Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Pick Yourself Up, Dust Yourself Off, etc etc.

Yesterday's Fail has been preying on my mind.
It really pisses me off to waste expensive ingredients on something
that turns out to be inedible (almost typed indelible--here's a trick--stare at both words
long enough and your eyes will spaz out completely) and
still not even know the whys and wherefores of the problem.

So I did what I always do when faced with culinary roadblocks:

I called my mom.

I know how blessed I am to have reached this age and still have my mom
standing in, if not the wings, then at least within cell-phone range.
She has had over 62 years of cooking and baking for a family of five and
lived to tell the tales. Mom is the only one to still go through the time-honored
process of making kolache every Christmas--and she's not even Czech.
It's a family recipe from my father's side, and she learned at my
grandma's elbow how to make them.
Side note: none of my aunts ever did the kolache thing, but they loved my mom's!

I know that nearly everyone thinks that their mom is the best cook/baker
in the world--and poor, deluded souls they are, too--only I know that through
some accident of birth, some cosmic shake-and-shimmy, I am descended
from She Who Rules The Kitchen. If Mary Lou has had any Epic Fails in the
kitchen, I've never heard about it (but that would make a good post, wouldn't it?)

So I regaled her with my latest Red Velvet exploits. And, oddly enough, she had
absolutely no idea, no inkling (as she puts it) of why it happened.
We concluded that it probably wasn't my subbing in canola oil for the
vegetable oil written in the recipe, or the non-stick spray I used, since
both of us have used those things before with normal results.
As we talked it over, a vague olfactory deja vu hit me--

Yes, cats and kittens, I'd passed this way before (Note: see Seals and Crofts).
That--that--smell had assaulted my schnozz about a year ago. The memory is still
fuzzy as I write this, but then I've always been big on blotting out unpleasant
not to say traumatic experiences.

And the culprit?

Those bloody mini-Bundt pans!

Mom suggested that maybe some weirdo chemical reaction happened to
the non-stick coating of the pans when sprayed with the non-stick spray.
Sounds reasonable.
Of course, to be sure, I'd have to redo the entire thing exactly as before, including
forgetting to add the vanilla until after I added the eggs like I did the first time--
a non-crucial step, I'm pretty sure.

But a closer look at the recipe also revealed something Fourth-of-July gasp-worthy:

this recipe included a nutritional run-down--

In each normal-sized cupcake?

59.7 grams of fat!!!!!

I would be shrieking but this is not an auditory medium.

I will be plunging into the depths of my recipe files to locate a Red Velvet
three-layer cake recipe shared by a neighbor eons ago which I have
successfully made (in cake form, mind you) and try to modify it for cupcakes.

Stay tuned!

1 comment:

Jen of A2eatwrite said...

Yikes... I'd modify it indeed! It also sounds like maybe that pan has to go. I wish I'd had the culinary training/guidance that you did. My mom had some lovely standards, but she never embraced cooking. My grandma sure did, but she died at just about the time I was interested, and my mom didn't save her recipes!!! Oh... the pain.