If you even remotely like to cook you are going to end up doing so in a number of different scenarios - parties, family dinners, late night snacks for a bunch of drunken friends and the list goes on. And if you love to cook…well, you know the deal.
Cooking for other people adds an entirely different ingredient to the equation. Each and every person you cook for has their own taste preferences, and not only that, each person’s tastes preferences fluctuate seasonally. They also change daily depending on activity level and a litany of other factors.
Sometimes you can talk with the people you are cooking for and ask them a bunch of questions, and sometimes you can’t talk to everyone who will be showing up to your dinner party. If you cannot ask questions then creating options is the next best thing.
When I go to potluck style dinners I generally volunteer to bring sauces or salsas of some kind. You create a sauce that will appeal to the acidic-loving palate and another that will be for the sweet and sour girl.
Everyone loves options; everyone loves tailoring their food just how they like it.
This is the final stage of any recipe - The Bite. What happens to food right before its eaten is each and every persons chance to participate in the cooking process.
Even if we all get the exact same plate of food we are going to create different bites with different proportions of each component. A little bit of this and a little bit of that and just a touch of sauce. This is cooking. And when you create options you give everyone a chance to do it.