Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Accepting the Occasional Lack of Martha-ness

I like being a little Martha Stewart-y sometimes.

I give people homemade gifts - even if I think they're probably sick of them (sorry guys!)
I make Christmas cookies from scratch every year.
I like to quilt.
I am mocked by my husband, who explained tonight that for bake sales, they bought an Entemann's cake, cut it up and sold it by the slice, because "the kids wanted that more than any of the homemade stuff" (um hi TRANSFAT and cholesterol - my homemade stuff isn't exactly fat free, but have you looked on the back of an Entemann's box lately? sweet Jesus, that stuff is bad for you!)...but I digress.

Saturday is our church fair, and in the grand tradition of me try
ing to be perfect and having weird guilt about not pitching in to help out, I decided to answer the desperate call for "more cookies" by spending the night baking. I chose three elaborate recipes from the interwebs, and planned to make my famous sugar cookies in the shape of fall leaves, glazed with homemade confectionary glaze topped with fall leaf-appropriate colors....because that's how I roll.

You know what? I worked late tonight. I got f*cked over by some people on the left coast who sent me a document they wanted finished by the close of busine
ss (and yes, they totally understand that there's a 3-hour time difference, jerks). As I trudged out of work, I began to modify my plans. I'd buy three pre-packaged cookie mix
es and doctor them up, a cake mix, and then do just one elaborate, though advertised by Martha Stewart as "simple," cookie recipe, raspberry jam pastry cookies. YUM.

Oh, but I decided to clean the house first. Cause I'm crazy like that.

At 7:30, post-cleaning, pre-dinner, and starving, I decided to lay out my ingredients:
I tried not to dwell on the intense shame of pre-packaged ingredients....I had given up on making anything from scratch, even the simple cookie glaze. God, how LAZY!!!!

I got over it though, and ate 30 hershey kisses. Then I worked on melting some butter in a pyrex on the flame of my gas burner, cause we still haven't bothered to buy a microwave. Note the pyrex actually has the very words "Not for open flame or stovetop use" PRINTED on it. Note that I always take into consideration that the pyrex may shatter, covering my walls, stove, and maybe even me with hot melted butter and tiny shards of glass.....OK, moving on.

I didn't even get out the kitchen aid mixer last night. I was like "f*ck this, I am too tired" so I grabbed a whisk, even though manually mixing kinda goes against that "I'm so tired" thing. I made a few batches of cookies, called my dad to tell him that I wouldn't be coming over tomorrow with the goods, that I would leave them in the car when he came to fetch it (my brakes need addressing) along with the five Vera Bradley bags I was donating to the fair (yup, we're classy and have a Vera Bradley table). Around 9 I decided to eat dinner, spaghetti and two meatballs I bought already made at Shaw's. Fancy.

When I finished, I was ready for the piece de resistance, raspberry jam pastries, a seemingly innocuous recipe found here. I had read reader's comments and knew there was an issue with Jam firming in the freezer, the oven being to hot, the cutting process being
messy - I VOWED to outsmart every one of these cooking FAILURES! I turned down my oven, froze the assembled cookies for more than 30 minutes, then used the knife I bought from my neighbor the knife salesman (a deadly serrated Cutco that is so sharp I regularly slice the sponge in half while washing) to cut the pastry into 1/4" slices. SUCCESS! Because I didn't have any parchment paper, I used my silpat. Sh*t, I felt badass just having a silpat to use. Take that, Martha! I don't need your stupid parchment! I set my kitchen timer for the allotted time and worked on the dishes.

A few minutes later, all I had was this:
A glob of pastry/jam sticky messiness migrating across my one and only cookie sheet (my sister has the other one, grrr). I think I actually screamed because it looked so horrific. Then I was ANGRY ANGRY ANGRY because I could NOT bring these to the church fair - who would be dumb enough to buy them? And WTF Martha, I followed your recipe! Ohh....except the part about laying the cookies on their side to cook. Crap.

I ate most of the layers, then scraped the rest off the silpat, washed it, and went to bed. Not so subtle reminder that I am not Martha - but judging by how well my "from the box/bag" desserts came out, I guess I don't always need to be.

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