Can't agree more with Meg. I love baking because it is scientific, insanely precise and measuring 1/4 teaspoon makes a difference in the end product...Cooking scares me, a dash of that, a dash of this, OMG too much salt...I wouldn't call baking Germany though, maybe France...Cooking, yeah Italy is written all over it! Ciao!
Becoming an instinctive cook: "Last night I made an entirely 'original' salad. I put original in quotes because once you see the ingredients you'll realize it's a pretty unoriginal combination of ingredients. But it was original to me because I didn't use a recipe of any kind. For many cooks that's not a big deal, but for me it's pretty symbolic. I began my culinary journey as a baker. All through junior high and high school, I baked elaborate cakes, things that required my mother stop at the liquor store on her way home from work to pick up my requested boozy ingredients. When I started cooking in college, I was tied to recipes. If I didn't have an ingredient (even something as simple as 1/4 teaspoon of nutmeg) I wouldn't skip it, I'd dash out to the store and buy it so that I'd have everything exactly right. I was nervous if I diverged from the recipe in any way. I'd see those people who'd just sort of instinctively throw things into a pot and wonder how they did it. Beginning as a baker taught me to be structured and orderly about what went into my pot. "