Know Your Limits

There is a reticence I feel when writing about screwing up a dish. Nobody wants to read about bad food, why would they read articles by someone who makes the same mistakes they could? So after a failure this weekend, I was hesitant to write this morning. Never-mind that I successfully made ice cream twice this weekend, my first two times (caramel and sea salt and honey-rosemary). That is not what I think about as I sit down to inform my readers out there in internet land. I can think only of my screw ups this weekend.

I’ve long known that baking is not for me. I don’t like measuring and I hate recipes, baking is an exact science, these are necessities. With cooking I can toss and taste and fix and play, but with baking everything must be done as told. Last fall I posted about a messed up pumpkin pie. Today it was meringues. I had 10 leftover egg whites from making ice cream with the yolk and, of course, plenty of baker’s sugar. So the thing that came to mind was meringues. They didn’t work. An hour and a half, three tired pairs of arms and one wussy one armed mixer later, we gave up. It only went on this long because I have great friends who helped and tried to encourage me to keep trying, helping to whip while I prepared the salmon for dinner. But in the end, it was a failure.

So what comes out of this? I think the lesson is that I’ve learned my limits. I just won’t follow a recipe, so why should I try? Yes, it would make me a more well rounded cook, but it is just painful when it happens, and let’s be honest, I don’t really like sweet stuff anyways (except caramel and sea salt ice cream!). So I will continue to perfect my ability to cook delicious savory items and if you ever come to dinner, expect your only dessert to be ice cream!

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