Sunday, October 13, 2013
Cook or no cook
I have always considered myself an adequate cook. (Actually, I have always considered myself an Aswan fine cook, but humility prevents me from saying so!) In the battle of pot roast, I have won. In the battle of lefse, I have won. I have even had the first batch of divinity turn out. Once. But when it comes to banana bread, that tried and true staple every person over the age of five can make, I wave the white flag. I have tried every recipe I can find. I have even followed some of them. No luck. I have learned in my life that loss is a verb, not an adjective. Just because I have had that part on which I sit kicked by banana bread does NOT make me a loser! At least, I tell myself that. The reason for this “discussion”? I tried a new recipe today. It called for another of my nemesis—the Bundt pan. Historically, I prepared the pan. I assiduously greased ever crook and nanny. I sprinkled with flour, as per the instructions. On a good day, I’d get about 95% of the cake out. Not really what you want, since the part remaining in the pan is the part that everyone can see. Now understand, my success ratio with Bundt is much higher than banana bread. Actually, the chances of me becoming pregnant are higher than my making a good banana bread! I have had miraculous occurrences where the object d’baked good (that must be French, mustn’t it?) comes out whole. Beautiful. Just enough to tease me to try again. Well, today the recipe was pound cake. I’ve never made a pound cake, but how can you go wrong? 3 sticks of butter, 3 cups of sugar, 6 eggs, some flour—and you should have the finest crumb of any cake you bake. So said the recipe. Hold your breath! I followed the recipe. (Well, actually I substituted almond flavoring for vanilla, so sue me!) The cake dough was to die for. Into the Bundt pan. 90 minutes at 300. Out of the oven. Rest for 15. Remove from pan. Uh huh! I suppose I should tell you that the cake actually rose over the top of the Bundt pan and to be sure it came out, I had to break off that part and eat it. Again, that’s what I told myself! And heck, we all knew it wasn’t going to look real good any way! Wire wrack over the top. Flip. Hold breath. Remove pan. Fade into dark. Was it the Lady or the Tiger? Don’t you just hate it? But you…you are loved!