Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Kitchen failure, followed by success!

I actually wrote this a few weeks ago...this is the post that inspired the blog idea in the first place.

So, I haven’t cooked much in the kitchen in our house yet. Partly because the house is still far too much of a mess to try to get into anything accomplished in the kitchen, but it’s mostly because all my kitchen things (pots, pans, utensils, small appliances, etc) are still on display in my mom’s dining room. This being, of course, because we’ve been a lil’ busy since the wedding w/the 2 week honeymoon and the whole Christmas thing, and because I’ve not wanted to move anything until I had what’s here set up exactly how I want it. Somehow, I’m thinking this is going to get old soon- both for us and for my mom who probably wants her space back!
This morning, instead of getting up for our usual Sunday brunch at La Hacienda, we wound up sleeping in and fixing some breakfast at home. I thought, “OK, this should be simple enough. We can make toast in the oven, cook bacon in the microwave, and I can use my brand new egg cooker (received as a birthday gift) to poach some eggs! Easy!”
See, most of my friends probably have no clue what an egg cooker is, but I grew up using my mom’s and love it! With the handy-dandy little egg cooker, I can hard boil, soft boil, or poach eggs in just a few minutes and with a total lack of major effort! The egg cookers my mom always used had the shell piercer (is that even a word?!) in the middle of the egg rack, and measure marks for the water in the bottom of the cooker (up to this level for soft cooked, up to this level for hard, etc). This egg cooker, however, has a separate little measuring cup with the hole puncher on the bottom—which wouldn’t be so bad if it had a WARNING about that! I’m taking it out of the box and pulling the plastic off the cup, and- what’s that sharp thing in my finger?! Oh, the hole puncher! See, it’s clear and made of the same plastic that the cup’s made of…so you sorta’ can’t see it. Again, warning!? Would it be so hard?!
Ah, but this little cup doesn’t stop with being devious with the hole puncher, it also has tricky little marks on it, as well! Common sense would say they’d mark it “fill to half for soft boiled eggs, fill to top for hard boiled eggs.” But, no! It’s fill to line 1 for soft eggs, fill to line 7 for 7 hard eggs but line 4 for 5 hard eggs, etc. Seriously?
So, ok…I figure out the egg cooker and get my 4 eggs in for poaching (water up to line 4, thank you very much!). Then Anthony puts the bacon in the microwave to cook, and I turn on the oven. This particular oven has high broil and low broil. Hmm….I’m thinking high broil would just be a higher temperature and would toast the bread faster. So, on high the broiler goes (mistake #1), and I move the shelf up to the top rack (mistake #2).
As my eggs are nearing perfectly poached and the microwave has cut off, I stick the bread in the oven and close the door. I do not exaggerate when I say that I closed the door, turned around to close the pantry door, and turned back around to check the eggs when I already smelled that oh-so-familiar burn smell. “What the…?” I think as I throw open the over door to F L A M E S. (Now *that* would’ve made a good photo!)
I know that we all can embellish a story from time to time to make it better, but please believe me when I say that I am not exaggerating or forgetting time in this story. I *literally* had that bread in the oven for less than a minute when it erupted into flames! All 3 pieces were flaming, and I do not mean just a spark---I mean the full surface of each piece of bread was FLAMING! Complete arc of flame between the bread and the heating element! Did I mention FIRE IN MY OVEN!
So, um….how do we feel about grits with the eggs and bacon instead of toast?
Luckily, with failure comes some success, as well. Yesterday, I made some delicious peanut butter fudge! I grew up watching my mom make fabulous chocolate fudge, but I also love peanut butter, as well. This past week at work one of my managers brought in some peanut butter fudge, and it was great! I told her that I needed to get the recipe from her to try someday, and she said, “oh it’s easy, you just take the fudge recipe and use peanut butter chips instead of chocolate chips!” That easy?! Really? I can do that, and I did!!! And it’s good!!! Super super easy, and it actually is quite yummy! So, photo #2 is the results of my first “baking” in the house…delicious peanut butter fudge.
Next time, mint chocolate fudge with Andes Candies mint chocolate chips and low on the ol’ broiler.

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