Recipe Testing and Guessing

As we finish up recipe testing for the book I must admit it has been trickier than expected! In previous posts we’ve discussed our difficulties with older recipes, such as adapting instructions written for wood burning ovens to use with modern appliances. But even recipes from the mid-twentieth century can be hard to follow. Last night I started work on a heritage style berry cobbler. The directions were not particularly difficult to follow but I had a feeling that I was missing something. Then I realized why: the recipe had no photos! While taking photos of the progress of my berry cobbler I kept wondering: is this okay? does this look right? is it supposed to do that? I realized how heavily I depend on the full-color spreads with step-by-step photo instructions of today’s cook books. Even just a single photo of the finished product is enough to reassure. In the end, my berry cobbler might not have looked pretty enough to put on Pinterest and it may not have been 100% ‘authentic’ but it tasted delicious and served as a reminder to slow down and enjoy your own creation for what it is, not what it is “supposed” to be.

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Does this look right? It tastes right!
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