I have learned, from personal experience, that I tend to embrace the “art” of cooking more than the “science.” I love to have the freedom and latitude to do what I want and what I feel. Some recipes, especially baking and candy making, are much more strict when it comes to the measurement or weight of ingredients and the combinations that create magic. And, although I love to bake and make the occasional complex recipe, I find true enjoyment in experimenting with what tastes good, is on-hand and in-season.

It’s all about choices. Cooking is very subjective. I’ve had people tell me a recipe is a must-try and the best they’ve ever had, and I’m left scratching my head and wondering what was special about it. One person’s “best ever” is always going to be someone else’s “no thanks.”

Cooking and eating is a matter of taste. You may have always hated a treasured family recipe because it used black walnuts. There’s no rule that says you have to use black walnuts. Maybe you’re a fan of pecans or pistachios. Or, maybe you don’t like nuts at all. Be brave. Change the recipe if it makes you happy. Use what you love and it will be a more enjoyable experience for you.

All of this to say, with any of the recipes I post, it may not be true to what you may have seen elsewhere. I may credit a recipe I’ve found online and tweaked it a bit to suit my own sense of taste. I give you absolute permission to do the same with anything I share with you. Embrace not only the science, but the art of cooking.

And now to leave you with what is one of the most important subjective questions for any cook:

Are you a grape jelly or strawberry jam person? Your comments are welcome.

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