Saturday, September 19, 2009

Its a love/hate relationship

Practice makes perfect. I am learning as I bake more that this is so true, but I am also learning that no matter how many times you make THE SAME pie crust recipe, that it may or may not be good at all!
In baking this last tuesday, it was my second time making pie crusts. My group is on pies and cookies. So we made a chocolate cream pie, and I was in charge of the lemon mirangue.... pie crusts, as much as they are complex, dont compare to There is a 1 minute window of perfection, then BAM...its overwhipped before you know it. Grrr...
I am slightly frustrated/dillusional about pie now. I think I have a love/hate relationship with pies.I am dreaming about ways to make "the perfect pie crust." I am constantly thinking about fruit fillings, cream fillings, and even random mixes of things that could go well. Even with all this day dreaming, I still cant get it right.
Today, I practiced in my off time on a lemon mirangue and chocolate cream pies. I feel like those pie crusts turned out beautiful. Flakey and moist but still delicate. The problem was the mirangue. AGAIN. SO Im coming to the conclusion that I am going to avoid mirangue at all costs! (definitely the hate part of my relationship.)
As for the kitchen part of my training...I FLIPPED AN EGG WITHOUT ANY USE OF A SPATULA! it was so fun. I mastered it. and its way easier then it seems. Although I did break a few, but owell.
The trick is to think of it as a J motion... or i think of the pan as a skateboard ramp and the egg as the skateboard. have a well oiled non slip pan. cook the egg till whites are done. constantly moving the egg around by moving the pan in a circle. scoot the yolk to the top of the pan away from you.(counterbalancing the weight to make it easier to flip) and presto just have confidence, and flip it.

I think thats the key to cooking or baking or even in life in general. Have confidence. Whether its flipping an egg, making a crunchy piece of french bread, or just trying something new. Try it. If you have confidence in what your making and tell yourself that you can flip that egg, sooner or later youre going to believe yourself and actually accomplish it. Its your choice to believe it sooner or later and make it happen.

Also, in the short time I've been doing this, I'm realizing how important trusting your gut is. When you think your cookies are a little to cooked, they usually are. Timers and recipes are just a guideline in my book.

And the last thing Im learning is that I thought I wasnt a baker before, but I was sooo wrong. I am really enjoying it. Yes, baking is so much more precision and less guess-timating of ingredients. But I think Im realizing the whole thing of it.
At first I was just fighting my feelings towards baking. Baking is confusing, testy, moody, and so tempermental. My old relationship cooking, was so much more flexible and easy to work with. Im seeing now that maybe I like a challenge. I love that with Baking there is always room to grow and learn. No matter how many times I think I have it mastered, I never will. And there will always be something that could be improved or go wrong from the slightest variable. But Its so therapuetic knowing that something is more complicated than me at times. lol

*** the little points on the mirangue of a pie is called "Weeping" the mirangue to make it stand up like mountain peaks.

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