How to Understand a Recipe

Better Times packs a pile of information. You may look at it and think, how can I ever understand all this? Well, you don't sit down to memorize the whole thing. Nobody is going to give you a test, you can't flunk. Better Times is a suitcase. Unpack it, one item at a time.

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To understand a recipe, read it out loud, slowly, twice. Think about what you read. What ingredients does it require? What cooking steps are involved? What pans and kitchen utensils will you need?

Read it again. How long does it take to cook? Is it a meal-all-by-itself, or do you need a couple of other recipes to make up a full meal?

Read it again, and this time, say "first", "second", "third", "fourth" and so on in front of each sentence or step in the recipe.

When cooking from a recipe, after you have read it several times -- out loud -- the steps to preparation are:

1. Get all the kitchen utensils you need -- pots, pans, dishes, bowls, measuring cup and spoons, forks, whatever you need to prepare this dish.

2. Get all the ingredients together in one spot.

3. To make everything rally easy, measure the ingredients into separate little bowls (like plastic margarine tubs, or empty jars, or bowls). Ingredients that only require 1 or 2 tablespoons (tbsp) or teaspoons (tsp) are best measured at the time they are to be added to the mixture.

4. Using the recipe as your guide, put the ingredients together as described in the recipe.

5. Eat the tasty food you have prepared yourself.

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