Monday, June 13, 2011

I was thinking about going all Julie and Julia

Yep.  It's true.  My plan, this summer, was to go through a baking cookbook.  Or at least begin to go through a baking cookbook.  I was going to mother my boy during the day, write papers for graduate school during naptime, and then bake some new concoction in the evening.  My grand plans also included, but were not limited to: a weight loss of 10 more pounds, finding and buying a new wardrobe, pulling out the sewing machine, becoming crafty with felt, and taking up jogging (although the jury was definitely still out on that one considering that I really didn't want to start that madness up again).

Things got moving and shaking that first week.  I made a peanut butter cream pie from this book, but got super pissed at the process of figuring out when in the hell the damn pie was baked all the way through.  The truth is, I know how to do an apple pie.  I get that.  So I figured, this one is going to be easy peasy.  I've never had to worry about the crust getting too brown, I've always been somewhat satisfied with the insides.  And I'm working with peanut butter.  Seriously.  Can't be that hard.

The news of the hour was that the innards, although showing me they weren't completely baked through based on the knife jabbed in their middle, seemed to be overcooked.  And the crust?  Brown.  Too brown.

Bridget and Tesoro claimed it turned out great, but really.  I know.  I know they were just trying to be friendly.  The damn thing was chewy.  And the crust tasted dry.

Because I knew this was all about learning (The Summer of Baking!), I decided to go for a different pie yesterday.  One still using only a solo crust, one still ending up with a creamy middle, one from the same cute as heck sounding cookbook.  And for this one, well, for this one I decided to say "screw the knife trick!  As soon as the crust resembles the ones you make at Thanksgiving, pull the sucker out!"  Ends up that was the wrong choice.  Oh, Checkered Lemon Pie... you had the potential for being so dang good.

This time Tesoro was my only guinea pig, and boy did he try his best to convince me that it was good.  But seriously.  The insides were goo.  To the point that I got borderline (perhaps a wee bit more than that) pissed off at him.  "Tesoro!" I shouted, "Stop eating the damn pie!  It tastes like SHIT!  It's not even cooked all the way!  STOP EATING IT!  It has raw eggs, you're going to die, and I'll be the one to blame!"

As I scraped the remainder into the sink, smelling its lemony potential as it went down the drain, I decided to quit my Summer of Baking.  F this.  I'm a better baker than I'm showing myself to be.  Stupid cream pies.  Who even eats cream pies?  I don't need to do this.  Stick with the apple pie.  All you're doing is getting frustrated and angry.  Wait, maybe you shouldn't bake anymore.  Maybe you do suck at this.  IDIOT BAKER!  (yes, I have real nice self-talk)

A day later I've reconsidered.  I think it's the cookbook.  Maybe it's the oven?  Maybe it's because I don't have enough kitchen gadgetry

Anyway.  You'll be glad to know I'm not giving up.  No, no.  Instead I'm switching gears.  Going to make some changes.  Going to clear the baking air. 

I'm going for it.  And you?  You'll get to hear all about it.  Lucky, lucky, lucky.