Saturday, June 18, 2011

And just when I almost threw in the towel (again)

If I had the nerve, or rather lack of manners, I would have titled this post "Sons of Bitches."  Instead, I have just the amount of nerve, or rather, amount of manners, to use said phrase in the beginnings of my blog post.  That you just so happen to be reading.  So in turn, you just said "sons of bitches."  Perhaps you read it internally as though you were reading a fact (the period at the end would encourage you to do so)?  This time, however, I want you to read it with some gust-o.  Some frustration.  Some real voice.


There.  Better.  Now you know exactly how and what I was thinking two nights ago as I peeled the lemon bars out of the pan, trying to scratch off the too brown and too crusty corners.  Unintentionally caramelized.  Overcooked.  Underpaid.  Too thick.  Not right.

Sure, everyone ate one.  Which about made me scream and shout and mash each and every jacked up looking bar together in a gigantic blob of lemony scented yellow goo prior to throwing it against the wall just to take some sort of satisfaction in the smacking sound it would  most certainly have to make.  (How's that for internal dialogue, voice, and lack of breathing?)

Let's look back, shall we?  As I had been preparing them, delighted by the fact that the oven was right on par for temperature, I had been trying to come up with just the right words to describe the smells, the texture, the way the lemon zest gently fell into the silver bowl.  I smelled the butter as I mixed it with the, well, I don't remember now what I mixed it with, but I smelled it.  And it made me all kinds of proud and happy and warm and cozy.  I read the recipe card, stoked that I did indeed have all the ingredients even if I didn't have the right pan size, and decided to just go with it.  I mean, really, was it going to matter that I only had an 8 x 8 pan instead of a 9 x 9?  No.  No, no, no.  I would just bake it a bit longer.  Yes, I would make do and it would all be okay.

Obviously I was wrong.  Wrong, wrong, wrong.  And even though I had purposefully gone against my willful intent of waiting to bake until I got my new cookbook, I came this close to once again quitting.  Because it sucks to mess up again and again and again.  Like, really sucks.

Tesoro, my lovely tesoro, gently encouraged me through his lemon-scented bites to bake something I knew would work out.  To have a success before getting back to the grind of failure.  Didn't he know that I needed to stop this?  That I needed to become a happy person again?  That even though I could make a good apple pie and batch of cinnamon rolls, I needed to expand myself?  That even though none of this made sense, if I couldn't step up to the challenge I should just get over myself while eating a bag of Doritos and drinking a case of Michelob Ultra (after, of course, the wee one goes to bed)?


So.  Going against his advice, I chose to make a batch of blueberry muffins this morning.  By some grace of God, I managed to figure out the right calculations for the elevation (we're talking 7,500 feet), and got the results I've been waiting for.  Needing.  Hoping.  Seeking.  Relying on occurring so I could smile again.

Check it:

And now, according to tesoro, these are officially outlawed in our house.  Finally, a smile.  Slathered in butter with a hint of purplish blue.