As I’ve gotten older, I’ve been doing a lot more cooking and baking. To be fair to Doug, this is Jack writing the blog. Doug is a young guy. Since I don’t have the “baking gene” nor the “delicate palette” I rely heavily on recipes. I’ve learned that some recipes work and some produce what taste like dog food. Sorry dogs but your food is terrible.
For instance, a good friend of mine gave me her ginger snap cookie recipe (see image). This recipe is rock solid. Do not change a thing. I have always loved ginger snaps, so trust me when I say follow the recipe.
I grew eating Chicken Chow Mein. Mom and dad would buy it (take out) and bring it back home. For years, my wife and I have been customers of D Fongs Chinese. In my brain, their Chicken Chow Mein defines the meal for me. I searched several Chow Mein recipes online and finally found one that might turn out like D Fongs. Nope. Terrible recipe. Not even going to share it with this small yet discernible audience. But it did give me a foundation of the ingredients. Since then, I’ve made several changes to the recipe and have come kinda close a few times where the meal was decent. The quest for perfecting that recipe continues.
Think of story formats like a meal recipe. If you like how things turn out and so does your audience, then keep following the recipe. If you or your audience is struggling with your story format, then maybe you should try cutting down on the soy sauce and add a little more corn starch to thicken things up a bit.
Ginger snap baking notes.
Cream shortening and sugar together. Beat in egg until well blended. Add molasses. Then add flour and spices. Roll into 1 inch diameter balls and dip into sugar. Put on cookie sheet and bake at 350 for 9-10 minutes. You want to remove cookies from oven before the fall so that they remain soft. These freeze very well.