Monday, December 12, 2005

Adventures in the kitchen

It was one of those disgustingly domestic days, where I wear an apron, carry a spatula, and make Betty Crocker proud. Except I don't think I made her very proud today. It's not that I'm accident prone, but I have my share of mishaps. For all the good things I make, I've certainly made some doozies as well. I will never forget the first time I made brownies. I forgot to add flour. So they were like chocolate crackers instead.

Today started off well enough. I couldn't decide on just one thing to make, so I figured I'd make two. First up were the chocolate peppermint truffles, which were a breeze and turned out quite nicely, dark and rich. Next was fudge. Nothing extravagant, just plain chocolate fudge, straight off a handwritten card in Mom's recipe box (which tells me it's been made before without incident). Mom warned me fudge was tricky. I made some when I was about seven years old, obviously with a great deal of parental supervision!

So, I boiled and added and mixed and stirred, and poured a gorgeous creamy brown saucy mixture into a pan and stuck it in the fridge to chill. Had I known anything about making fudge, the fact that I was able to POUR it would have sent up some red flags. But alas...

Then it was time for a short lunch break. When I opened the refrigerator door to put the milk away after lunch, I heard a hissing sound from inside the fridge! Uh oh! I quickly closed the door, wondering what the heck could be hissing. At first I thought something was wrong with the fridge itself, and if it was going to explode I really didn't want to be standing there with the door open. But nothing happened, so I opened it again. Sssssssssssssssssss. Hmm, that's not normal. I narrowed it down to something in the door...not the tea jar, not the salad dressing, not the eggs (thank goodness!), not the margarine...hmmm, the whipped cream, now there was a suspect. Gingerly I lifted the (brand new un-opened) can out of the door and yes indeed it was hissing. I guess that little bit of a jiggle was all it took, because at that moment PSSSSSSSSSHHHHHHHHH!!!!! a thin stream of whipped cream went flying across the room, splattering all over the wall and cupboards. Ack! I put my hand over the hole, ran over to the sink, and dropped the can into the sink. It sprayed out of a not-even-pin-sized hole for several minutes before it ran out of oomph. What a mess. I am just sooo glad though that it didn't explode in the fridge. Oh man, that would just totally suck.

So anyway...about six hours later I decided it was time to slice the various chocolate candies. No problem with the peppermint truffles, but then I stuck the knife into the fudge and exclaimed "uh oh." Would have been more poetic if I'd said "fuuuuudge" but I didn't. It was like cutting frosting. It didn't set. Arg!!! I know I didn't leave anything out of the recipe, so I think I probably didn't boil it long enough. Dang it tasted good though, so I scooped it into a plastic container and froze it for next time I bake a cake. The label says "Fudge Flop Frosting." Yummy it will be.

I didn't have enough marshmallow cream left to make another batch, so I consulted with Betty Crocker and found a recipe that uses regular marshmallows. I boiled and mixed and stirred again, and just barely managed to scoop the glob of stuff into the pan before it started to set. Hmm, now that's more like it! Tomorrow I'll know for sure if it worked, when I cut it. Hopefully it won't be too solid!

I think I'll stick with art stuff tomorrow...

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