I often find myself, at the end of a day, look at a recipe and wondering if I *really* need to bother soaking or sifting or toasting-and-grinding or passing through a sieve to get the seeds out. Sometimes I do, sometimes I don't. Most often, I find, it isn't a matter of my mood - I seem to have subconsciously developed policies about which details matter, and which do not.
Forthwith, some of my lapses and non-negotiables:
I never salt and weigh my eggplant. (Bitterness typically isn't a problem, but perhaps I'm just less sensitive than most?)
I'll never peel tomatoes for any recipe that calls for peeled tomatoes.
I always puree smooth soups in a stand blender rather than using an immersion/stick one.
I never whisk flour and salt/spices/baking powder/baking soda together in a separate bowl before adding to batter, but just add in the flour, sprinkle the other stuff on top, and then mix. (Exception: when the flour needs to be sifted).
I never use store-bought pie crust, but often use store-bought stock.
What are your must-dos and your do-withouts?