I’m normally quite good at reading a recipe and knowing instinctively whether I’m going to like it or not. From the list of ingredients and the description of how they are to be prepared, I can conjure up a vivid mental image of precisely how it will taste and whether I would love it or hate it. Occasionally, however, I am fooled. I once read a recipe for Thai Chicken with Peanut Sauce that sounded so scrumptious I talked about it for days. I purchased the ingredients and was giddy with anticipation.
Did I mention it was going to take 12 hours to cook in the crockpot and involve a dozen or more steps? Did I tell you I was so convinced it was going to be a winner that I invited company over to enjoy it with me? Well, it’s all true. And, in the end, after smelling it for 12 hours (it actually smelled really good), the moment of truth arrived. It was awful. Not just awful, it was hideous. I was horrified on so many levels.
Out of that experience came an extremely valuable lesson: Don’t ever make assumptions about whether a recipe is going to suit your taste or not. As the holidays approach and you plan your special meals, should you choose to add a new recipe to your repertoire, don’t treat your guests as lab rats. Test drive the chosen recipes before you spring them on others. If they turn out to be keepers, you simply had the luxury of a yummy preview. If they are wretched, you’ve saved yourself and your guests from disappointment by figuring it out before the special day.