I have a few pet peeves when I am trying to follow a recipe. I am not a great cook so I do rely heavily on the recipe to get it right. I am sure I have made some of these errors in documenting how I have modified the recipes so this is also a memo to self. So my pet recipe peeves are:
- Imprecise ingredient lists. I hate it when something says a can. How big is a can? Does it vary between countries? Similar story for things like bunches. I can just about live with terms like handfuls.
- Not giving an indication of time. I understand that things can vary depending on for example how thick you cut the meat etc, but I like the recipe to not only give a description as to what I should be looking for to check something is done (eg onion is translucent) but also an indication of time (2-3 minutes). That way if it is taking way shorter or longer than expected it suggests I am doing something wrong.
- Not giving a temperature for cooking. It doesn’t have to be exact, I am happy to work with low, medium and high but some recipes omit this assuming a dodgy cook like me can tell.
- Recipes that completely underestimate the cooking or prep time or omit that the food needs to marinate for 5 hours. I normally accept that the prep is going to take me a bit longer as I am not a faster chopper. But sometimes it is just ridiculous.
- Recipes that are heavily reliant on pre-packaged food. I find this is more a problem with American recipes. I get the impression there is a much wider range of prepackaged food in the US than in Australia.
- Recipes that give a calorie count omitting the main ingredient. I came across this the other day and the meat part of the dish was omitted. I know my Mum relies on these counts in deciding to cook something and I think she could easily miss that the main ingredient was not included. I think the problem was that the recipe only said one lamb fillet with no size so I assume they couldn’t calculate the calories but that goes back to my first peeve. Why bother with the calories if you can’t include the main ingredient?
But this is not a huge list and I find I can work out most recipes so that the meal is fairly reasonable.