As alluded to from time to time I’m not good about using recipes when I cook. But lately I’ve been trying to branch out in my cooking and this has meant using recipes. In doing this, I have noticed an odd phenomenon. I was sort of aware of it before, but only realized now exactly how pervasive it is.
Have you ever noticed how any time a recipe includes olive oil, it is almost invariably 2 tablespoons?
If you’re sautéing something in olive oil, no matter how much something there is, you’re going to use 2 tablespoons of olive oil. If you’re throwing a little olive oil into a dish to give it some moisture and fat, it’s going to be 2 tablespoons. Almost always.
So what gives? Is it some sort of conspiracy? Some sort of code? Some heretofore unexplored aspect of the universal unconscious?
My theory? It’s laziness. Be honest, how often do you actually measure out ingredients like olive oil? Tonight I did measure the amount I was putting in my chickpea cutlets, but really only because my chickpea cutlets came out so badly the first time I tried to make them, but that’s the first time in a very long time. I never measure the amount I’m using to sauté something. And I suspect the people who write cookbooks don’t either. So they need an amount and they just crib from some other recipe which included two tablespoons of olive oil. Like how sometimes forty articles have something cited incorrectly and it’s all because they’re cribbing from one article which cited it incorrectly years ago.
Then again, maybe that’s just what the aliens want us to think.