Sunday, November 2, 2008

Why NOT to buy a first edition of a cookbook...

Tonight, we are having friends over for dinner. Well, kind of. We are having friends over, and we will eat dinner, but the friends are cooking for us. This particular friend is an amazing cook, so we let him have free reign over our kitchen when he visits.

Not wanting to look like a slacker, I decided to make a cake for dessert. I chose the Quadruple Chocolate Loaf from Nigella Lawson's book, Feast. I had made her Guiness cake, and it is nothing short of heavenly. So, I was confident in her recipe-writing abilities. And, even though it made me a little nervous and queasy, when the recipe said to line the pan in plastic wrap (with a note that said, "Don't panic--it won't melt."), I followed the instructions because I figured she knew what she was doing.

She didn't. At all. I checked on the cake after a half hour of baking, and there was no plastic wrap anymore. It had completely melted into the cake, onto my bread pan, and onto the bottom of my oven. Wonderful!

I was obviously very upset about the disaster that was my cake. So, I did what any rational girl would do. I Googled it. First, I came up with the recipe--clearly stating that you should use greased tin foil. And then I came across some other people who had had my problem. It appears that later editions of the book had the tin foil, but that the first edition that some of us unluckily had, states to use the plastic wrap.

So, I guess the moral of the story is never to buy the first edition of a cookbook, no matter how much you trust the author. And, if something doesn't seem right, Google it BEFORE you start baking. Chances are, some poor, unfortunate blogger has already made your mistakes. But, I won't know that unless you search it out beforehand.

From now on, I'm trusting my instincts in the kitchen more than the written word in front of me. Now to go see if I can get that melted plastic wrap off of my bread pan.

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