Recipe klutz

So I don’t know how common this ailment is, but I seriously suffer from recipe dyslexia or something. I absolutely love to cook, but attempting to follow a recipe always leaves me with a mess instead of a meal. Okay, maybe I can follow the simplest recipes, like cake mixes or oatmeal. But put anything complicated in front of me and I am bound to mess it up.

I’m not sure what it is or how it happens, but it’s like I’m incapable of following basic directions. I guess it’s not just recipes, as I run into this same predicament when dealing with any sort of written instructions.

So my best recipes, my best meals, my best creations are almost always born amid necessity and a little bit of desperation.

Case in point: Yesterday’s dinner. We had no groceries for the week, no dinner plans, and no intention of going to the store. Yes, there was a little bit of panic at the thought of granola bars for dinner, but innovation prevailed.

Using leftover green pepper, red onions, mushrooms and linguine, a quick and easy bed of veggie carbonara was produced. Atop this was placed a quickly thawed, seasoned, and broiled salmon steak and a side of steamed baby asparagus, both drizzled with a garlic lime butter. It was delicious! No recipe in sight, and yet a perfectly suitable Sunday dinner was quickly produced.

Perhaps this tendency to invent stems from my fathers own enthusiasm for the unwritten gourmet. He rarely uses recipes and always amazes me with his creativity. Or this may be due to my irksome tendency to perform better under immense pressure.

But pondering on this perceived personal flaw, I think it’s kind of a nice reflection of everyone’s innate ability to do their best work when creating something new and genuine. Without any attempt to imitate or copy another’s genius.

Pure creation that Allows for authentic and spontaneous self-expression. The incorporation of our own perspectives without preconceived notions or unrealistic expectations. It all seems to work really well together to produce, what I believe, are the greatest results. Better then any attempt to replicate.

And although I would still love to follow a recipe with ease, I think I am starting to appreciate this dyslexia as a sort of blessing, to remind me how to approach life. Forgeting the attempt to live up to anyone else’s expectations.


  1. oh geez, Leah you are my idol. Without a recipe, we end up eating Mac and Cheese or breakfast foods. That is the extent of my creativity.

  2. But Crystal, you are one of those able cooks who can follow any recipe to perfection. I envy you!

  3. I"m glad I finally found your "real" updates on your blog leah.

    You are always making the most delicious meals. So if you were to write any of your recipes down, do you think that you would be able to follow the recipes to make it again? lol


Tell me what you think about that...