Entertaining Mistakes

It's your worst nightmare: intimate dinner or big splashy event, and something goes horribly wrong. The causes can be legion. The only known antidote: humor & quick thinking.

Deborah Madison’s sticky situation
Illustration: Barry Blitt

Deborah Madison’s sticky situation

Who: Deborah Madison, author of Seasonal Fruit Desserts from Orchard, Farm, and Market and advisor and former board member to The Seed Savers Exchange, Sante Fe, New Mexico

I was testing recipes for my book, working out the Winter Squash and Date Cake, which is a big, moist cake that I had planned to serve that night for company. I used a new pan, and the cake stuck to it. I had no choice but to pry it out.

What now? I broke up the pieces and made a “bread” pudding with it. It was delicious that way—soft and succulent with bits of dates here and there. It was, in the end, a very successful dessert. But I’d never make that cake in order to make that dish.


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