There are many aspects of cooking that are sexy, exotic and exciting.
Accurate measurement of ingredients is not one of those things. Rather than conjuring up images of roaming a foreign city sampling surprising street food, the idea of weighing things to the gram takes us back to Year 7 Home Economics and Mrs G telling us for the fifth time that ovens were hot.
One page in to Leith’s Technique Bible, and I’m beginning to think that Mrs G flashbacks are a big part of the reason why people can get excited far more easily over ingredients and gadgets than technique.
Yes, that’s right. My thrilling culinary journey starts with a list of instructions that boil down to the message that good cooks do not “just eyeball it”. Ever.
I am dubious. I learnt to cook watching my parents, who owned measuring cups and spoons largely because it was the done thing. My usual approach can, in fact, be summed up by the time MJ asked me for the ratio of water and oats to make porridge and I replied in all seriousness, “Some and some.”
Could it really make a noticeable difference if I made sure each teaspoon was level? Or, in fact, used a teaspoon?
Would it streamline my cooking to measure all ingredients before I began, or would it just create a billion times more washing and drive me to the edge of lunacy?
Was fine cooking really all about the bullseye?
Find out in my next post, where I’ll cook the same dish twice: once my way, and once Leith’s.
Readers, are you measurers or eyeballers? Is 307g ever good enough when 300g is called for?