1.11.2010

I Can't Cook

A few days ago I read a post put up by one of my absolute favorite food people, the marvy Carol Blymire of Alinea at Home, about how she suddenly hated food. This bout of loathing was brought on by a series of kitchen misfires: a powder failed to be powdery, a delicious-sounding recipe came out tasting awful, myriad petty culinary mistakes all conspired against her, which is kind of a thing, because Carol is an amazing cook, and for that much stuff to go wrong clearly there is something, as the kids say, afoot.

And I was like "aw," and "heh," and sympathetic if not entirely empathetic, but then this evening happened and you guys I am SUFFUSED WITH EMPATHY because the last four hours have been the most culinarily depressing perhaps OF MY ENTIRE LIFE. And, you know, I am not really such a shoddy cook. I'm in fact pretty darn good. OR AM I?

• A simple dinner of ground turkey and marinara over pasta went horrifically awry: the turkey somehow steamed in the skillet, I accidentally added garam masala instead of cinnamon to the sauce, resulting in a weird Indo-dessert-y situation that I misguidedly tried to remedy with capers in brine, which was REPULSIVE. Like, gag-inducingly so.

• So I threw away the meat sauce and sauteed some garlic and red pepper flakes in olive oil, meanwhile the pasta overcooked and became gross and gummy, and while tending to the pasta the garlic overcooked and became rancid, but by then we were dying of hunger so we ate it anyway. BUT THEN the parmesan came off the microplane in clumps instead of the usual snowy shavings, and that was also gross.

• So I put all that behind me and turned to the cupcakes I was making for my boss's birthday tomorrow. Eggs, butter, flour, sugar, milk, vanilla. Batter was delicious. Poured into cups. Popped into the oven. 16 minutes, perfectly browned, out to cool. And once they were cool Mr. B and I tore into a sample one to find a sticky sponge that was full of holes and wouldn't detach from the paper and tasted like scrambled eggs.

• ...And which couldn't be masked by the chocolate buttercream, which I make so often and with such consistent success that SERIOUSLY I COULD MAKE IT IN MY SLEEP, except that for some unknown reason the sifted powdered sugar was grainy and crunchy and you know, that didn't even matter, because instead of using cocoa powder I accidentally used mocha powder and the result tasted like a burnt cup of coffee.

AND THIS HAS ALL BEEN SINCE 7 PM.

So anyway all of this would be fine and I would give up completely, and resign myself to a temporary exile to a land of Chinese takeout and Lean Cuisine, were it not for the fact that, oh, of course, I'm throwing this ludicrous dinner party this weekend for which I am, of course, cooking effing everything. GOD HELP US ALL.

1 comment:

Carol said...

It sucks, doesn't it? Solidarity, sister.

p.s. -- I went to the grocery store this morning to try and get back into the swing of it all and some fucknugget was on his phone, not paying attention, and opened his car door into mine waaay too hard, so now I have a huge-ass dent in the door. FOOD HATES ME, STILL.