Do recipes make you a better cook? The link will take you to a very good article that covers that subject. I think he brings up a lot of interesting points. Recipes are of course both necessary and unnecessary. Just like maps, to borrow a bit from the article. I can get to Canada without a map. But if I want to go to a certain place within Canada, I need a map, or someone that can go with me and show me the way. I don't need a recipe for meatloaf. But if I want to make meatloaf just like the meatloaf you made last night, I need to know what you put in it. If I want to make Hammelman's Vermont sourdough bread, I better have a sourdough starter, a recipe, and the know-how to follow it. (See picture at top of page)
An article that discusses the best kitchen tool of all. Your hands. He mentions watching his grandmother's hands as she worked in her kitchen. I too, remember with fondness watching the hands of my elders as they worked in the kitchen. Daddy's hands, which were used to all types of hard work with tools, as he expertly worked bread dough. Gran's hands, which had served her well in her nursing work, now filling boiled and halves egg whites with the yellow goodness for devilled eggs. Granny's hands, the hands that had started their cooking carrer at the tender age of seven, out of necessity, cutting up potatoes or okra to fry. Grandmoma and her biscuits... oh but thats another story.