Choose the recipe that might not have been your favorite or even something you enjoyed making or even something you were skeptical about but which taught you a technique or gave you an idea or provided a lesson of some kind.
This is one of those posts that I really wish I wasn't writing while my battered, food-stained copy of Around My French Table is sitting 1700 miles away. As pore over the titles of the recipes that we so adventurously cooked through over the past several years, I noticed a handful of recipes that I remembered going into thinking "what in tarnation are we trying to do here?" Most ended up being winners and a small minority didn't come in first place. Or second. Or third. Only a couple of recipes left permanent trauma. (Sorry, salmon in a jar and shrimp and cellophane noodles - it's not you, it's me... No. It was really you.)
I think it is pretty stinking impressive that after cooking through an entire book, I can only pick out a couple of recipes that were a negative experience. (Especially, if you consider how impossible it was for me to choose my favorite five recipes). That is a >99% success rate.
Looking back, there is a particular recipe that sticks out as being one I just couldn't wrap my brain around. It ended up being one of my favorites. I am not sure why I ever doubted that anything cooked in butter could be less than delicious, but I did. I was wrong. Very, very wrong.
Grapes cooked in butter are crack. I was prepared to not like Endive, Apples and Grapes. I wasn't prepared to love it.
"I do! I like them, Sam-I-am!
And I would eat them in a boat!
And I would eat them with a goat...
And I will eat them in the rain.
And in the dark. And on a train.
And in a car. And in a tree.
They are so good - so good - you see!
So I will eat them in a box.
And I will eat them with a fox.
And I will eat them in a house.
And I will eat them with a mouse.
And I will eat them here and there.
Say! I will eat them ANHYWHERE!"
Lyrics courtesy of "Green Eggs & Ham": FLAHERTY, STEPHEN CHARLES/AHRENS, LYNN/GEISEL, THEO SEUSS P/K/A DR. SEUSS. © Warner/Chappell Music, Inc.Something about that recipe resonated with me. It wasn't just about grapes and butter (even though it WAS about the grapes and butter), it was the realization that giving something a try can be very rewarding. (Except for shredded coconut - no matter how many times and ways I try that, I will never be a fan.)
Crack grapes, who knew?
This post participates in French Fridays with Dorie.