January 19th, 2014


Adventures in cooking

Well, we just had an epic battle in the kitchen. It all started when we wanted to do "weekendy things" last weekend and went to Downtown Disney. We were in the home section of the World of Disney store, and they have a bunch of cookbooks. Before, we would always look at them with the idea of, "Oooh, look at the pretty foods we can have people make for us to look at and probably not eat, because gross, what is that?" (We enjoy watching shows like MasterChef, Iron Chef, etc., but the thought of eating a lot of that stuff makes us step back...about thirty feet.) Unless there were desserts, in which case, if the desserts didn't have fruit or walnuts, let's have someone make it!

Of course, ambitions are a lot harder to carry out when you're not the one doing the work, especially if you're not the type of person who's really driven enough to whine, command, or bribe. But that's neither here nor there.

The point is, we saw a cookbook that had us think, "Hey, maybe we could..." So one of the things we went to pick up in Downtown Disney on Thursday (in addition to Fluttershy) was that cookbook. As a matter of fact, it is the Disney Princess Cookbook, and the main reason it appealed to us over the regular "recipes of stuff they actually serve AT Disneyland" books is that we're suckers for themes. The Disneyland recipes fit the themes of the restaurants they're served in, but the only unifying theme is Disneyland, and there's no obvious connection for us because restaurants is our Disneyland knowledge weak spot. And this cookbook has recipes of stuff the Disney characters may actually have eaten (y'know, if they existed in real life). Well, okay, not all of them, like the "princess pink popcorn" is probably just because of the whole "everybody knows princesses are pink" thing, but there are Southern dishes for Tiana and Scottish dishes for Merida, and Chinese dishes for Mulan, "frying pan eggs" for Rapunzel--you know she did some cooking with a frying pan.

So we bought the book. And today, we tried cooking with it. Tadah!

...and then we had an epic battle.

Okay, so it probably wasn't that epic. I'd say it's like in a video game, when you accidentally advance the story when you're at waaay too low a level to beat the boss. So even though the recipe was pretty simple, it nearly destroyed us. It's like we were at level 4 and it was at level 15.

The recipe in question: Rapunzel's ham & cheese biscuit braids (minus the ham, because ham is disgusting). It was really very simple--you mix up all the stuff, you roll out the dough, you cut it into strips, and you braid them. Then you put them in the oven, but that's not what destroyed us. The recipe was rated a three on the difficulty scale (of five), but we figured that was just because they were braided, and we know how to braid if we know anything, so we didn't think it would be a problem. In fact, the braiding was exactly why we had to do that recipe first. (That, and it didn't have very many ingredients, which meant less to carry home from the store.)

And it probably wouldn't have been, if we had remembered that we'd need a cutting board (we used a cookie sheet instead), and if we'd remembered that you need lots and lots of flour when rolling out dough. It's been years and years since either of us has used a rolling pin (before today, anyway), so...yeah. And we didn't want to use too much flour, because we only bought a little packet of it, because we had to walk all the way home from the store with it! And we were buying milk! ...Okay, you can laugh if you want to, but just remember, when you don't cook, like, ever at all, these things are not as obvious as you would think.

So instead of beautifully braided biscuit dough, we ended up with a sticky mess. We were determined to braid all the biscuits anyway, but oh, it was a struggle. The strips wouldn't come off the cookie sheet, so each set of three had three different lengths. We didn't want to lay the strips down on the sheet to braid them because they'd stick, so we'd hold the strips up while braiding them, but then the dough would...like...trickle down itself (in a very viscous way--it wasn't that gooey), until there was a big glob at the bottom of a very narrow strip...and the big glob would fall off.

Now that they're out of the oven, it mostly just looks like somebody maybe wasn't the best at braiding things, instead of somebody was a really stupid cook. (<--We're laughing now, too, so don't worry about our self-esteem!) We just hope they taste good, because otherwise, the whole battle would have been in vain.

Anyway, it's time for dinner.

Today I'm thankful for having a shiny new cookbook, having actually used the cookbook, not destroying the kitchen in the process (we cleaned up so well you'd never know we had an epic battle), surviving the struggle and getting all the biscuits braided, and having a new treat to try at dinner.