I often draw write notes in my cookbooks, so I can tailor recipes to my taste. Veganomicon is no exception.
When London food writer and domestic goddess Nigella Lawson talked about "the tyranny of the recipe," I related so strongly that included her quote in the introduction to my cookbook. Now, I'm not saying that [ahem!] cookbook authors are tyrants. But it's important to remember that cooking is both an art and a science. Recipes document the science of cooking – and the art of writing. Recipes are usually the result of several experiments, and they list ingredients and processes needed to attain a consistent result when making a dish. It's always a good idea to follow a recipe exactly the first time you try it.
Dreena Burton's hummus recipe in Vive Le Vegan is my all-time favorite. As you can see, I renamed it "Yummus," and included notes detailing my personal preferences.
But the art of cooking is the expression of the individuality of the cook. Take 10 cooks, and ask them to make the same recipe. Mark my words, you will get 10 different results, depending on the cook's experience, mood, ingredients, and comfort with improvisation.
I included variations with many of my recipes, because I consider them a springboard to creativity, and not end-all, be-alls. Nothing makes me happier than to read someone's blog and learn how they tried one of my recipes but added "a little of this," or "less of that." That's what cooking is all about!. Recipes are merely inspiration. Each recipe you make is a building block in your own culinary architecture. So go ahead, write in my cookbook!