Sunday, August 30, 2009

Forget dinner, bring me dessert!

Well, for those who read my last entry about the fettuccine experiment, you'll know why I'm moving on to dessert for my next recipe. I didn't screw up the pasta completely but I wasn't totally happy with the results and need to do some damage repair today after my dessert gets made. You're probably thinking, "Geez! Was it really that bad?" No, it wasn't, no one died or went to Emerg, but my standards for myself are very high. More stress but it gets me what I want as I explained to someone the other day.

Speaking of dessert and baking, I gave a speech at my best friend's wedding a few weeks ago. Believe me, I'm not off in left field picking daisies. This thought is related to baking. Anyway, in preparing my speech, I spent a lot of time thinking about Sue and I having grown up together. We've been best friends for 27 years and we've had a LOT of great times together.

Sue's my complete opposite in a lot of ways. For example, not only is she organized, tidy, likes the gym, and is naturally athletic, she's also a great cook and baker. She's the kind of person who can go in the kitchen, sans recipe, and "whip something up" out of baking soda, ginger ale, and jell-o. Ok, maybe not those precise ingredients (although I wouldn't put it past her) but you catch my drift. Me? I'm the one who has a recipe and freaks out if it doesn't say whether to put the lid on the pot or not. Stir the contents of the bowl 6 times? Done. No more, no less because the recipe says 6. In fact, today I bought a brick of cream cheese instead of the plastic container (apparently there's no difference) because the recipe says brick. Sue's a 'pinch of this' and a 'dash of that', stick it in the oven and it's heaven on your plate. I still read the directions for Kraft Dinner and have been eating it for about 15 years or so...

One day when we were kids, Sue and I decided to make my mother's recipe for "Chocolate Chip Drop Cookies". We often got together and baked stuff which usually meant we'd start out working on the recipe together, then eventually I'd get bored or do it wrong so Sue would step in to save it and I would eat the results. It worked well for us. Neither of us had made this one before and we didn't know what the "Drop" part referred to so we just shrugged and made chocolate chip cookies. No big deal, right? Except for the fact that we flattened each cookie dough ball on the cookie sheet with a fork because we'd recently made peanut butter cookies and that's what we did then so that's how you make all cookies, right? Stick it in the oven, set the timer, I supervise from the kitchen table while Sue rights the disaster we've created on the counters and floor. Kitchen is clean again, timer goes off, take cookie sheet out of the oven and what the hell?! We made a giant friggin' cookie! Yep, we managed to make one solid cookie the precise dimensions of the baking sheet. Okayyyyy, now what? Ah! Cookie cutters! We had dinosaur, tree, bell, and all kinds of fun-shaped chocolate chip cookies. Then we asked my mother about the "Drop" part.

Oh, and then there's the time I got the bright idea to make chocolate chip cookies (not my destiny perhaps?) for Thanksgiving and bring them to the cottage. We have our family Thanksgiving dinner potluck-style with our cottage neighbours and it's a lot of fun. Anyway, I borrowed my friend's favourite chocolate chip cookie recipe and got to work. 3 cups of sugar seems like a lot but hey, that's what the recipe says. Hmmm, this is a lot of batter, good thing I always pick the biggest bowl by default. Get out the baking sheets, first two are in the oven and I'm staring at a bowl of batter that barely looks dented. Two more cookie sheets later and I'm starting to worry. In the end, the cookies were good and plentiful. Key word being plentiful because if you actually read the whole recipe carefully, it does mention that it makes 7 DOZEN cookies! I couldn't give them away...

Am I really ready to attempt another dessert today?

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