Have you ever prepared a recipe and the results didn’t quite come out like it should have? Does the recipe for your Aunt Martha’s Peach Cobbler not taste like the way she made it? As I wrote in my last blog entry titled “Cookbook Boot Camp”, I mentioned the work ahead of me is to begin testing recipes.
A well-written recipe contains a list of ingredients listed in order of how they are to be used. The instructions should be clear and leave nothing unexplained. These are all things I thought I knew and understood. I also learned this after making a Lemon Chiffon Pie Father’s Day weekend.
Let me preface that I do not have a lot of experience baking or making desserts. I am not ashamed to admit cooking mistakes. Now you get a confession. My whipped egg whites did not become stiff like the recipe called for. Not understanding what I had done wrong, I carried on with the recipe and decided I would make it again in the future.
Upon leaving the kitchen, I went to YouTube and found a video on whipping egg whites. It was in that video I learned my mistake. I whipped my egg whites in a plastic bowl instead of using a glass or metal bowl. The chef in the video explained that even a clean plastic bowl retains oils from previous uses and therefore the whites will not stiffen properly.
Earlier in the week, I decided to officially begin testing for the cookbook. Fried Chicken with Cream Gravy, Buttermilk Biscuits, Seven Layer Salad and Peanut Butter Cornflake Cookies were the items I chose to prepare for and serve today, Independence Day. All and all everything came out really good. I chose three of my friends to test for and serve a late lunch. I received “thumbs-up” on all items; however, I have made notes and know what steps I will do differently next time.
The Fried Chicken was very good today; it needed a little more seasoning in my opinion. Over the last few years, I have consistently made good gravy so that turned out nice and smooth today. The Seven Layer Salad tasted just exactly as I remember it tasting the last time I ate it. I altered the original recipe for Peanut Butter Cornflake Cookies with one I found on the Karo Syrup website. The taste was exactly like it should be but they ended up more of a messy, clumpy type of cookie rather than a bar I was hoping would result.
None of the items were perfected this first test. Therefore, I will not post a recipe today. Please forgive me, dear readers; I promise one to come next week.