Why commonplace? – #3

If you read my earlier post you will already know about commonplace books. Since I started writing this blog I have also been writing down my recipes in a notebook. What has struck me about that simple act is how it has already started to improve my cooking. The combination of a notebook and publishing my thoughts and recipes is making me think more clearly, capture more details and plan ahead.

I don’t “cook” every day, the day job makes the idea of doing much more than re-heating something out of  the freezer of an evening a challenge. But now when I purposefully spend time in the kitchen creating food I write it down.

Even recipes that I make regularly now get written down each time. Being able to look back to previous times with the same recipe allows me to experiment with minor tweaks to the flavour, use a different ingredient, and to correct mistakes.

It also adds a little element of diary to my blog. So I know that in the last week of August 2017 I am eating Cheese and chives scones, and mince pies. I know that because I baked scones on 26th and mince pies on 27th.

My commonplace book is also driving forward my planning for new recipes. I can write down ideas and random thoughts as they occur and revisit them later. I decided that this Christmas I will be making homemade mincemeat. A simple enough recipe but it is 30 years since I last made my own. It takes weeks for a good batch to mature and I need to taste samples,  so here we in mid-summer and already I am on my second batch of mincemeat for the year.

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