Friday, April 18, 2008

The Joy of Tasters

I made Let's-Put-Everything-In-That-Isn't-Tied-Down pasta last night. Originally it was going to be pasta with Italian sausage and broccoli rabe, but I thought I should use the broccolini in the refrigerator and then there was some cherry tomatoes sitting out that needed to be used too.... In the end the pasta also had some garlic, extra virgin olive oil, saffron, red pepper flakes and tomato paste added too. On the top freshly grated parmesan cheese. Taster A (I must protect the innocent, but there has to be a better way to distinguish my tasters. Still thinking about names from mythology) felt it was lacking something. Taster B had two helpings and really enjoyed it (also took some to work to eat for lunch). Taster C thought it was good, but not what she wanted last night.

I have noticed a trend. Taster A and Taster B don't often agree about what they love. When Taster A is ecstatic about dinner, Taster B may respond by saying: "This is chicken? Are you sure? What did you put in this? I just can't place it." I reply and ask whether he likes it: "I am not sure. It isn't disgusting." High praise indeed. Another thing he will comment with is: "It is edible." Wow, what a glowing compliment!

When Taster A doesn't like something she'll say: "It wasn't my favorite thing. It could use something. It isn't as favorable as your other dishes." Keep in mind that she says everything with her facial expressions. Taster A could kill a person with her dark and withering scowl or make your stomach tense up with a look of pure and unvarnished disgust. Her face can say: you are worse than sewage or dumber than dirt. Although when she likes something she is very enthusiastic: "Everything was delicious! The rice was cooked perfectly. The chicken was so moist and tender. That asparagus rocked!"

Tasters are finicky or at least mine are as I can only satisfy 2 out of 3 at the best of times. You slave over a hot stove, spend ages cleaning up after your mess and this is the payback? Yes. One person happy with the meal and it was all worth it.

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