Tuesday, September 1, 2009

I am not a tart.....

If my cooking were graded, I got an F in baking last night. Somehow, I've hit a bad streak with baking lately. Yesterday, I made an Alsatian Tart with Blueberry Custard. All day I was completely stoked to make it. PLUS, I was set to feature it as my first "A" dish in my alphabetical cooking over at my food blog. It turned out HORRIBLE and INEDIBLE. Not even worthy of a photo. It was literally tossed in the garbage. Even Breen wouldn't eat it and he loves sweets! I'm noticing that several of the dessert recipes/sweet recipes that I've tried from various vegetarian cookbooks turn out tasting like cardboard. I see the link now: the vegetarian cookbooks push the "healthy" version of desserts, which basically translates in to "tasteless crap on a plate". When I want something sweet, I want 5 pounds of butter and 3 cups of white sugar. I'm worth that kind of indulgence from time to time. Screw the whole wheat, sour cream and applesauce substitutes! I think I've come to the following conclusions:

1. I like cooking over baking. The process of baking is too precise and rigid.
2. I won't be looking for dessert recipes in vegetarian cookbooks any more.

Furthermore, without getting too Freudian based here, I've been listening to some CDs from Martha Beck. She explains how we all have 2 sides of ourselves: our essential self and our social self. Unless the two sides match up, we can't find true fulfillment. Our essential part is who we are on the inside; our genetic blueprint if you will. Our social self is influenced by external factors: people, places, things. How does any of this tie in to my cooking you ask? Well, funny you should ask. See, my true essential self is basic, non-fancy and down-to-earth. My essential self is mashed potatoes, casseroles and comfort food. My social self looks at other food blogs tauting fancy complicated dishes with ingredients that can't even be found in at least 8 states. My social self tells me that's what people are impressed with, fancy dishes with big names. My social cooking is not who I am at all. No wonder I have food disasters when I ignore my essential cook that really wants to turn out gooey chocolate chip cookies with a huge glass of cold milk. Lesson learned: listen to the authentic voice of my essential self and my cooking will grow to awesome new heights. As a matter of fact, if I listen to my authentic essential voice, ALL areas of my life with grow to awesome new heights.


  1. Fascinating. Yes, I think you are too down to earth and results oriented to play around with prissy recipes. Some of the stuff you made that you've posted on your blog looked deliciously successful...so keep doing what you're doing.
    Veggie cookbooks are notorious for trying to take the taste out of desserts. As soon as you see *egg whites or *unsweetened applesauce....you know to slam that book shut and go to one of your yummy meant-to-be-a-dessert recipes!!

  2. I've had many kitchen disasters. Don't sweat it. But I definitely like how you're working it out in a social vs. essential way. Very interesting.
    I'd be happy with a bowl full of your yummy granola!!! And probably so would Breen.

    I just saw the movie 'Julie and Julia' about the girl who wrote the blog for a year and followed all of Julia Child's recipes in her cookbook. Some of it was really funny.

  3. My Dad always used to say,"If it taste good, it's not good for you!"

    Stick with what you know...make the deserts you know and love...the ones passed on through your family or use regular cookbooks. Vegetarian books are fine if you're cooking veggies, but for deserts...maybe not so much.

  4. A few days ago, I took out from the library two books, one about pies and the other one about cookies. Both are from Martha Stewart. I flipped through the pie recipes and pretty much return it without copying any recipe. I like the simple kind with a nice crust. She was asking for some ingredients that I just don't have and normally don't buy anyway. So, it is strawberry-rhubarb for me :) SO, now I know why. Thanks for the in depth in our tow selves. I never thought of it.

  5. Well it looks like you've stumbled onto something profound here...and if you're going to bake you have to throw away the idea of 'healthy'! I'm not sure if baking with butter and cream will take you to new heights but it may add a little girth.

  6. I am sure you are a wonderful cook I have tried some of your recipes .

    I enjoy your food blog

    Peace and Hugs