Monday, August 31, 2009

Dear Reader,
(which, judging by the number of comments received,
is the right tense)

I have decided to make this blog a little more personal.
For years I have kept a journal, sometimes writing every day,
sometimes skipping entire years. Writing that flowed prettily
along the pages and writing that tore at the paper in angry black strokes.
I started writing as a sort of safety valve for the years of built-up steam and frustration.
Then I decided that after I'm gone, in the dead sense, I want any of
my kids who are interested and have the time between therapy sessions, to
read my journals and just maybe understand their mom a little better.

(there should be a transitioning sentence or two here but I couldn't
come up with one. Bite me.)

All the best books on writing say that to be a good writer, you must
find your voice.
After lurking in the food blogosphere for months and reading post after
post of food bloggers that I enjoyed, I've noticed a few things, one of which
I now share regarding this blog:

I am not Steamy Kitchen.
I am not Thursday Night Smackdown.
I am not Technicolor Kitchen.

I'm not any of those bloggers whose work I admire and enjoy every week.
I wish I could write like them. They each have such individual and entertaining
voices. I find myself LOLing whenever I'm in GoogleReader.

It's tough to find your own voice.
Your own point of view.
Your uniqueness. (is that a word? Really?)

Your own style, if you will.

And the only conclusion I can come to is that when I write in my journal,
I sound like Me.
I write as if I'm talking to - well, myself, I guess. Or e-mailing a friend that
knows me well enough to understand my jokes and foibles.

I don't know if you'll notice any difference in the sound of this blog or not.
I will no longer be trying to sound like a food blogger, though.

I'm just gonna be me.
(cue Frank Sinatra recording...)

So here we go.
I hope you enjoy reading over my shoulder.

The Red Velvet Debacle

Dear Me,

Well, that didn't go very well, did it?
Dammit, I thought a Food Network recipe would be foolproof.
And I'm sure it's not the fault of the recipe.
After all, it was from a Bobby Flay Throwdown. Although technically
the recipe was from his competitor, a woman who sells cupcakes for a
living in NYC. I would have thought that it would be good in spite of myself.

But no.

It should've been a tip off when I couldn't even get the batter to turn red.
I was out of liquid food coloring, had to use paste instead, which up 'til now has always
served me well. Bright vivid colors staining the frosting as well as my fingers.

But no.

This time so-called Super Red gave me a big raspberry, literally and
figuratively. Mighty Mac's bowl was filled with dark pink batter.
I even flew it past my son who peered into the bowl, swished the spatula
around and said laconically, "Raspberry."


I watched the blobs of batter dripping from the spatula. Shit.

But okay, this can still be delicious, right?
Wrong color, so I can't exactly claim these as Red Velvet, but as long
as they taste good, that's all I care about.

But no.

I wanted to use a couple of mini-Bundt cupcake pans that I had only used once,
so that meant I had to skip the paper liners and just spray the hell out of
the pans. Which I did. I had just enough Crisco non-stick stuff (with flour included,
though how they manage that beats the hell out of me) to do one pan, and used
butter-flavored for the remaining one.
Used my new medium-sized ice cream scoop to fill the swirly-shaped cups.
Wouldn't it be adorable to have cupcakes with little swirly bottoms?

I'll save myself some time, since this is clearly not a memory I wish to
chronicle and cherish, to say that the cupcakes smelled putrid in the oven.
I kept hoping it was just my hyper-sensitive nose and that I could
still pull off deliciously cream cheese frosting'd cupcakes for dinner. I
pictured the admiring oohs and ahhs as my family bit into them.
But when they cooled, the odor was no better.
My son ate one and said they were fine, but then, he's The Suck-Up
of the family. Not really, that's not fair to say that--but being the youngest,
I do think he tries to avoid saying the wrong thing (because when you're
fourth out of four, self-preservation and not pissing off a sibling is the
name of the game.)
These will be taking up precious space in the local landfill because I
cannot stand to serve them.
And tomorrow is another day.

My right arm is starting to really hurt so I have to wrap this up.
Suffice it to say I'm not sure whether it was the non-stick spray I used or
that I subbed canola oil for vegetable, but this was an Epic Fail.
Or like the Ex's high school students used to say after bombing a test:

"I failed HARD."


Jen of A2eatwrite said...

Well, you didn't fail hard on the post, Jane! I think writing in your own voice is always the way to go. I don't have the photo chops or many of the other things, either. What I do have is loyal blogging friends after several years, and for me, that makes it all worth it!

Don't you hate those epic fail days in the kitchen? Especially for me it's always something that's used *expensive* ingredients. Grrrr....

BTW... you DID come up in my reader this time, but still with no title on the blog... weird.

Jane said...

Thanks for the comment-I'm dizzy with excitement! lol

Yeah, I hate 'wasting' a bunch of expensive ingredients, too. Glad I hadn't made the frosting-it called for 24 oz. of cream cheese!!