Monday, August 15, 2011

Secret Recipes and Shared Recipes

Several months ago, I signed up to do recipe testing for Cook's Illustrated, and quite a few times in the last few weeks I've received recipes to test.   For me, in my particular situation with the blog and all, this is a blessing and a curse.  I need new ideas, all the time, otherwise my blog would be called, "Look, Rose made another pizza."  So, getting a recipe by email is great because now I have direction, I have a goal.

not a pizza.  i promise. 
The flipside is that I can't share the recipe until the magazine comes out, and that could be months away.   So I'm cooking fairly fancy (for me) things and not able to write about it.  I'll tell you all about this tart and these cookies just as soon as I can. 

The other fun thing is that my bestest friend from childhood does it too, and she's been getting the same secret recipes. We live in different parts of the country, and I've seen her only a handful of times since we've been adults.  I remember making chocolate chip cookies with her late in the night at weekend sleepovers, and making french toast together early in the morning when we were teenagers, cooking with her and her friends at her bachelorette party and cooking up pasta sauce together on that rare occasion that we were able to visit.  I love that even through the distance we can cook together.  We can send pictures and advice and chat about how it worked out.

There's something special about cooking together.  For a while, most Sunday nights here were shared with a good friend, cooking together, eating together, (and of course) drinking together and talking into the night.  Sharing both a meal and the experience of preparing it.  Food is just better shared with friends. 

Technology has expanded our opportunities to cook together.  Over on the Google+, where I've been struggling to figure out how this all fits together, others are teaching cooking classes.  A few weeks ago, Kristina from On Blank encouraged her readers to play along with her as she made pizza throughout the week.  People are cooking communally across all sorts of distance. 

Last week, Jennifer Perillo, a blogger who I didn't know, suffered a sudden and horrifying tragedy.  I followed along on Twitter and watched her friends and fans and the many people in the food world come together to all make the same pie in honor of her and her late husband. How's that for the importance of cooking together?  Going through the same steps and following along with the same ingredients and engrossing yourself in the routine of cooking, of measuring and mixing with a common story in mind.  

Here's the recipe.  Brian and I finally made ours tonight.  

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