[Sca-cooks] Contests was Definition of "Period Cooking" was Re: Substitute for Potatoes?

Judith Epstein judith at ipstenu.org
Tue Aug 25 07:47:29 PDT 2009

On Aug 25, 2009, at 9:39 AM, Gretchen Beck wrote:

> What I'm having a hard time with is why you feel passing down a  
> tradition or knowledge in writing (and accepting such a tradition is  
> so inferior intellectually and emotionally than person to person --  
> it's an extremely foreign idea (I can accept you feel that way, but  
> I can't imagine feeling that way myself or how or why you got to  
> that place).
> toodles, margaret

Okay, since the subject isn't closed after all, let's try it this way.

Baseball. (Thank you, Phlip.)

Read a book about baseball (or any other sport, really). Read two  
books. Read fifty. But until you have seen a game of baseball played,  
you do not know the game. You DON'T. Sorry, no, you don't.

Cooking is the same way. Read all the books you want, but until  
someone SHOWS you their technique, you do not understand what they're  
going for in their cooking. So, while I can learn a lot from  
documentation, I will still never know what the original creator of  
the recipe had in mind. The exact size to chop the nuts, the exact  
pressure to exert on the dough, the exact speed with which one  
stirs... it's all a mystery. What in the world is a "moderate oven?"  
My oven's medium sized, so I guess that qualifies, right? No,  
"moderate" in this case is a temperature setting, but I don't know  
what that temperature is, until I've SEEN someone light the cookfire,  
get the flames to just the right height, then put the food on. Or let  
the wood turn to smoldering coals, maybe, and then put the food on.  
Until I see it in action, I really don't know what the creator of the  
recipe had in mind. That's why, yes, to me, written work is inferior  
to what can be learned by watching. I can't watch a medieval cook,  
ergo my food will NEVER taste like the original would have tasted.

Now, come on, there has got to be SOMETHING ELSE that can be  
discussed. LET IT bloody GO.

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