Tell us about your first time

Here's a chance to have your first moment in the kitchen all over again. Plus: Last week's winners

By Francis Lam
December 29, 2009 7:01AM (UTC)
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Every week, your challenge is to create an eye-opening dish within our capricious themes and parameters. Blog your submission on Open Salon by Monday 10 a.m. EST -- with photos and your story behind the dish -- and we'll republish the winners on Salon on Tuesday. (It takes only 30 seconds to start a blog.) And yes, mashed potato sculpture counts as a dish. Emphatically.

Do you remember your first time? This week, we're asking you to take a nice, long look back, back to the first dish you remember making, and remake it. Will you be opening packets of orange powder for macaroni? Will you update and fancy it up? I hope you never regretted it, and I really hope it didn't hurt, but no matter what happened then, here's your chance to relive the moment.


Be sure to tag your post: SKC first time again

Scoring and winning

Scores will be very scientific, given for appealing photos, interesting stories behind your submissions, creativity, execution and touchdown-to-interception ratio.



Last week's contestants made meals with people they love. And the winner is ...

Rebecca Farwell! For a story of survivalist cooking brought back to the home kitchen, and of a mother deeply proud of her son.

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In the Most Participatory Dinner Party category:

Linda Shiue, for fessing up to being a kitchen-door-closed kind of cook, and for explaining the joys of the hotpot party, where friends dip and cook morsels in a communal broth: "My favorite is how the broth tastes at the end, when the flavors of each person's choices have simmered together into an unimaginably rich, fragrant broth. The complexity of this flavor is the ultimate expression of tag-team cooking." Recipe included (Also check out FüsunA's extensive post on the history and etiquette of fondue. Recipes and diagrams included!)


In the category of The Blind Leading the Blind:

Moana, for a vivid and somewhat distressing story of learning to cook with her father: "Didn’t she ever try to teach you anything, or are you always a blockhead in the kitchen?"

In the Frangipane-Is-an-Automatic-Winner category:


F¨sunA, for conducting an earnest baking class with her son (and sharing the notes with us): "So when my son asked if tartelette was a girl tart, I didn't know what to say … Thus my son and I spent a good hour researching tarts and tortes and all that's in between." Recipes for Linzertorte, Pear Frangipane Tart, and Tarte Tatin included

In the category of Heartbreaking Ice Cream Cake Traditions:

Made4You: "Christmas Eve is my sister's birthday and as long as I can remember my family would have dinner and a Carvel ice cream cake. What couldn't be brought to the table was any talk of Christmas ... just birthday. With my family living on the other side of the country, I have continued this tradition with my husband. Each year we buy a small Carvel ice cream cake to celebrate and send my sister a photo of it. It's a little weird but keeps me sane over the holidays without my family around."


And finally, in the Goofus and Gallant category:

Kessa Shipley: "Her pork sandwiches, of course, were a success the very first time. Mine, I took to a party where it turned out the people didn’t eat pork. Also, I forgot to salt the buns."

Francis Lam

Francis Lam is Features Editor at Gilt Taste, provides color commentary for the Cooking Channel show Food(ography), and tweets at @francis_lam.

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Food Kitchen Challenge