipe? Apartment Therapy: The Kitchen has a discussion of the New York Times piece on this subject, and some of the common themes have an organizing component.

1. Recipe calls for ingredients you wouldn't use for anything else.

Most of us won't want to clutter up our pantries with ingredients specific to one recipe - although there could certainly be exceptions.

As mh330 writes: "Anything with more than 1 obscure ingredient that I don't already own. I hate 'investing' in an unproven recipe, only to have a cabinet full of spices that I don't know what to do with after the dish is cooked."

2. Recipe calls for pots, pans, or utensils you don't have.

You probably don't want to buy and store a special pan just for one recipe - although again, there will certainly be some exceptions.

As SisterRae writes about her deal breakers: "Equipment I don't have - ice cream makers, tart pans, charcoal grill, pressure cooker, slow cooker."

And as the Times article says: "Unusual equipment is a common deal breaker, too. How many times has a couscous recipe been cast aside because there is no couscousière in the house?"

3. Recipe takes too much time.

As Tazer writes: "Deal breaker is always time. If there are overnight or several hour wait times or it just looks like there are enough steps to keep me in the kitchen for more than three hours then forget it."

And Kathryn Hill writes: "These days, anything that's got more than 6 ingredients and will take hours to make, and requires me to make some special stock or sauce from scratch to accompany it, is a deal breaker because I do not have time."

Related newsletter article: Organizing the Recipes

[photo of tajine/couscousier from Unica Home]


Allison Spitzer Carter said...

#4 - recipe calls for more than a smidge of cream, oleo, fatback, or other ultra fattening ingredient.
It just turns me off when they don't find a healthier alternative.
#5 - My kids or Husband won't eat it.

Jessica said...

#6 - anyone in the house is allergic to any one of the ingredients
#7 - recipe calls for an ingredient I don't like to eat or cook with

lissanne said...

You'll all love Australia's biggest selling book of 2007 - and it's self published!

no fancy photos or methods - just four simple ingredients in each recipe. Must be a reason it's sold so many copies.

Don't think have it but you can have it shipped internationally.

Jeri Dansky said...

Lissanne, I didn't much like their two sample recipes, but the idea sounds good.

I got curious, and checked the to-try recipes on my refrigerator door. They range from 5-10 ingredients, most running around 6-7.

New Leaf News said...

Years ago my friend Maria, a wonderful cook, was organizing the small library of recipes she had torn from newspapers and magazines. As she sorted the pile, she glanced at one, tossed it aside into the reject pile, turned to me, and said, "you can make anything taste good with that much butter, cream and cheese!"

Jeri Dansky said...

Allison and New Leaf News: When I weeded out my own recipe collection, I too got rid of those calling for more butter or cream than I was comfortable using. That's just not how I cook (or eat) any more - even though butter and cream can sure make things taste yummy.