My, how life has changed. Just a few months ago, I was working in a perfectly fine job doing work that was okay, but nothing that I really loved.
And today? I get to spend time recipe testing for a new book from wine expert extraordinaire, the fabulous Natalie MacLean, author of the very highly acclaimed Red, White, and Drunk All Over. Natalie’s newest book brings together her wine expertise with great recipes from around the world.
As part of recipe testing, I first chose, from a list of recipes, the recipes I wanted to attempt. My choices included focaccia bread, a potato recipe, a green bean recipe, pumpkin soup, and a chicken dish. Because the book is not yet published, I can not share the recipes or details of the dishes, but I can tell you that so far they have all been very easy, really delicious, and ideal for entertaining.
I am still in the process of completing all of the recipes that I chose, but it is definitely an interesting experience. For one, some recipes may not be complete or written out as they will appear in the final product.
As a result, recipe testing is a little like conducting an experiment. Even though other people, including chefs in some cases, have already tested the recipes, the interpretation of the instructions can vary from person to person which makes writing a cookbook seem like quite the challenge!
Also, because Natalie is based in Canada, the measurements in the recipe are written using the metric system. Here’s where it is handy to be married to someone who grew up using the metric system Between my husband’s ability to make conversions in his head and a few internet conversion sites, I was easily able to figure out how much of each ingredient I needed.
My job is to basically read through the recipes and make them, noting ingredients that may have been difficult to find, steps that may have been missing or unclear in the cooking process, and whether or not the outcome was a success. I have had fun so far looking at the recipes from my own perspective but also trying to think of questions other home cooks might have. All in all it has been a great exercise.
I am looking forward to the book’s release in the fall; it will definitely be on my wish list because I am so excited to see what wines are paired with the food.
Have you ever been a recipe tester or wanted to write a cookbook? If you got your own dream cookbook deal today, what would your book be like?
Note that I am volunteering to be a recipe tester; I am not being compensated in any way to promote the book or website, and my opinions are entirely based on my experience testing the recipes.