Friday, October 7, 2011

Day in My Life: Working in the Test Kitchen

Apologies for my absence around here this week. Our home internet has been out and I finally was able to get an appointment yesterday to have it fixed—squirrels had chewed through the exterior cable line! Hopefully they find something else to amuse themselves for a while...

Earlier this week I was able to spend two days working in the Better Homes and Gardens Test Kitchen as a way for me to see how they work. As part of my job as a food editor, I'm always sending down recipes for them to test and then attending taste panels to try the foods. I figured that it would be good for me to have a solid understanding of how they do their work, and also to see how taste panels for the different magazines vary, so I was entirely ready for my two days in the kitchen.

 I made a cornflake crusted chicken (and learned the proper temperature to cook chicken to since Josh is in charge of the meat in our house) that was served with a fire roasted tomato sauce. The photo at the top of the post was my plated serving size, and my amateur attempts at food styling. Here is the table in the middle of the test kitchen where food goes after panel—so other folks can try dishes (and have snacks when they need one!).
 My station was all set up for me when I came in in the morning, which I am pretty sure was special treatment.

I've decided that having one of these handy recipe holders in my home kitchen would be super helpful. I'd also like to figure out a way to bring their amazingly helpful assistants who take care of the dirty dishes home with me but that might take a little more effort!

 After the chicken, there was a mango and peach salsa, a salad of arugula and various fruits with grilled steak (something else I never ever am in charge of at home) and of course, dessert. These were blondies with a caramel and chocolate drizzle.

 I was pretty proud of my drizzling skills! All in all it was a great change of pace from sitting at a desk and I loved getting to know the culinary specialists, as they are known, better. I was trying to figure out a way that I could spend one day a week cooking (instead of doing my actual work) but I'm not sure that will fly with my boss...still, I realized that I have a pretty fun job, even if I stay on the side of just getting to taste the food.

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