mom's memories

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I am a "recipe tester" for the website leitesculinaria.com, put together by chef & author David Leite. His main purpose here (as I see it) is to let accepted testers preview recipes that are in publication, comment on them, and it all gets posted on his site. He is a good reviewer in his own right. I had to wait a year before an opening became available. If I miss a month (the challenge comes by email monthly) I could loose my spot. There are typically three cookbooks up for review each month and they pick three recipes from each to post on the recipe tester page. I can then login to that page, preview the recipes, tell them which I want to prepare and review, and get it all done by the end of the month on a given date. I go back in and post my review into their review format. It's fun to see them all; they open up in wordpad on my machine, and I cheat badly by posting in uppercase! Aren't I evil??? But sometimes there are 25 reviews for one recipe to scroll through. So sue me.

On it's own merit, the website is a nice source for a few upscale recipes and for very good food writing, both of which I really enjoy. On the other hand, his picks are international, ethnic and often quite unusual. This is just fantastic for little old me, (well not so little since my love affair with the Chocolate Moose...) but I have to consider whether going to the trouble is worth it if I am the only tester in my tiny world tackling any tasting. (Say that three times fast with a beignet in your mouth...) I am expected to explicitly review the following: the ingredient list, the preparation instructions, and the final result. I also must advise if I made any substitutions, why, and the result of that. My issue is that I know I cannot put most of the offerings on the table as the main course here. This is dissapointing to me, as I thought our clan had experienced palates, especially the tween. But this has led me to the conclusion that the adventurousness of the eater is specifically relative to the locale of the dining experience. To put it plainly: they want meatloaf and canned peas in upstate NY (population 1950) and will order and eat almost anything when wandering the four star resturants of this continent, as we are prone to do. I think it's reverse discrimination. I desire challenging, stimulating, different foods right here at home, and do not want to wait for a road trip to do so! Bonus: I am prepared and equipped to make it so. (Jean Luc Picard, Star Trek The Next Generation. We met Patrick Stewart in an elevator at our hotel in Boston in 2001, he was wearing a tux and looked extremely dashing, although quite short. Did I tell you I am 5'10"? He's not even close.)

Tonight's dessert is from the website's testing menu. It is something I was very surprised to see because it is, word for word, the same recipe as one my mother regularly served with fanfare. It is Pineapple Upside Down Cake. It is not difficult at all, but the surprise for me was that this version came from a recipe from Harlem, NY. I really believe in "6 degrees of separation" and this is just one more example. We are all connected. I'll let you know what the family thinks. I know I'll love it, missing my Mom for 19 months right now.

I am going to post a photo because it looks as perfect as I ever remember it to be.

pineappleupsidedown1.JPG

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This page contains a single entry by Carol published on March 5, 2006 6:03 PM.

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