Recently, one of my recipes (Ellen's Chicken Cacciatore) was published on this site. It happens to be a recipe I created with some jazz cooking — meaning I was making it up as I went along, and then I refined it over time. As it happens, I'm gaga for rosemary,
so I tend to use more than most recipes call for. For those who don't like rosemary, it'd be a mistake to make this dish without lowering the amount that's called for (try adding thyme).
The recipe combines tomatos, white wine, and orange juice. One reviewer left the OJ out completely, and added a slew of italian seasonings, all of which would alter the flavor of the dish I created — to the point of my version being unrecognizable. To
her credit, she was good enough to give the recipe 5 stars, despite her major changes, in part because she was able to do some jazz cooking herself and came up with a Chicken Cacciatore that reminded her of her mom's. I'm happy to have helped her get back
to a taste she's been looking for, but to suggest that readers drop the OJ is to mislead them.
Another reviewer didn't like it at all, although she doesn't bother to explain what she didn't like. With nearly all reviews of this recipe, it's gotten 5 stars. So when someone doesn't like it, it suggests they're not fond of an ingredient (or more) in
the recipe. It would be more helpful to let readers know the offending elements of the recipe so they can tweak it themselves if they happen to share the same dislikes.
Naturally I like to see 5 stars: it's why I submitted the recipe in the first place. I think it's delicious and I make it a lot. It gets devoured at our home, whether served just to hubby or at a dinner party. I don't mind reviewers who find the recipe
not to their liking, but I mind when the negative isn't given any specifics and I definitely mind when a key ingredient is eliminated from a recipe, even when the reviewer still gives it 5 stars. Let's face it, the 5-star rating is a review of HER jazz cooking,
I've tweaked recipes here myself to adjust to my tastes. But when it's the first time I make a dish, those tweaks are generally minor because I want to know how the poster intended the recipe to taste. I usually pick new recipes with ingredients I like,
so it's not hard to stay near the posted version, and it seems only fair to the person who created it.
I already know I can't change what people want to write. I'm just sayin'...