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  #1  
Old 01-25-2011, 07:10 PM
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Default Memorizing recipes

You know that I rarely follow recipes. I do, however, for baked goods. Red Velvet cake has become the Red Gravy signature cake. As a result, I make it all the time now. I'm at a point where I barely need to look at the recipe any longer. I also make cinnamon danish, following an easy, single rise, recipe. I've almost memorized that recipe, too.
Lou....!!?? Lou just about has the secret Red Gravy Meatball recipe down. He really only needs me for the salt and pepper. He knows every other part of it.
Barbara makes the macaroni and potato salad, cole slaw and garlic bread without direction any longer.

Have you ever made anything so often that you know the recipe by heart? I don't mean something you grew up making, but rather something you initially followed a recipe for that you no longer need to.
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Old 01-25-2011, 08:39 PM
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Default Re: Memorizing recipes

Toll House cookies. I made them every weekend at my grandmother's house as kid, so of course I memorized the recipe on the back of the package.

And I still know it by heart.

Lee
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Old 01-25-2011, 08:44 PM
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Default Re: Memorizing recipes

Kraft Mac and Cheese
1/4 c milk
1/2 stick of butter
Mix in sauce packet.
Done
Oh, and I am serious..
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Old 01-25-2011, 08:45 PM
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Default Re: Memorizing recipes

Me too, Lee. And I use that basic recipe for all sorts of variations. I have my bread recipe memorized, and also the cinnamon rolls that I make every few days for a local coffee shop. Vera is right - you can't really "wing it" with baked goods. The right amount of leavening, especially, is pretty important. BTW, Vera, when you get an opportunity, is there a chance you could share your cinnamon danish recipe? I know you are WAY busier than I am, so I am willing to wait.....
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Old 01-25-2011, 09:11 PM
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Default Re: Memorizing recipes

my sourdough starters I've made so many times the numbers are in my head don't need a recipe for that or for the dough itself really not too hard to remember flour, water, salt, sugar. But a big accomplishment for my Pee brain.
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Old 01-25-2011, 09:32 PM
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Default Re: Memorizing recipes

I was taught in Culinary School that "Cooking is an Art; Baking is a Science."

They ain't kidding, folks! They are not called "recipes", but "formulations". It's a mathematical science to get the yields you need.

That said, yes, I have a few memorized as well. East Coast Grill Cornbread, Thrill of the Grill, is memorized. I've been making that FOR YEARS!
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Old 01-25-2011, 09:33 PM
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Default Re: Memorizing recipes

If the recipe has any more than about a half dozen ingredients or three steps I use a recipe. I never repeat the same recipe often enough to commit it to memory.
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Old 01-25-2011, 11:15 PM
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Default Re: Memorizing recipes

most everything I do is from memory, but as Allen hit on, baking is different. The ONLY things I do from memory baking are scones, buttermilk biscuits, and and choux paste for ecliars/profiteroles/paris brest.

The rest of the stuff, if have made it once/twice, or just have a general knowledge of the dish and its' origins, I am good to go.
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Old 01-26-2011, 12:00 AM
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Default Re: Memorizing recipes

i have crs, so i am unable to even think of baking something from memory.

as far as cooking goes, i really only have 1 memorized recipe, and that's because it was one of the first things i ever made, and it was told to me like it was a story. it's for meatballs in sauce/gravy.

when i first started at cbs 24 years ago, i worked with an old italian guy (who looks just like uncle leo from seinfeld) whose mom was famous for her meatball recipe. when i asked him to ask her if i could have it, he translated her notes in italian to me.

everything was to be done in trees. (yes, i know. trees, i thought?)

he meant some factor of the number three.

you take 2 thirds of a pound of ground beef, and one third of a pound of ground pork and mix them up in a big bowl. tree times the size of what you think you'll need.

add tree eggwhites, and add about one third of the volume of meat in seasoned breadcrumbs. add another 1/3rd of the volume in dried parsley, and another 1/3rd of the volume in grated cheese.

add 3 quick splashes of milk, and mush everything together. roll into balls a third larger than a golfball, and brown on at least 3 sides in olive oil before adding them to the pot of sauce.

so, you see, trees.

and that's my only memorized recipe.
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Old 01-26-2011, 04:04 AM
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Default Re: Memorizing recipes

i have got many recipes tucked into my mind. 'cept 4 that dagnabbin pastry- i've formulas & that though i've a lack of interest!~
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Old 01-26-2011, 07:04 AM
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Default Re: Memorizing recipes

I can make white sauce and meatloaf from memory. Those are the only things that I can do consistently.

For many / most cooking, I do not use a recipe. My daughter once told me "If you make a meal and you really like it, sit down and enjoy it, you will never make another just like it." I find her to be correct.
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Old 01-26-2011, 08:29 AM
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Default Re: Memorizing recipes

American Cream Ale, and coffee. That's about it for me. The funny thing is, I often make things without a recipe, especially chili. The running joke is that I've never made the same chili twice.

Most things I use a recipe for I need to glance at the recipe as a refresher, and then I'm off and running.
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Old 01-26-2011, 08:38 AM
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Default Re: Memorizing recipes

pancakes....whole grain....been making pancakes twice a week for maybe 30 years now. The technique is odd. And I made a major change to the recipe recently by looking at a recipe for sweet potato pancakes....I now add one cup of cooked sweet potatoes but use the usual whole grain recipe I make.
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Old 01-26-2011, 10:33 AM
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Default Re: Memorizing recipes

I usually cook without recipes, and then after the fact, try to quantify what I did so that I can write it down. Later, if I try to make it from the recipe, it is never the same! I'm better off to do it by 'feel'.

When I bake I make french buttercream, pie crust, genoise, custard, ganache by heart. I also do those old time standards, No-bake chocolate oatmeal drops and Crazy Cake by heart.
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Old 01-27-2011, 10:46 AM
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Default Re: Memorizing recipes

I watch loads of recipe's on TV, then try to memorise them and make them myself - sometimes it works, sometimes not. But I always remember how to make Chocolate Brownies from when I was a child. Still delicious now from that 1970's cookbook recipe.
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