Saturday, December 25, 2004

Would you like a hockey puck, or perhaps a baseball?

Although I enjoy cooking and have been known, on occasion, to make something that tastes really good, I also have quite a history for culinary disasters. And being that I am extremely thrifty and conscientious about not wasting food, I usually always attempt to recycle the disasters. Earlier in the fall a batch of cinnamon rolls I made came out of the oven over-baked and burnt on the bottom and, indeed, did resemble hockey pucks. I put them all in the freezer to give me time to think about how they could be salvaged. Eventually I hit upon the idea of using them for bread pudding. I scraped off as much of the burnt part as I could, found a bread pudding recipe, and worked my magic on them. Unfortunately, the result was burnt-tasting bread pudding. I made two batches of it before I admitted it didn’t taste very good and threw the rest of the hockey pucks away (but on the compost heap so the freeloaders who cruise through at 3 in the morning could have them). I was curious to see what sort of disaster I’d have today as I put together Christmas dinner. And now that the meal is over, my husband has strict orders to stop me the next time I attempt to make a pie crust. I dropped one cooked, peeled potato down the garbage disposal, so that delayed the mashed potatoes while I ran another one through the microwave. The most interesting failure was yesterday, when I decided to get a head start and made the “quick yeast muffins” as our dinner bread. I misread the recipe and put in less than half the amount of water. So instead of a nice muffin-type batter, I had very dry bread dough that I formed into balls and put in the giant muffin tray to see what would happen. What happened was I had baseballs after 20 minutes of baking, so I redid the recipe. This morning I eyeballed the rock hard lumps while the mental wheels turned and while the sweet potato pie with its horrific crust was baking, I thinly sliced them and made “melba toast.” Turned out pretty good, too.

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