Sunday, September 17, 2006

One of those days

I had one of those not-great-cooking days today... I thought everything was going to turn out all wrong, and it really frustrated me. The end result was, everything turned out different than I wanted... But none of it turned out wrong--exactly.

I have wanted to try making my own granola for a while now but have never been sure about it. But Kate had a great looking, simple granola recipe on her blog that looked perfect to try out. I mixed it up last night, using brown rice syrup instead of maple syrup, and let it sit in a sealed container in the fridge overnight. This morning I baked it before church, at 350 degrees. Kate had said to bake it for about 7 minutes, but mine was nowhere near done after that. I baked it for about 10 minutes, and then let it sit and cool while I was at church.

After church I wanted to make a nice lunch. But first, I put the granola back in the oven at around 275, because it still wasn't dried out. I took it out finally when I smelled the almonds beginning to get overdone. I thought it was ruined! But I let it cool, and this time it was finally dry and granola-like... and it still tasted just fine. Delicious, actually. Phew! Thanks for the recipe, Kate! Next time I'll try a lower temperature and cook it for longer--the settings in the recipe just didn't work for my oven.

As for lunch, I had been wanting to try the Garlicky Kale from VWaV (p. 120), and I had also wanted to make this nutritional yeast gravy from The Grit. So I decided to do kale, mashed potatoes, and gravy. Seemed simple enough.

The garlicky part of the kale didn't work out. The recipe said to sauté the garlic over medium-high heat, but when I put the garlic in the pan it burned to a crisp instantly. I took it off the heat, and after letting it cool for a moment I stirred the kale in. The result was garlic-less kale because I had to go through the kale and pick out all the little charred pieces of garlic. Hmm...

On to the gravy: The recipe said the margarine and flour and nutritional yeast would form a roux. Instead, it formed clumps that looked like moist breadcrumbs. This was disheartening, but I continued with the recipe. In the end, the gravy came together just fine--perfect, in fact. It was SO TASTY! It had been a long time since I had mashed potatoes and gravy!

End result: Everything was fine. The kale was just great, sans garlic. It was lovely stirred into the mashed potatoes and topped with the gravy. Interesting day in the kitchen, but I really can't complain this time. Nothing was ruined and everything was fine. But it was certainly unnerving!

12 comments:

Pure Zuke said...

I so hate days like that! But everything LOOKS delicious. Especially the gravy and mashed potatoes! YUM!!!

Candi said...

I can so relate to your kitchen stress! Lol! Yours turned out really great though, despite the troubles. The kale and potatoes looks SO good, that I may make it for dinner tomorrow!

On my kitchen disaster, I burned two small trays of peanut butter cookies. (The trays are OLD and I shouldn't have used them.) One tray came out great though, but I lost more than half the batch! :(

Nikki said...

That happens to me all the time! And then there are the days where everything gets so messed up you have to resort to toast for dinner...

Everything looks really good! That gravy looks especially tasty!

Midwest Vegan said...

I think it's the end result that counts, not the process! And, that gravy looks awesome. It's been a long time since I've had mashed potatoes and brown gravy.

KleoPatra said...

Everything worked out, Laura, that's the best thing when things go "wrong," ya know? Glad things went fine in the end.

Those potatoes with that gravy, ohmygoodness! SO GOOD LOOKIN'!

Johanna3 said...

i have days like that a lot Lol, but looks like you did all well becouse your food really looks good!

Gaia said...

I think that days like that show that we are truly great cooks !
It may turn out different but you know that a lot of food is created that way.
My mom made a soup once from a recipe in a book and confused two recipes together. We called the soup "Soupe Râté" (Messed-Up Soup) but it was so good we have been making it for 10 years now. And we never tried the original recipe again LOL

I think your creation looks amazingly good !

Melody said...

It all looks great.... and usually, the roux will look like that until you add the liquid..
Think of a peanut butter paste... (darker or lighter depending on how long you cook it)..

I find that to saute garlic, it has to be over low heat. My fav way is to start it in a cold pan with the oil and very slowly, bring it to temperature.. It infuses the oil and makes the dish soo good without burning.. when it starts to sizzle, add the kale or whatever else..

laura jesser said...

Thanks for the encouragement... It helps me be okay with near-disasters knowing that everyone has them sometimes!

Melody, that's great advice about sautéing garlic--I'll remember it!

funwithyourfood said...

the words say ruined but the pictures say completely edible and tastey!

Teddy

Kate said...

I am so happy you used my granola recipe. I know I wtoe 7 minutes but I ment to put "check after 7 minutes, then add more as needed" (I have not figured out the perfect amount of time). I am so sorry I was unclear in my recipe, but it seemed to come out good from the pictures.

laura jesser said...

Kate! I loved your recipe, and will make it again and again! In fact, I'm running low right now. :)