'Cook's Country' on Serious Eats

Cook the Book: 'The Cook's Country Cookbook'

I frequently work as a freelance recipe tester. Most people think that it must be a dream job—they imagine me puttering about my kitchen, popping delicious creations in and out of my oven all day long. This couldn't be further from the truth. Like any job, recipe testing is often incredibly stressful. Recently, I spent six hours slaving over homemade croissants—pounding the butter, rolling the dough, chilling them, letting them rise, and tying them into little knots—only to have them emerge like butter-drenched hockey pucks. Don't get me wrong, I love what I do. Along with the failed croissants, the same assignment yielded recipes for a perfectly balanced chilled cucumber soup, and to-die-for apricot-almond bars. But nothing is more upsetting... More

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