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Rachel Perlow

Secret Ingredients

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I understand that many of the recipes in your books are developed from reader submissions. When testing out these recipes have you ever come to the conclusion that some of these people may be leaving out "secret ingredients"?

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Hi Rachel,

Most of the people who contribute to my cookbooks are happy to do so, and are very precise and complete with their recipes. They love seeing their names and creative efforts in print. Once or twice I have run into a few guys who have "secret" barbecue sauce recipes, but with a little coddling I am usually able to get the recipe, and fill in any missing links in the kitchen.

Of course there is one exception. And this involved my dear friend Jacqueline Corr out in Bloomfield, Michigan, a chef, and a passionate ice cream maker. Jackie gave me 20 recipes for ice cream for my last cookbook, then decided at the last moment not to give me her recipe for her watermelon ice cream because it was a "secret."

She had first tasted the recipe in a small soul food restaurant in Tennessee. She was an airline stewardess at the time. Whenever she visited Memphis she would go to the joint and order the recipe.

Finally she was able to duplicate the ice cream's flavor. And that's what she told me to do: Come up with my own recipe. I did. And she loves it. So much for "secrets."

Again, thanks for inviting me here; I am having fun.

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