One Way to Think About Recipes

I listened one morning as a farmer described the way she works. In the face of weird climate changes, she called a farm up the road to see if they had the same bug coming out a month earlier than usual. Still another neighbor has a magic way with tractors and could come down with his set of tools and know-how. And there was always the extension service that could supply some practical science. But she also brought attentiveness, instinct, and experience to judge if crops needed water or were ready to harvest.

We feel the same way about the kitchen—that the recipe is not the boss—you are, which is funny coming from people writing a cookbook. We’ve made the book’s recipes over and over again, asking our friends and family to give them a try, and they come out a little different every time. One cook packs the sugar into the cup, another scoops it for a scant measure. One cook doesn’t have the sweet potatoes, so substitutes butternut squash and gets different but still delicious result.

Bread & Beauty has 120 (at last count) traditional recipes, with ingredient lists, measurements, and step-by-step directions, but we kind of hope you’ll ignore some of that and make adjustments for your own palate and pans, the same way farmers farm. 

And, if you'd like to help us test recipes, we'd be delighted! Get in touch and we'll send you some recipes.

Claudia Kousoulas