Tuesday, October 27, 2009

A Halloween Fright

Do you know what's scary? Leaving your house with all your doors closed, and coming home to find your front door wide open!

Everything was still in my house -- computers, credit cards, unmentionables (which really aren't that unmentionable, let's be honest), everything. There was no one hiding in my closets or under the bed or in the bathtub. But it's enough to make sure you're awake.

I'm thinking somehow it was the wind. I'm hoping? Either way, I feel very lucky. But I also feel like I need to call my dad and fix the locks on my door. Dad?

Saturday, October 17, 2009


So, lately I've been in the mood to make things with eggs. Bready things with eggs. Which means: German Pancakes, Yorkshire Pudding, and Dutch Babies.

I started with German Pancakes a few weeks ago. A BIT less fluffy than I would have liked, but still airy and light; definitely acceptable for a first run, baked in the completely wrong dish.

Second: Yorkshire Pudding, last Sunday. Yum, in theory. Hardly like a Yorkshire Pudding at all in reality. More like a dense muffin with a tiny divot rather than a pillowy container for gravy.

Last: Dutch Baby. The original love. The perfect Saturday breakfast food. I discovered it almost 10 years ago at a restaurant near Seattle, WA. My loyalty has been strong. I couldn't go out this morning, but that was ok, because I was thinking: This is going to be the winner. I'll never be happier than knowing how to make this.

The elements were thinking: HA! You get the flattest, thickest, egg-bread/pancake that you've ever seen. I'd show you a picture, but it's too humiliating. Thank goodness for homemade Strawberry Jam (ahem, syrup).

And good thing love means never having to say you're sorry (or so I hear), because otherwise I would owe my cooking an apology. In my case, practice doesn't seem to make perfect.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

A recipe for making...

So, yesterday was one of those days. One of those days when you just feel like you're not sure why you're fighting battles in the corporate world. One of those days when all of the work you do just seems to be wasted. One of those days when the only thing you can do is go home, put on an apron and bake.

So, I got out all the fixins' for Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies, and realized: I have no chocolate chips. (And only one egg, which was technically enough. But they expired in JULY. I know that eggs last way longer than the date on the carton, but July just seemed a bit too long.) I was too tired to grab my purse, change out of pajama pants, or really be bothered with anything at all, so I grabbed my check card and keys, put on my black wool coat (which is what was readily accessible) and some shoes, and headed to the grocery store.

I quickly grabbed a dozen eggs and some chocolate chips and went to the cash register. The woman there asked what I was making and we chatted about Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies while she checked me out. She was so enthusiastic about her easy recipe, which I thought was nice, and I chuckled while I walked out.

But, do you know what will always make you feel stupid? A tall, slender, luxuriously coiffed woman in the most fabulous knee-length leather coat you've ever seen and stiletto heels. And that's exactly what I ran into on my way out. Her look of disdain over my ill-fitting flannel pajama pants made me acutely aware that my bag contained CHOCOLATE CHIPS, not some uber-healthy salad and a single red pepper.

As I slouched in shame to my car, I thought, "This is it. This is the beginning. In no time at all, I'll be a 40-year-old, suburban-Utah woman who doesn't know how to wear anything but track suits everywhere. And? I'll be ok with it!!!! WHERE IS MY LIFE GOING?"

But, two good things came of this experience:
  1. I reconfirmed that wearing pajama pants to the grocery store (or out in public at all) is wrong. How did I get there? Do I really feel like I'm that much a part of my community and the grocery store is just like being with family? No. I am aware that this is something that can really only happen in suburban communities. Can you imagine some woman hopping on the tube in London in her pajamas to go get eggs? No. I was duly ashamed on my way out of the house, but even more appropriately ashamed on the way in. Don't worry, world, I won't insult you that way again. For a while.
  2. As I recounted this story, I learned that everyone else knew what the animated checkout clerk knew. There is a really easy recipe that is supposedly delicious. (I didn't make them. I paid a high price to get those eggs, dag-nab-it, and I wasn't about to waste it.)
Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

1 box spice cake mix
1 can pumpkin (small size)
1 bag chocolate chips

Mix and bake. (I'm assuming 350 for 15 minutes or so? Since everyone else knows this recipe, you tell me.)

Happy baking. But... if you run out of chocolate chips and need to go get some, for heaven's sake, put on some pants. Or, if you just can't muster the strength to change, come by my place to get them. The grocery store patrons will thank you.