I’m trying to stay dedicated to posting every day. So far so good, but it seems kind of silly to post for the sake of posting. Nonetheless I’m here. Part of the lackluster today is that I haven’t cooked for a while. I’ve been eating the shepherd’s pie since I made it since I’m the only one to eat it. I am making peanut butter cookies right now, yes at 10:30 pm, because I go home to Ames tomorrow and I feel like a terrible nurse daughter if I leave my mother bereft of cookies to take with her pills.

But oh am I excited to go home to my sweetheart, my bed, real coffee, my bicycle, even classes. I’m also excited to go back to my kitchen and all its inspiration. I feel slightly stifled here since I’m trying to cook to please someone who does not like my food. At my house I have eager testers who will eat pretty much anything I make. I have had a few disasters though.

The most memorable/hilarious/pitiful disaster was the tamari caramel. Now, it wasn’t supposed to be caramel but I forgot the basic tenets of cooking sugar. I was attempting to make eel sauce for sushi. Oddly enough most eel sauce has no eel in it, its just served with eel rolls — which were always my favorite. What a perfect way to boost our sushi skillz! Yeah, no. When my eel sauce — which is basically tamari, mirin, sugar, and water — didn’t thicken in the time allotted I figured I’d let it go a bit. Here is where it turned to soft caramel, then to hard carmel. I forgot that whole cooling factor. The real victim in all of this was my poor beloved. He tried some… and almost made a perfect caramel cast of his teeth. Unfortunately the cast did not want to come undone and I laughed so hard I cried when I finally pulled it out and saw a perfect replica of his upper jaw. I shall never forget that. I don’t know if we’ve made sushi since? We certainly haven’t make eel sauce.

The other biggest disaster I ever made were the greens to go with some bbq tofu. The tofu was great. The greens were salt. Not salty, not salted, they tasted like pure vegetal salt. The problem was with the soup base. I work for a spice store that also sells soup base. They make a vegetable one that is really handy since I don’t have the room to store vegetable broth — homemade or store bought. Well it does have quite a bit of salt in it. Something I forgot when I added about two teaspoons to the water for the greens. When the greens cooked down and the water evaporated and the salt remained. Not only did that salt remain but in an attempt to add the smokiness of the traditional ham hock I had added some of one of our spice blends that has hickory smoke in it. And the main ingredient in said mix is salt. Salt salt salt. Everywhere was salt. My poor housemates. They liked the tofu, and were polite about the greens to my face.

These things happen so we can laugh really hard – though that usually takes place after the event has faded from short term memory. I know I find these really funny now. As well as a lot of other memorable mess-ups.

For now my cookies are done and I am off the bed. My dad is home so hopefully he will fulfill his end of the marriage vows and take care of my mom for the night.


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