Saturday, June 2, 2012

Reality vs. MakeBelieve

The reality of my kitchen work is nothing like the make believe stuff I see on television.  I've mused about this before, but I've gotten another large dose of reality heaved my way the last few days. Despite the fact that I honestly believe my baked goods are without a doubt the best (both in quality and in taste) in the Florida Keys, it hasn't come easy.

It's been rainy here for the last day or so.  In fact, it was so rainy yesterday I missed my run.  Sure I run when it rains, but I do not run when there's lightning or when there's an absolute deluge.  Yesterday afternoon if I wanted to venture out I would have needed an ark.  I didn't even get to Pop's to deliver a chocolate muffin for him until close to 7pm.  Rainy weather makes me retreat to my kitchen. I've been experimenting with a few new recipes, one of which is a matcha green tea cupcake.  The flavor was perfect, the texture was chewy and doughy.  Plus, they sunk in the middle. Back to the drawing board on that one.

I do not smile when matcha green tea cupcakes get tossed into the compost, especially when I pay retail for the matcha powder.

On the upside, I've got a cinnamon roll recipe I'm working on today which so far is good.  I had to stop and put that aside though because one of those "reality moments" smacked me in the face right in the middle of the recipe.  When I say smacked, I mean it.

Is it just me, or does anyone else in the world have a cabinet door somewhere in their kitchen which, when opened is perfectly at eye level?  I feel so alone on my kitchen mishaps.  No one talks about it, well no professional chefs will openly talk about this stuff.  They've got their pride.  Me?  I've got no pride.  I'm honest to the core about the epic fails and successes in my kitchen.  So, today's confession is that I got into a boxing match with one of my top pantry doors.  I'm here putting up this post in between icing my right eye socket and forehead.

I have a very bad habit I should break when I'm working in the kitchen.  I leave any cabinet door in the open position until I've put any ingredients I need back into that cabinet.  Horrible habit. Sometimes I'll have 3 cabinets open at once.  It's not usually a problem, 95% of my supplies are located in non-trafficked areas.  Its just that stupid top pantry door.  It houses my baking basics, some spice overstocks, and salt.  I really need a salt box.  I had one, it was a gift from my dad. That salt box broke and I haven't had the heart to replace it, which is probably pretty ridiculous. Since I was still using the salt making my cinnamon rolls, I left the door open.  When I spun around to move toward the bottom pantry door, guess what greeted my right eye socket and forehead.

Corners are pointy. And sharp.  And they hurt when spun into.

I got mad and attacked my pantry door.  At least its still on the hinges, so I won't have to answer any odd questioning from the other happy vegan as there is no door fixing coming his way.  This time at least.

All in the name of a cinnamon roll.

So, I stopped the project, got out the ice, and sat down at my keyboard.

Keep calm and carry on.  Thanks for the advice Your Majesty.

I saw Emeril once do a taping for his cooking show.  A friend invited me.  I loved it.  Although the day we went the theme was horrid.... barbecue, and I don't mean tofu or 'shrooms.... I was mesmerized by the antics in his kitchen.  This man had more assistants running around doing his prep work than lawyers in a courthouse.  They chopped for him, they measured for him, they cleaned for him, they stirred for him.  But, when the cameras rolled, there he was alone and showing how easy cooking is simply by tossing something (usually salt or fat) in a pot with a big "BAM."  No one saw the assistants that numbered in the double digits.

No one slices, dices, chops or measures for me.  When I say something is "artisan made" trust me, around here its "artisan made." My hands and joints are suffering more in these years of cooking and baking than they ever did as a full time massage therapist. My baking is utterly a labor of love. I couldn't do it if it wasn't. Something I find hard to believe myself is that I simply cannot stop.  I must bake. Even the other happy vegan will attest to this fact. Often, my down time is spent baking and trying new baking recipes. As hard as this work can be at times, I love it completely and hope that passion never fades.

I'll bet Emeril has someone hold ice on his face when he needs it; I noticed he left cabinet doors open too...

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