There’s a reason why I don’t bake stuff for people during the holidays. Or any time of the year. It’s because with the exception of the apple crisp I made once that turned out awesome and the banana bread I make, I suck at it. I’m not much better at cooking regular stuff, you know, like dinner.
When you are ADD, there are things that just happen because we people miss stuff. Important stuff. Ok, often REALLY important stuff. Certain things go wrong due to:
1) Ingredients-Either a) I had it the last time I looked (in April) b) Didn’t look to see if we had it at all or c) Missed something entirely (Oh, I needed THAT for the recipe?) This sometimes calls for interesting substitutions, or a phone call to Mom for help.
2) Directions-Inevitably I will miss some really important part of the recipe. Case in point-Mexican Stuffed Shells. This is a very favorite in our house. For some reason, we haven’t made it in a very long time. Since we had leftover french fried onions from Thanksgiving, this is a great recipe to use the rest in. I’ve personally never made it, because the one with the talent in the kitchen department is my husband. I attempted it this time and as usual, only paid attention to part of the directions. I mixed up the ingredients and just threw them all together. Then I read the instructions again. I was only supposed to mix a HALF cup of the stuff together. Oops. So to fix it, I just added extra of everything. That works, right? I threw in what was left of the salsa in the fridge, I opened another can of tomato sauce. It came out ok. Of course, you really can’t screw up that kind of cooking. By all means try it though, just because I can’t follow directions doesn’t mean it’s not awesome. We use ground turkey in ours, because I don’t eat red meat.
3) Containers-I don’t often look at whether or not there is an insert in spices and extracts. I just dump, assuming that there are a whole lot of holes to keep the whole container from going in there. I was making a new recipe the other night, Turkey Pasta Soup. First let me point out that I had already met criteria #1 because I needed the Italian stewed tomatoes, and I only had regular diced. Damn Fareway, why do all of their cans look alike? I figured I would just add extra “Italian” spices. It needed basil. I took the spice container and just started shaking it in there. PLOOP! A half container of basil. Yup, I have no idea where the little shaker hole thing went. “Man, that is a LOT of basil,” Evil Genius remarked in passing.
Today we attempted some holiday treats. Mostly because I want to do stuff for people so I don’t look like a total douche this holiday. And also because Princess Christmas has been begging me since the day after Thanksgiving to do it.
So first we spent part of the day making sure we had everything we needed. Then I settled on doing white chocolate covered pretzels with crushed candy cane and holiday sprinkles. Easy, right? I read online that “Chocolate covered pretzels are one of the easiest treats to make on the face of the earth.” Whoever said that LIED!
I try to be all organized and whatnot. First I lay out everything I need. While I do this, I set my daughter loose on the floor working on making graham cracker crumbs for another project. I give her a bag of broken graham crackers and a hammer. She loved this task almost too much.
Then I tried to melt the chocolate. As I was gathering my recipes, on one website it said it was easier and better to melt the chocolate in the microwave than on the stove. Since I’m always looking for ways to make stuff go faster (mainly because I lose interest quickly) I pour half the package of white chocolate in the microwave and started to zap it. Meanwhile, I switch my daughter to saltine cracker crumbs. My we will have plenty of crumbs to make stuff with!
All of a sudden I smell something NOT GOOD. I look in the microwave and see a big black spot in the middle of the white chocolate. I burned it! Noooo! I stop the microwave and try to yank the bowl out. OUCH! The bowl is hot. A hot, stinky gooey mess.
I go back to the computer and google it. Ohhhhh, you should do it in twenty second intervals until it’s almost all melted. And stir, and all of that stuff. In other words I have to monitor it. Sigh… Ok, at least I have a half package left. So I pour that into another bowl and stick it back in for the first of probably a million twenty second intervals. While this is going, I eat what didn’t burn of the other chocolate (and I wonder why I’ve gained weight??)
If only I could say it turned out perfectly and the pretzels were awesome. Oh no, you’re talking about something I’m cooking. While I did earn the title “She Who Microwaves” from a coworker because of my love for taking shortcuts with a microwave any way I could, this does not make me an expert in any way. l After microwaving several times at 20 second intervals, I wound up with a hard lump of white chocolate.
After consulting Google again, I discover that apparently you can overcook the stuff. This is when I gave up for the day. Not because I give up easily, but because I had a 2nd grade Christmas concert that evening and had to move on to other things…
In summary, research your desserts completely, because you never know when they’re going to turn on you! If you want good baking, go over and visit my friend Karen at Baking In A Tornado. She bakes great stuff!
Oh, and burnt white chocolate doesn’t taste bad at all.