Sunday, July 11, 2010
First, I wanted to make ice cream. Second, I wanted to use ingredients I had on hand, if possible. And third, I've been itching to enter some recipe contests.
The problem with some recipe contests is the fine print. The first issue that comes up are the exclusions. Many contests ban members of the media. I work for a newspaper, and that's the media. It's a small newspaper, but depending on how stringent the rules are, it could disqualify me.
Second, some contest disqualify anyone who is a "food writer." Ugh. What does that mean? I've got this blog, and I write a bread column for Serious Eats, and I write a cooking column for the newspaper. Add all that together, and it looks like a lot of food writing. But enough to disqualify?
For a contest that was being sponsored by King Arthur Flour, I got clarification on their definition of "food writer" and they said that if more than half my income came from food writing, then I would be disqualified. Otherwise I was good to go. I qualified. By a mile.
But that might not be the case for other contests. So if I can't get a clarification on the rule, I skip the contest.
The third, and biggest hurdle for me, is the rights that the contest entry requires. I've seen more than a few rules that say thay by entering the contest you turn over all rights to the recipe, including all rights that exist now, and all rights that might exist in the future. Obviously they're covering themselves for whatever new media might exist he future. I'm sure that a lot of old writing contracts were written as though print media was all that would ever exist, and the Internet created a legal nightmare for some. So the new rules are written to cover evolving technology. Fine for them, but not for me.
I work hard on my recipes, and I don't want to give up all rights, forever, for a recipe and all its possible revisions, alterations and grandchildren. What if some day I want to publish a book? Or some distant relative wants to publish my recipes in a family book? There's no way I'm giving up my best recipes just to enter a contest. I'd be happy to sell my winning recipe for a million dollars, but there's no way they're getting all rights just because I'm entering.
You agree not to reproduce, download, re-distribute, copy, sell, publish, broadcast or circulate any Recipe (other than your own) contained in the site to anyone. You acknowledge and agree that, except as set forth herein, you have no right to modify, edit, alter or enhance any of the Recipes (other than your own) in any manner.
As with any online site, I'm sure there are plenty of people downloading and copying the recipe. I mean, if you want to make it, you're going to download it and possibly print it. But I like that it restricts people from republishing it and calling it their own. It will still happen, I'm sure. But at least there is fair warning given.
When when I looked at the recipe contest, I saw that there was also a photo contest. Make a recipe on the site, take a photo and submit it, and that's it. Perfect. I wanted to make ice cream, I had the ingredients, and I figured I could manage a photo without too much trouble.
Since the rules restrict publishing the recipes on that site, I'll send you there for the actual recipe. This is the ice cream that I made.
As far as a review of the recipe and the results, I used half and half because I had a quart on hand, but heavy cream probably would have been better. I like a creamier mouthfeel, and this was just a bit watery to be spectacular.
The coffee measure wasn't very precise in the recipe, so I went by taste. I used espresso powder, since I didn't have any instant coffee, but since it wasn't a precise amount to begin with, it's close enough.
Overall, it was a good recipe. Not the greatest I've ever made, but good. The only problem was the amount. It was more than my ice cream maker can handle, but of course that varies by machine. It might be just fine for yours.