I recently took on the volunteer position of Official Recipe Tester for Chatelaine magazine. I applied, told them why I thought I'd be good at it, and was surprised when I heard I'd been accepted. They sent me nine recipes and I must make and review at least two of them. I must also follow the recipe exactly, making no substitutions unless one is suggested.
The first one on the list captured my attention immediately. But once I read it through, I discovered a problem. It required a 9 inch tart pan, with a removable bottom. I not only didn't have one of those, I didn't even know they existed.
I read through the rest of the recipes, most of which called for some exotic ingredient. It is up to me to buy whatever is needed to make the recipe I chose to review. One of the reasons I told them I'd be right for this job was that I raised my family on recipes from Chatelaine. It used to be you could make anything in the magazine by simply opening your cupboard and finding all the ingredients already there. But, for some reason, magazines have all yuppified their recipes. They are fancier than need be, and always call for something many of my generation likely never heard of. No wonder so many families now eat so much fast food and convenience foods. Working women don't have time for this kind of cooking. For that matter, neither do I.
In the meantime I asked everyone I knew, and used Facebook, to locate someone with one of those special tart pans. A dear friend with an inn out west said she has three, but she lives too far away. That gave me an idea though, and I approached a local tearoom operator. I think the idea that I was doing this officially for a magazine swayed her a little as she is lending me the pan for one day, and one day only, to get the job done. I'm so glad as I did go out and purchase all the ingredients shortly after I saw the recipe. Now, if I can just get it out of that pan in one piece, I'll be thrilled. I wouldn't count on that though. Stand by. I'm making it on Sunday.