I will probably get back to this blog when I have more time in the summer again. I've been making some really interesting canned stuff -- jams and pickles. In the meantime, I was thinking what one thing I'd like to tell my daughter about cooking if, for some reason, I could only tell her one thing. I think it would be this:
Find good recipes and use them exactly until you have such a good handle on the techniques that you don't need them anymore. Then, for god's sake, throw them away and start making up your own! But never forget to check out what the other innovators are doing and see if you can incorporate that into your repertoire, too. And once in a while, go back and do something old-fashioned and simple to remind yourself how good it can be*. (Incidentally, this advice probably also applies to playing any kind of music, making any kind of art, writing, dancing, and probably the sciences, although I am not as familiar with that oeuvre.)
*For every molten-lava-chocolate-chipotle-salted-brownie out there, there is nothing like a slice of Mom's bundt cake. Or cherry pie. Or oatmeal chocolate chip cookie.