my kitchen successes and failures come in cycles. recently i’ve been trying to gauge whether my move towards “failure cycle” coincides with cockiness. my thoughts become something like, “well, i’ll just ignore all those negative reviews of giada’s mascarpone mini cupcakes…there is no way my cupcakes will be too light and cave in and not separate from the paper!” right. they looked like mini craters. the upside was that they tasted pretty good and the boys didn’t seem to mind them. failure one.
failure two. lentil soup. i’m a big fan of heidi swanson and her cookbook and blog, but oh. my. did she let the ortiz family down with one of her lentil recipes (i’m not even going to bother going back and linking to it – trust me). it was a night where we were expecting 20+ people after dinner and so i thought a simple lentil soup would be easy and quick for us. so bad that even my frugality that would normally be horrified at throwing out a whole batch of untouched soup couldn’t be summoned to make me find the energy to turn it into something edible. there was a double horror on this night, though, as omar made a comment (i must add he said it very kindly, obviously not intending to hurt my love of lentils feelings) similar to this when i had him taste it, “yeah, pretty bad. and i’m not even really a fan of the other lentil soup you make.” i was a bit taken aback as i really like my other lentil recipe. sad. i guess that’s failure two and three if we get technical.
failure four-ish. can someone please tell me the secret to chocolate chip cookies that don’t turn out flat as pancakes? wasn’t the internet-hyped new york times chocolate chip cookie recipe supposed to fix this problem with its 36 hour chill/hydrate-my-dough trick? evidently not. they are still tasty, and i’m actually starting to think it is my baking stone’s issue. the ones i make on my standard cookie sheet seem to turn out a bit thicker.
One of the most important aspects of eating together—providing a safe place for shared communion—is enhanced when you are freed from the many “shoulds” and “oughts” perfectionism brings. As you increase your range and skill in the kitchen, keep a sense of proportion—and if failures occur, there’s always the dog or the compost.
or in our case, since we are dogless and compostless, 2 and 3 year olds.