It used to be that I would just ignore the little lost item. Afterall, what did salt do to deserve living in a bread recipe? Pul-leaze. Then I would bake the food and it would taste terrible and I would still give it to a professor to eat and the professor usually said it was great. So there.
Then I experimented with leaving some of the big items out of recipes, and maybe - just maybe - that didn't go so great. It really didn't go so great when it was Christmas Eve and my parents were here and I had also invited over the most refined student I've ever worked with. She, of course, is a gourmet chef. But, no, that didn't stop me from cooking for her and forgetting an ingredient or two and still continuing to cook because it was Christmas Eve and the pizza place was already closed. Okay. My mom saved that one with some nifty rearranging of the menu.
Moving forward to this week. All I wanted to do was please my children and husband with a chocolate cake when they returned home from their labors. So there I was doing my usual Google thing. (I am very grateful that Google had a friendly take-over of my brain some time ago. What would I do without them?) I typed:
"What can I substitute for oil, eggs, water, et cetera in a cake?"
It was such a simple question; one I've used 20.1 million times already this
Not apple sauce, butter, yogurt or any of the other things I've learned about over the years.
The first response was this:
"When will people stop messing up recipes by substituting ingredients? If you don't have what you need, you have 3 options: 1. go to the store, 2. find another recipe, or 3. use your substitution and resign yourself to the fact that you have ruined the recipe."
After I stopped crying, I substituted every single ingredient in the recipe and instead of baking it for 35 minutes, I baked it for 20. It was perfect. So there!