[Sca-cooks] Recipe Deal Breakers

Lady Celia CeliadesArchier at cox.net
Fri Jun 6 15:01:18 PDT 2008

Hmmm... the only specific deal breaker I can think of off the top of my head
is that I won't work with phillo dough, or anything that delicate and hard
to work with.  Haven't attempted chaux pastry yet, but don't know that's a
deal breaker... might some day. I generally don't do candies (am intimidated
by having to achieve specific temperatures, I rarely have time to monitor
what I'm cooking that closely for that long) or souffles (ditto) or anything
that requires constant stirring or tending for more than a few minutes. 

In general my "deal breakers" are any ingredient too expensive to be
appropriate for whatever "audience" I'm cooking for (so that's a really
relative thing), any advanced technique with which I am unfamiliar and which
I don't have time or energy at that specific point in space/time to learn,
anything requiring special equipment I don't have or anything which requires
a specific environmental factor (heat/cold/humidity/space) that I can't
provide... so pretty much most of the things she addresses in her article
*ASSUMING* I can't figure out a substitution that I believe will yield
satisfactory results or come up with an alternative technique which will
provide satisfactory results.  But unless I'm cooking just for me, my
personal food likes and dislikes never actually enter into the decision. 

And even taking all that into consideration, if I *really* want to do the
recipe, I'll either find a work around or just simply bite the bullet and
take on the challenge.  That was the case the one time I did Tiramisu.
Wanted it to top off a full Italian meal I was doing for a romantic dinner
for my husband and I.  He loves Tiramisu, but was having problematic
reactions to the expresso ordering it out.  The problems were the cake (the
recipe I used called for Génoise rather than lady fingers), which I was
certain I could not achieve from scratch, and the custard, which required
constant stirring over low heat for too long (my back will no longer allow
me to stand up to stir for very long.)  I resolved those two problems as
follows:  I was able to arrange to buy the Génoise layers plain, unfrosted
from the bakery of my local gourmet store, and my husband stirred the
custard for me :)  It came out marvelously well, I substituted very strong
decaf for the espresso (which worked for him), and we were both ecstatically
happy with the results. 

So I guess my bottom line is that even a deal breaker isn't necessarily a
deal breaker for me if I want to do it badly enough :)  If I *really* want
to do the recipe, I just find a creative work around. 

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