Sometimes I think that food bloggers take themselves a bit too seriously. There is actually an entire website dedicated to mocking the crazy things we say. It’s pretty hilarious, actually, you should check it out. I mean, don’t get me wrong, I love a 24 hour citrus marinated, grilled pork tenderloin with a side of braised haricot vert just as much as the next guy or gal, but sometimes we all need to just simmer down. Since last week was the definition of “too serious” I thought I’d lighten things up a bit by sharing some of my not-so-finest moments of this 6 month foray into blogging.
Exhibit A. Bread pudding featuring a particularly horrific display of improper dairy usage. You see, one day, a coworker randomly gave me a large, crusty baguette to take home. Sweet, I thought, maybe I’ll try and make bread pudding. So I did.
And It was disgusting. Well, actually it tasted kind of good, but it turns out that haphazardly mixing skim milk + heavy cream (which is NOT equivalent to whole milk, I assure you), sugar, melted butter and eggs leads to a curdled, mangy mess. I’d love to blame the recipe, which didn’t actually specify when to add the butter, but this disaster was 90% my fault. Even the delicious vanilla bourbon caramel sauce I love so much didn’t make it edible. So gross. I mean, seriously, what are those chunks?!!? Blurgh.
Before that, was this little guy. Remember my favorite, “fool proof” no knead bread?
Looks good right? Wrong. That day I learned the hard way that Ultragrain white whole wheat flour, is not the same as Ultragrain all purpose flour. Not even close. But, if you’re looking to make the densest bread ever in existence, I figured out a great way to do it. And no, there was no rosemary in that bread. It just so happened to be the same day that one of my friend’s dogs rampaged our herb garden, leaving about ten branches broken off. You know, just to add insult to injury.
Typically, when I make something that’s kind of a fail, as long as it doesn’t taste like toxic waste, I go ahead and eat it anyway because I HATE to waste food. Then, there was the lentil disaster of 2013. There’s no other way to describe it.
It started off innocently. Lentils, I thought, I don’t ever make lentils. Apparently there is a good reason why. Not once but TWICE I made a lentil, er slop might be the most accurate term, that was either so bland that no amount of salt or curry paste gave it flavor, or so mushy that even Parmesan and cream couldn’t save it. You know it’s bad when cheese doesn’t fix something.
Ew. I shudder to think about it. That last one went straight into the garbage, so there’s no picture. Be glad.
Eggs. Such a staple. Why are they so hard (for me) to cook perfectly? In my days, I have ruined a lot of eggs. The ability to cook them to slightly runny perfection simply escapes me. That hasn’t stopped me from trying, you see I’ve been on a serious eggs and bacon kick for like the past year. A bacon and eggs bender of sorts. Last weekend I made a bacon, tomato and corn hash in my new cast iron skillet (ah, I know! how did I not have a cast iron skillet before now?!). I wanted the eggs to look like this. Gorgeous right? Well, of course I ended up overcooking the crap out of them. It didn’t look completely terrible, but that lovely, rich, gooey egg flavor was nowhere to be found.
Then there was “Green Eggs and Ham linguine.” Cute, right? Everything about this meal was delicious, the chunks of crunchy bacon, the light, but pungent zip of pesto, and perfectly al dente fresh spinach pasta. Everything, that is, except the completely overcooked fried egg that stood atop the pasta like a frisbee. A frisbee, even one covered in bacon, still does not taste good.This meal had so much potential!! Though it would’ve made more sense to put some of the pesto on the egg, you know to fulfill the “green egg” part. Hm. Next time.
I made the pesto out of the tops of those crazy purple carrots I told you about a couple weeks ago. I didn’t even realize you could use them until I heard about this recipe on NPR. (The only thing I did differently was use walnuts instead of pine nuts and it was surprisingly, and wonderfully delicious.) BUT the whole point was for the creamy egg yolk to ooze out and lusciously coat the pasta below. Not so much after being cooked for about fifteen minutes too long. #fail.
So as you can see, we (food bloggers) are all human. I think it’s nice sometimes to remember that. I really am still learning a LOT about cooking, and am not at all ashamed to say so. Plus, people make mistakes! Even if you know exactly what to do to make a recipe delicious, it’s SO EASY to mess something up. That’s why I don’t lose my mind when a restaurant accidentally cooks my medium rare burger to medium well. That is, unless it is a recurring issue. In that case I just take my business elsewhere.
I hope you enjoyed my self-deprecating rant. I just found a great egg technique post from the Kitch’n so I think I’m gonna go work on that. Maybe I’ll add a side of bacon too. I never seem to screw that one up.