Aug 13 2009
When I take on a project, I tend to ignore everything else in my life. When I decided to start work on an ebook of original desserts, my kitchen started to look much as it does around the holidays when I’m baking and candy-making during every free moment I have. For Christmas, I like to make gift baskets of goodies, each year trying to get a bit more elaborate, always trying to include one thing specific to that person. Each year when I’m finished, I say never again.
With my kitchen in a new state of disaster – there are desserts everywhere (a sane person would stretch a project like this over weeks, happily snapping away a photo when they decide to make a dessert, but I never really claimed to be sane), it’s been somewhat of a struggle to cook everything from scratch.
Yeah, about that. It’s confession time.
I first slipped a bit without even realizing it, when I slathered some Hellman’s onto freshly toasted bread (hey, I made the bread from scratch), covered it in bacon and sliced tomatoes, and finally draped a lettuce leaf over it all. And of course topped it off with another slice of homemade bread slathered with Hellman’s.
I’m a failure.
But at least I didn’t realize that mistake until after the fact. I had nothing against making mayonaisse, other than the fact that I don’t like it very much to begin with. I use mayo for two things, and two things only: BLT’s and tartar sauce. Of course, I admit that my feelings toward the real deal may just be completely different. So, I’ve added making mayonaisse to my To Do list.
But I’ve knowingly broken the rules since then. First, after making up a batch of taco meat, full of onions and peppers, and lots of different spices, I realized I had a bag of opened organic tortilla chips in my pantry. (Why I couldn’t find them on the first day when it was lunchtime and my stomach was trying to eat itself, I’ll still never know.) Instead of making homemade tortillas for dinner that night, I made nachos. And then had nachos again for lunch the following day. And then had nachos again for dinner one night this week.
But even if you can forgive me for that transgression (after all, the chips were already open and in the pantry when I began this challenge), the real crime occurred when I decided I would purchase hamburger buns from the bakery. I had thrown myself into dessert making with such force that everything else was pushed aside. I had the choice to dirty up dishes making another dessert to photograph, or dirtying the dishes to make hamburger buns.
And then I remembered the reason I took on the Scratch Challenge – to basically force myself into preparing wholesome food everyday, regardless of everything else going on in my life. I thought of Julie Powell, and how the year she cooked all of Julia’s recipes, she often didn’t have dinner on the table until after 10 pm. I mean, the point is for me to not take the easy way out, just because I’m busy. What’s the point of a challenge if you’re choosing not to follow through? But as it turned out, a friend called me last night to offer up a change in menu. He was already making steak au poive and asked if I’d like to throw some filets into the mix. (This would be why I keep a butchered tenderloin or two in my freezer.) Yes! One of my favorite meals ever.
So instead of releasing the ebook today like I had hoped, I decided to give a preview of one of the desserts. The rest will be coming soon.