Tuesday, July 14, 2009

a kitchen disaster post

Since I started my current job late last year I've managed to wow the crowds with my culinary outings, from my famous Italian style pate, to a lovely chestnut tart, a rhubarb and raspberry crumble cake and a gigantic slab of baklava.

Tomorrow we're having lunch to say farewell to a departing fellow servant of the state.

In my head I had fantastic pastry. Mini shepherds pies and gorgeous lentil pasties. So I came briskly home from work to set upon the pastry. First thing to do was get that brand new packet of plain flour out of the pantry.

Hang on. How long have they been printing 'self raising' on plain flour?


Ok, ok, don't panic. There's a bit in the plain flour container, and you have some pizza flour and some of the really cheap stuff that you use for dusting. OK, 5gm short. Hurrah.

mmmmm.... not so hurrah. After it's rested, it's dry and crumbly and I have awful trouble rolling it out. I make a couple of the pies, and decide to leave that, it's just too hard to get the dough into the mini muffin tins. Stick with the pasties.

I had made the most wonderful lentil curry on the weekend, so I set about cutting out circles of the less than perfect pastry. I should have stuck with the pies. Ever time I went to crimp the pasties, the dough broke and the curry leaked out, if I managed to get a circle of dough that was thin enough in the first place.

These are some of the better specimens

However, this is what most of them looked like.

I could have dealt with it if they tasted good, but the lentils had dried out and the pastry was way to short. It was like a mouthful of chalk.

Panic! Out come all my standard books, something with self raising flour,and not too much butter, as I'm running low on that too. Why can't I find anything with self raising flour!!!!!

Then I realise I have what I need for banana cake. Hardly revolutionary, but at least I won't go empty handed.

OK, flour, sugar, eggs, butter, bananas, milk. All set. Cream the butter and sugar. Hey this doesn't look right.

Of course it doesn't you dim-wit, because you've put in the flour, not the sugar.

Having used the last of the butter I have no choice other than to press on and mix it to within an inch of it's life. When I put it in the pan it had big chunks of butter still sitting in it. It's out now,and looks OK, but I think I'll cut it and try it before I leave tomorrow, just in case I have to face the ignominy of stopping at the shops on the way.

So, what started out as a sparkling clean kitchen and dreams of glory, ended with not one, but potentially three failed dishes and a kitchen that looks like this.

Worst thing is, as I was cleaning up I found another packet of butter in the fridge.


A Free Man said...

This is exactly why I hate baking. Cooking is wonderful - amenable to experimentation and substitution. Baking is so finicky and fussy.

Kitty said...

I know what you mean, I enjoy cooking more, particularly when I have people around to my house. Cooking allows you to experiement, but baking allows improvisation. Once you learn the rules (like fat/protein/starch ratios need to be maintained) you can mix flavours around.

However, more than anything I personally like a big, fat hunk of meat. And you find so few cake recipes with that in.

Kitty said...

it should be noted as an aside that the banana cake was dry and flavourless and almost none of it got eaten.