Thursday, March 4, 2010

Don't be like me

This looks like it might be food. Don't be fooled.

There is one reason I haven't been posting and it's not because I haven't been cooking.

It's because my camera is on vacation. Or rather, the husband is on vacation and took said camera with him.

There's a fancy camera somewhere in this house that I could allegedly use. That, however, would require instruction, paying attention, learning what the hell "aperture" is, etc.

I'm more of a point & shoot gal, which is why I steer clear of the fancy cam. It's big. And probably not as used to butter smudges as my trusty SONY.

So, in lieu of a new recipe, I will share a few tips on what NOT TO DO when in the kitchen.

A few weeks ago I decided to make two dishes at once. One, a delicious casserole, was something I have made numerous times- a classic, if you will.

The other was a new recipe...that I was making up AS I COOKED.

Bad idea #1: Making things up while you go along and there is a hot pot on the stove!

Bad idea #2: Using the wrong equipment for the job at hand.

The recipe, also known as the big nasty pot of inedible burned goo, was supposed to be Broccoli Cheese Soup.

Simple, no?

Heh. It would be. If I a) paid attention to what I was doing instead of watching The Bachelor episode I was streaming on my laptop or b) used a sauce pan to make said soup instead of my steamer.

Right. There. I said it. I used a steamer to make soup. This probably would have worked out fine if the steamer had a flat bottom. Turns out, it doesn't. There is a distinct dome on the bottom of the steamer, which probably enhances it's steaming ability while simultaneously making it useless for much else.

I was trying to "go green", save the earth from more dirty dishes/be lazy and do less clean up.

Once I had steamed the broccoli to a bright green tender crisp, I drained it and set it aside. I combined some butter and flour in the bottom of the pan to create a roux. This is where things got dicey. The butter/flour combo wasn't browning right. For one thing, the steamer pan is made out of super thin metal which doesn't conduct the heat properly. Another issue was that damn dome in the middle. I was chasing the butter/flour mixture all of the place to no real effect. I was also cooking this concoction over medium high heat. Which leads me to:

Bad idea #3: Don't cook stuff over high heat just so you eat sooner. Try a snack instead!

Hotter is not always better, unless you're the Devil himself. Good food takes time.

I should have stopped right there. I should have tossed the whole bit and eaten a Fudgsicle for dinner. But I didn't. I added milk. And cheese. And broccoli. And stirred.

And burned a layer on the bottom of that steamer that took two days of soaking and a whole lot o' Brillo-padded scrubbing to remove. If I was a thinking woman, I would have tossed that pan out.

But I like a good challenge.

This is what the soup looked like after I put in a different pan to try and salvage it. It was curdled and tasted like burning. And now I had another dish to wash! *Hangs head in culinary shame*

Glad I got that off my chest. Next post will be dedicated to something you will actually want to eat, I swear.

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