I wonder if this is something you’ve thought about…how much salt and or pepper should I add to this soup?! Or this potato salad?! Or this pasta salad?!
Many moons ago I lived in the Dominican Republic. And I loved spending time with my friend Mishel. She had 4 kids at the time and was such a strong, independent mother who was confident in her parenting and confident in her skills in the kitchen. I soaked up as much practical parenting knowledge, and kitchen knowledge as I could from the time we spent together. I longed to be the strong and confident wife, mother and cook that she was…and I wasn’t even married yet. In fact, I’d just met my soon-to-be husband…I just didn’t know it at that time that we’d be married, and would one day have 3 beautiful boys.
One of the many things that she taught in is the answer to this very question…
How Much Salt and Pepper Should I Add?!
The subject came up when she was making a “traditional” Dominican potato salad. You can see that “traditional” is in quotes…because it’s not “traditional” at all. It’s an American potato salad…with carrots and sometimes peas mixed in. We were just chit chatting about this, that and the other and she was just putting things together, mixing in the mayo, the egg, the carrots, and then came the salt and pepper.
I was watching everything. Like a hawk. And when she got to the end…the “salt and pepper to taste” part…I just blurted out, “Well, how do you know how much salt and pepper to add!?”
This potato salad that she was making was for a potluck. So it was a large portion. In a large mixing bowl. She said…
I just sprinkle a thin layer of each over the top and then stir it in. From there, people can add more to their serving if they prefer.
Since then, this has been my rule of thumb for adding salt and pepper to any dish…small pot of soup to large bowl of macaroni salad for a crowd. Sprinkle a thin layer and mix it in. Chances are it won’t need less of the seasoning if you follow this rule. And if it needs more, simply let each person enjoying the meal add it to their own serving.
I find myself coming back to this rule, over and over and over, as I’m preparing “one dish dinners.”As I write recipes day in and day out, I find myself writing “Salt and pepper to taste”…over and over and over. I even have an “autocorrect” set up in Word for “sptt” to become “Salt and pepper to taste.” (Yes, efficiency is the name of my game!)
So now you know…”to taste.” I hope you find this rule helpful…as you season your foods “to taste.”
Do you have a certain trick for getting the right amount of salt and pepper into your favorite meals?!