Monday, February 07, 2011

Poorly written recipe. Where was the editor?

I read the following recipe and laughed to myself.
1 cup flour
1 Tbsp sugar
1/2 to 2/3 cup milk
The recipe booklet claimed you could make scones with concoction.  Do you know what is missing dear reader? Maybe a binder, think eggs. Or perhaps a leavener? Think baking soda or baking powder. It could have even used a bit of fat, think butter.  I knew full well that this recipe was going to fail before I even put down the little booklet. And yet I had to try it, just to see what would happen.
The recipe claimed that you should turn it 6 to 7 times on a lightly floured surface but don't over handle it. Funny, there is no way you could knead this goop on a floured surface the way the recipe was published. I dropped it by the tablespoon into my mini cupcake cooker and let the machine take over.
Here are the results, a weird chewy slightly sweet thing. My husband tried one and said it might be on the road to fake meat. From scone to fake meat in less then 30 seconds!
The reason why cookbooks like the one Julia Childs wrote about French Cooking have endured to this day is a simple fact. She painstakingly tested out each recipe in there with both French and American ingredients.  Mrs. Childs didn't want the American housewife to spend all this time and effort on making a dish that wasn't going to work. Now a days it seems just about anyone can publish a cookbook. Unfortunately, these mass produced tomes are hardly ever checked for mistakes. Believe me, I know how hard it is to go through and test a recipe but if you don't, then the above happens. You publish a recipe that doesn't work and would never work. Fast doesn't always translate into better and we've all forgotten that. 

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