Add Just a Pinch

When it comes to creating delectable—or just even edible dishes, there are two types of cooks. Those who follow a recipe. And those who don’t.

Back in the day, when I was a high school student and home ec was a required class, we were taught to not only follow recipes, but to carefully measure the ingredients. A cup of flour needed to be leveled off with a knife. Liquids were poured into a glass measuring cup and eyed at table level to get an accurate reading.

For years, those rules remained ingrained in me. When cooking or baking, I didn’t deviate from the recipe. Of course, most of the time, my dishes turned out pretty well, but I didn’t allow for any experimentation. 

Then my husband and son-in-law stirred things up in the kitchen. They’re both great cooks and neither strictly follow recipes. My husband changes this and that and may not measure ingredients, while my son-in-law enjoys creating his own dishes.

The thing is … the food not only turns out … it's often improved from the originals.

So, now I take a few risks here and there. I sometimes add in a little more or less of an ingredient. I may throw in something that’s not even listed in the recipe.

I’ve learned to apply this lesson to not only my cooking, but my life … It was pretty much the same. I stuck to a plan or a schedule and was reluctant to change course. I played it safe. 

It’s good to have a plan to follow. Without one, it’s sometimes difficult to get anything accomplished. We don’t want to wander aimlessly through our days, weeks, and years. 

If we follow our plan too closely—afraid to veer off the path for even a short amount of time—we risk missing out on something exciting. Just like food without seasoning, our life can become bland. And who wants to lead a boring life? 

Like a chief adding a pinch of seasoning here and a pinch of spice there … taking little adventures and experiencing new things adds flavor to our lives.

So what are you going to “cook up” this coming week?


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