Thursday, December 4, 2008


While having coffee with a friend this week she was telling me about a meal they had in a popular St Paul restaurant, Kinkaids. I have never been but it gets wonderful reviews and my friend really likes to spend an evening in this establishment. She was telling me of her dessert, a pear poached in Pinot Noir. Always a good choice but it took me back to one of my early cooking, shall we say, mishaps. Let me say at this point it was very early in my culinary endeavours and things have improved over the years. I remember nothing of the meal that night but the dessert is firmly etched in my mind. It was the first time I had poached pears in red wine and the results were less than perfect. The colour had an odd purplish hue and I was not happy to serve them. I then had a wonderful idea, or so I thought. Why not paint a bit of red food colouring over them, I had read that this is the way food stylists prepare food for photographing. Brilliant. Results were good so I am feeling pretty pleased with myself at this point, that is until people actually started to eat them. I glanced across the table to my smiling friend and was stopped in my tracks. Was she bleeding? A furtive glance around the table and I realised to my horror that everyone was looking as if they were vampires enjoying a delicious feast. Yes the food colouring was smeared all over their faces. Fortunately at this point in the evening everyone had enjoyed a glass or two of their favourite poison and seemed amused at the faux pax. I am so lucky to have such relaxed friends who always return to my table despite the misfortunes that have befallen them over the years. Once again a lesson to be learned. Perfection is not prerequisite to an enjoyable meal, and surround yourself with wonderful friend who will forgive you your mishaps they are to be cherished.

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