Monday, October 3, 2011

Vegan MoFo 3: Cooking Time Audit

First off, welcome to all the new readers. Whether old or new, introduce yourself. We're all one big Vegan MoFo family here.

One of the topics I wanted to cover this Vegan Month of Food is "Just how accurate are those time estimates in the cookbooks?" When it says 45 minute recipe, is it really? Does a 2 hour recipe actually take half the day?

I will find out. And report back, and then we will all know. I'm hoping to do this weekly, so here's #1.

In order to assess whether you can make a comparison of time for my cooking vs. yours, let me just break down my cooking experience:
- Easy non-cookbook "Yes EasyMac IS a reasonable meal for a college student" cooking experience: 13 years
- Recipe cooking experience: 3 years, with a steep increase in the past 1 year. 
- Baking experience: 1 year

So I haven't been really cooking that long - maybe you'll be faster than me. 

The first recipe to audit: 
Veganomicon Sweet Potato-Pear Tzimmes with Pecans and Raisins

I have a passionate love for the Veganomicon. If Fiance John's Girlfriend #2 is his iPad, then my Boyfriend #2 is the Veganomicon. And Ryan Reynolds.

I've never made this recipe before, because it seems like cheating to time audit something with which I'm already familiar, so here goes. 

Stated time estimate: 1 hr 15 mins total. 15 mins prep. 1 hr baking. 
Actual time spent: 1 hr 18 mins total. 18 mins prep. 1 hr baking. 




Considering the simplicity of this recipe, it was startlingly good. I'm pretty sure I'd like to make it a staple in my Thanksgiving or Christmas menu. It tastes like warm holidays, cinnamon and Grandpa's bad jokes around the fire. 

In terms of the time comparison, I take a little longer to prep than our brilliant cookbook authors estimate, but just a few minutes. It'll be interesting to compare in a recipe that has a longer prep time. Technically I took 20% longer to prep than estimated, so we'll see if that increases proportionally in a recipe that takes, say 30 mins to prep. Stay tuned for #2 coming soon. 

Any recipes you'd like to see time audited?

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