A different "Lost It" thread - losing the knack.
I used to make great chili. It was my mom's recipe, slightly varied, but I loved it. Now for some reason even though I do everything the same it just turns out bleah. Is it the quality of the ingredients? Nope - I've experimented with different brands, more $$, etc. It just doesn't turn out anymore. I have another recipe for rice, which involved doctoring up a box of Uncle Ben's, and it has been getting progressively worse every time I've made it over the last few years. My mom also makes this one and hers always turns out great.
Have I just lost the knack? Has this ever happened to you?
I used to always instinctively know what flavours would go well with what. Then I got mis-diagnosed as bipolar and went on Lithium for 6 months or so. Along with my short term memory, went this instinct.
Either that, or I just lost the *confidence* in my ability to "just know" that X paired with Y = YUM... I don't really know, it's all terribly subjective.
The husband and I got chikungunya (it's a mosquito borne virus, very nasty) six or seven years ago. For the next year, our salt meters were completely broken - all food required (I only cook from scratch) required double the salt. It was so bad that, when his parents came into town, they asked me to let my mother in law do all the seasoning cuz they just couldn't eat my food.
It comes back every now and then, usually when we're sick with something else. We need way more salt for a while. Our most recent cold, from two months back, affected more than just the salt meter - everything tasted like cardboard to us. Didn't matter how much chilli powder or pepper or salt or garlic or pickyourseasoning went in, it was all as bland as bland could be. It was really bad for about a month. We still have it a bit, nothing tastes like it used to, but we're getting better.
As for losing the knack - yeah, happens fairly regularly to me. I'm chronically ill - genetic protein defect. On my bad days, I can't cook worth a darn. Everything is just... The husband is mostly patient, but at its worst, he'll order out. Which sometimes, he has to do if I'm having a particularly clumsy day anyway and need to stay away from all sharp objects.
Yes, and it is really bugging me. Last week a had a craving for a Mexican-style casserole dish I used to make often but haven't made for many years (recipe from a co-worker's wife). I dug out the recipe and made sure I picked up all of the ingredients at the store (nothing exotic). The finished product tasted nothing like I remembered. I don't think I made any huge mistakes (it's a very simple recipe). It does contain some convenience products (taco seasoning packet for one) whose formulations might have changed. I'd like to blame my failure on this but I'm not sure I can. I'm going to wait a few weeks and try again but, truthfully, I'm a little afraid to try again. I can only hope this "losing it" is a passing phase. Thanks for this thread, NonniiMuss; it always helps to know one has company in this life.