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A quick glance at a recipe assures dinner will be ready in half an hour. Cook time: 30 minutes
But a closer look at the ingredients says otherwise. Mince five garlic cloves. Thinly slice one stalk of celery. Peel and chop two carrots. Finely dice one onion. That is already more than fifteen minutes, excluding the washing and drying of the vegetables.
What's missing is the fine print of a recipe that reminds us how time-consuming zesting, chopping, and juicing can really be.
Recipes often leave out the preparation time as if cooking only starts when the ingredients are ready to be combined. It skips through the boring prep work straight to the "effortless" frittata.
Part of it is that recipes don't account for skill levels - how fast you can chop or mince and if you have suitable equipment. Neither do they account for preheating or depressurisation, effectively tripling the cooking time in some cases. More often, the 30-minute meal is a lie because recipes can only account for so much.
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