Letter from the Editor
If you’ve ever judged the readiness of a dish by your senses or used the phrase “to taste” to convey a measurement, you’ll understand the theme of this issue. Many of the pages to follow highlight a universal experience, a soft whisper that has convinced us to take one route over another for little reason other than it feels right. That theme, if you haven’t guessed, is intuition.
In his new cookbook, Soup, Edible Maine’s executive chef Derek Bissonnette says “I’ve often found that it was not a particular ingredient I didn’t like, but a particular preparation of it. If you can keep this in mind, and remain open in spite of previous lackluster experiences, you’ll eventually have that moment we all search for—having your expectations of unpleasantness transformed into joy, thanks to a perfect mixture of seasoning, acidity, texture, and execution.”
He reminds us not to be so rigid in the kitchen and to think for ourselves, a similar message touted by Samin Nosrat in her book, Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat: Mastering the Elements of Good Cooking, where she emphasizes the four elements of the cooking process, their simplicity, and how mastering them and thinking critically while cooking can yield scrumptious results.
We live in a time when thinking critically for ourselves and not blindly following a recipe should be an act that transcends the walls of the kitchen. These times of particular unrest and confusion,which encourage the hasty digestion of news and information, may require a momentary escape. What a perfect time for simple values of cooking that can allow us to return home at the end of each day and apply thoughtful action to a dilemma that we all share in one way or another: What’s for dinner?
We hope this issue inspires you to put aside your blind allegiance to the recipe and welcome that creative surety into your kitchen that exists in all of us, if we only just give it a try. We challenge you to use the recipes on the following pages as a guide, but liberate your ingredients and your guests by feeling your way around the cluttered cutting board, smelling your way through the aromatic slice and dice, tasting your way around the bubbling pot, and hearing your way over the crackling stove top.
We can’t wait to hear about what your experience brings; like your knives, stay sharp.