Friday, December 3, 2010

The One Where I Have a French Friday Disaster

Sorry I've been ignoring you. I kind of feel like one of those parents who go on business trips all the time and then bring back lots of little trinkets and sometimes food to make up for the fact that they just Were Not There.

Unfortunately, I do not have anything with which to bribe you and to apologize for the fact that I've been a lax parent blogger, but I can update you on things that have been going on.

I attempted to make my FFwD recipe for my mom's side of the family's Thanksgiving, which is held the Sunday before Real Thanksgiving.

I've had a few recipe disasters in my day, but none like this one.

I had everything ready. My greased casserole dish held sliced potatoes (all sliced with my new-to-me Cuisinart, which, I'm convinced, could chop ANYTHING), fresh-ish herbs, garlic-infused cream, and a couple of other things. It was lovely.

I did what Dorie told me to do, and that is to put a piece of parchment paper on a cookie sheet and put the casserole dish on top of that, just in case anything spilled. If something spilled, you don't want it going into the bottom of your oven.


The thing about parchment paper is, NOTHING sticks to it. When I made my parents a moose cake for their anniversary, and I tried to tape parchment paper to an outline of moose antlers so I could use melted chocolate to fashion the antlers, the tape wouldn't even stick to it.

Keep this in mind.

So I'm in a hurry when I'm putting this thing in the oven. I'm in a hurry because we have to leave in 45 minutes, and this stuff needs to bake for an hour. 15 minutes won't make THAT much of a difference, was my rationale.

For whatever reason, I chose to pick up this parchment paper-lined cookie sheet containing my potato thing with one hand. Now, when you pick up a rectangular pan with one hand, it's going to tilt a little to the other side where you (for whatever reason) have no hand. This happened. What also happened, thanks to the parchment paper, was that as I went to put the thing in the oven, the entire dish slid off the sheet and exploded at the bottom of my oven.

The dish didn't explode (thanks, Pyrex!) but everything in it did. It was a fountain of potato, cheese, and garlic-infused cream. So I cursed, grabbed the glass dish out of the bottom of the oven, turned off the oven and then did what any good chef would do.

I freaked out and cried.

D was in the kitchen when all of this was going on, so when I started freaking out, saying, "What do I do? I DON'T KNOW WHAT TO DO!", he was all, "Just leave. I'll take care of it." I tried for another second to figure out how to fix it, and he was all, "Sarah. Leave."

So I did. I went into the bedroom and cried some more. And then I thought, "I should take pictures of what's going on so I can write about it!" But then I thought that taking pictures while D was fixing my epic, epic error might be considered bad form. So I did not.

Needless to say, this dish did not go to Thanksgiving with us. An apple cake did, though.

This was not the end of the potatoes, though.

D somehow saved a lot of the ingredients in my erstwhile potato dish. They sat in the fridge for a while, and then, the other day, I decided to give it another go.

Rather than carefully infusing the new cream with garlic, I whisked it with onion powder. The recipe said to fill the cream to the edge, and if there wasn't enough, to add milk. I did just that. Then into the oven it went.

This is what happened:

. . .um?

I should note that there were some other potatoes in the dish (it didn't bake as empty as it looks), but I'd taken them out to try them, before discovering the sea of cream in which these things were swimming.

Maybe it's because the potatoes sat in the fridge for a while. Maybe it was the milk. Maybe it was the cream. I don't really know. What I do know is that this dish ended up being an epic fail.

I didn't do the last week of November's FFwD (I forgot, plus we were out of town), but hopefully, I'll catch up soon. I also have other things to write about, but I've been overwhelmed with my new Web site project, I've just kind of shut down, bloggily. I'll get it all figured out one of these days.

And, just so you don't think I'm a total failure, I'll show you my blueberry-cranberry pie I invented:

A little on the sweet side, but D said it was "the best berry pie [he'd] ever had." And he's got Southern grandmas, so I think that's saying something.

If you wonder -- My new blog/Web site venture is going to be baking-centric, so while I'll still be talking about non-baking food here, when the spirit moves me, my baking stuff will be moved to its own site shortly. I'll be sure to post the address for that for those who are interested.


  1. Oh Sarah, I laughed and cried with you! What a calamity! (I'm so glad you didn't take pictures of the clean up, I agree, probably bad form). Can I just say your berry pie is amazingly beautiful! Makes up for the potato mishaps!

  2. Thank you! That pie was my first not-straight-from-a-book recipe, and also my first attempt at a lattice topping, so I consider it a win. :)

  3. Oh no! That sounds horrible. I probably would have cried, too.

    That pie is beautiful! I've always wanted to learn how to cook and bake, but never really done it. Congrats on an awesome pie! :)