Please Your Palate


I have been mean to write about this for a while. You know there is a reason why, when I post  a recipe, I talk so much about it. Well there is a reason, besides the fact that I love to talk about food. I talk so much about the recipes to get you thinking about it. I am hoping by seeing what I am thinking it will get you thinking. Thinking about all the components, about how they go together, about how they should taste, about what is it you are trying to create. Not just adhere to the recipe because it say so. I have found over the years of talking to people about cooking, they tend to just follow a recipe but do not really understand what it is they are trying to create. How it is suppose to taste and more importantly, if they will like it. This is one of reasons, people will say "oh that is a bad recipe" or  "I do not like that". Sometimes that is true but sometimes they just do not understand the ingredient and their palate.

I do not know if I have mentioned this, but before I was married I worked at a winery.  I was so interested in wine because the type of wine you drink can affect the taste of what you eat. It can add amazing dimension to you dish or totally ruin it. But I learned some really important things working at the winery. We all tastes thing different. When you work at a winery you are pouring the same 8 or so wines over and over again. You spend your day with others taking the tastes and smells of the wines apart (which I have to say is a pretty wonderful way to spend your day). I could have one person complain the Pinot Grigio was to sweet, the next say it is to grassy, then next too dry, ect. Some people can really taste all the details and some can barely taste them.

But why I am sharing all this with you? It is an important message a sweet little old lady taught me. She was one of the investors of the winery and I remember the first time she came to taste. She came up and asked me to pour her a glass of half Pinot Grigio and half Riesling. I was shocked. Nobody mixes their wines, especially when you go to a winery and tasting someones handiwork. She saw my shocked expression (I am sure she was use to it). She giggled and reached for my hand. "Sweetie" she says "the Pinot Grigio is to dry and the Riesling is to sweet. But together they are heaven"

She taught me two really important lessons. One, to not worry about what others think. I would see her at tastings, vintner dinners, ect. She let no one intimidate her. Now I have to say she was always open to try something new. She was not closed. She tried things and love it or made it so she loved it. She pleased her palate and this was the other lesson she taught me. Feel confident about what you like but also do not be so closed you will never try something new. Hold you likes firmly but with a soft grip.

So please take all my little notes about food as a way to learn, a way to think about the ingredient but do not hold them as gospel. Find what you like xoxoxoxox

PS. I wanted to thank My Big Mouth for my Brillante Weblog Award. It is very sweet of you !!!!


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Hi Clarice :)

Janet from Housepeepers mentioned her visit with you and I thought I would drop by your blog. This post really spoke to me. I love food and cook most nights. I know exactly what you mean :)

I loved my visit here.
Take care,


That is good advice for life, not just for tasting.

I think it is interesting how your own tastes can change as well. I've watched that happen with family members, especially the younger ones, which is why it is good to try something more than once, sometimes.

I hope all is well and that you are enjoying a lovely summer.


What an interesting post. Thanks for something to think about!


As you know I too like to teach and talk about food...well, at least it was my profession while I really enjoyed it. The came the food channel and the "food snob" blossomed. Everyone became and expert but they really didn't cook/bake at home. GASP! so it's lovely to read your thoughts about a recipe, it's obvious you like what you make and want to share and that's what it's really all about.
PS-- the mermaid is DIVINE an way to innocent looking to be a siren!


What a wonderful post and the lesson shared by the woman at the winery is something we all need to remember.

I do love the mermaid as I'm a mermaid collector.


Fabulous, thought-provoking post. So, I have permission to miX wines? Who knew!


I love that story! Someday I will tell it to my kids. Meanwhile I will try to live the lesson.


I love that story! Someday I will tell it to my kids. Meanwhile I will try to live the lesson.

Gumbo Lily

Well said, and I agree that we all taste things a little differently. I'm always game to try something new.


Mama Bear

This was a great post and I loved reading it. I even read the part about the winery and the "little 'ole lady" to my husband. We love wine and visit wineries whenever we can. Since we've been in Memphis, most of our mini vacations have been over to Missouri to the many wineries there. Ove the years we have learned to like and enjoy many varieties. I never mix mine but my husband sometimes does.
I love that she says to not close yourself off to new experiences. There is a beautiful world full of possibilities out there if we are open to them.

Jennifer Paganellli

Perfect delicate choice of ribbon..Jennifer


I think this is a valuable lesson. Sometimes you just have to put your pre-conceived notions down for a bit and try something new.

I also would LOVE to know more about that mermaid card. I'm coveting it...



Jill xoo



Jill xoo


Hi Clarice,
I really agree with what you are saying.
My husband and I always talk about how the flavors are in a good dish etc.
I swear, you should be writing a book about it, and have your own show.
Have a great weekend,


What a beautiful post, a good reminder to taste everything life has to offer!

And that gorgeous mermaid card..swooon...please tell me a bit about it!


I am reminded of a gorgeous quote by Katherine Hepburn. "If you always do what interests you, at least one person is pleased". More kudos to the little old lady!


Dear Clarice,
I enjoyed "please your palate so much!" Thank you for taking time to write this and for sharing your experiences. The sweet little old lady sounds delightful and it is nice that she knew what she liked and enjoyed it. Thank you for encouraging me to think about food and not just following a recipe but to make it my own and try different things. You are an inspiration!

Love the mermaid picture, the fabric and sea glass. You made such a pretty vignette!


I wish my husband read this, I don't know how many arguments we've had about food. My thing is try it, and try it again a different way. His motto is I've gone X years without it I don't need it now. Oh well I cook so he has to suffer through it all.
That woman sounds absolutely wonderful isn't it amazing how just a few interactions with someone really can impact your thinking? I love that!

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