There are so many great conversations on the Hotline—it's hard to choose a favorite. But we'll be doing it, once a week, to spread the wealth of our community's knowledge—and to keep the conversation going.
Today: Wisdom is meant to be shared.
Shop the Story
Family recipes serve a purpose. Beyond their "just like grandma made it" appeal and nostalgia, they're meant to pass down information from one generation to the next. Little tidbits of knowledge embed themselves into slices of sour cream-raisin pie, bowls of gumbo, and jars of pickled corn and beans. These recipes teach us something—and then we teach that something to someone else.
We like to think of the Food52 community as a family. It's a place for both recipe sharing and problem solving—when one user needs help, another one has the answer. Which is why, when Breanna R. asked the Hotline for cooking tips, the responses flooded in: "I'm a young foodie and just want to know the best tips that more experienced cooks have ever given/received," she explains. From seasoning tips to knife skills, here's your best cooking advice:
Sam1148 says to follow a recipe first as written, but then after you've done so, don't be afraid to improvise.
Emily McHale suggests when chopping herbs, to first scrunch them into a tight ball and then chop, so pieces don't fly everywhere.
"As a baker, I've had it drilled in my head to not rely on time," says PieceOfLayerCake. "Check your food often while it cooks and learn what 'done' is."
"Finishing a dish with fresh herbs and/or acid (citrus, vinegar) can make a dish sing," Kristen W. says.
"Write down everything you did to change a recipe to your liking (after you've made it by the book)," suggests MTMitchell. "You won't remember later the changes you made that turned the dish from good to great, unless you document it."