You know, once in a while, I realize how phenomenonally bad I am at cooking, like it’s mind-boggling. Husband does most to all of the cooking, seeing as he’s had a past life as a restaurant cook. (He cannot bear how slowly I cut carrots b/c he is Kitchen Ninja.) I didn’t always stink. I managed to feed myself before I met Husband, but now, if he’s not home, I find myself paralyzed and at a loss when hungry.
Even when you have no culinary gift, I think you can become adequate. It’s like learning French – you just follow the steps (which incidentally, I started to study, but then stopped when I had to make flash cards. Like, I just want to fastforward to fluency so I can fantasize I’m in a French spy movie, you know? I don’t actually want to work at it. Argh.) Anyway, sometimes following recipes, I miss crucial, logical steps, which brings me to Amish Friendship Bread.
Someone at work gave out the starter, which splits into four starters (for four batches of batter), which yields two loaves each — for a total of eight loaves. I only have two pans. I made the first batch — no prob. I made the three other batches last night — disaster. I just stuffed the remaining batter in the two pans…because I am lazy. I just want it to all work out and not be bothered. When I first smelled something burning, I ignored it, hoping it would go away. Only when the mirrors became opaque from the smoke did I start to focus, opened the oven. The bread batter was steadily overflowing the pan, dripping goop, forming stalagmite formations on the bottom of the stove, some of which were burned black, some of which….were on fire.
It’s like that time I made taco shells in the toaster oven when I just moved into my apartment and they caught fire. When I finally pointed it out to Husband, because I was paralyzed, he opened the toaster door and the flames fanned out and started to lick the ceiling. (Our toaster oven is on a shelf.) I was like, Awesome. We just moved here. The neighbors will hate me after I burn the building down.
I shouldn’t actually be baking anything right now anyway, but the urge takes over when I have crucial projects due. Like during my MFA thesis, I was like, “I know! I’ll make every bread A through Z in this cookbook Miles gave me!” Duh. This week, I have to finish the third draft of this YA book I’m working on.
It’s not like EVERY time I’m in the kitchen, the FDNY is involved, but my liquid bread experiment was a particularly bad last night. UGH.