When it comes to cooking for others, my dad is definitely my most reliable taste-tester. It’s not immediately obvious that that’s the case–like any good parent, he will ooh and ahh over everything I make, whether or not it actually deserves the fuss. Even if it burns, or curdles, or collapses in the middle, Dad will cheerfully scarf it down.
But there are little signs.
If he’s the first to reach for seconds, it’s good.
If he keeps going back for more until nothing’s left, it’s really good.
If he starts quietly hogging the serving dish, it’s practically ambrosia.
I made tomato jam last week, and he took possession of the bowl and ate it directly from the spoon, ignoring just about everything else on the dinner table. I don’t believe higher praise exists.