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Letting others test your recipes - Suprises?

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#1 Smithy

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Posted 14 November 2005 - 11:14 AM

Hi, Paula -

At last, I understand the hedgehog reference! I thank Lucy for posting that lovely introduction, and I thank you for making yourself available to all of us for this spotlight.

I'd like to know how, if you're willing to discuss it, the use of recipe testers affected your writing experience. If I understand correctly, this was the first time you'd used outside help testing recipes because you usually do all of it yourself. How did the testers' comments and viewpoints affect your working procedure? Did you get any surprises? What insights, if any, did you gain by having many people work through recipes and comment on them before the revisions were sent in?

The real test, of course, is whether it worked well enough that you'll do it again. :biggrin:

Nancy Smith, aka "Smithy"
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"Every day should be filled with something delicious, because life is too short not to spoil yourself. " -- Ling (with permission)

"There comes a time in every project when you have to shoot the engineer and start production." -- author unknown

#2 Wolfert

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Posted 14 November 2005 - 02:42 PM

Outside testers were a revelation. I learned a lot from them and in three cases actually removed recipes from the book after discussion with my testers, retesting and then concluding that I could replace the dish with something better and more useful. For example, a fruit terrine tested by two egulleteers was deemed terrific but a lot of work. They were right. I took it out of the book and posted it on my website for anyone interested in making It.
Also, based on my experience with the testers, I decided to remove kitchen timings (as opposed to cooking times!) because I discovered that some cook more slowly than others and I didn't want anyone to feel rushed or inhibited abouy taking on some of the more demanding dishes.

Would I work with testers again? Absolutely! In a skillet-cooked minute! With the claypot book I need to test recipes in lots of different kinds of clay pots, so feedback will be especially important as to cooking duration, etc
“C’est dans les vieux pots, qu’on fait la bonne soupe!”, or ‘it is in old pots that good soup is made’.