Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Conquering Fears - and Puff Pastries

Last night I decided to conquer one of my culinary fears - Puff Pastry. I am not sure where this irrational fear of pastries that puffed came from, but it's there. Maybe it's the slightly delicate nature of the pastry, one can not be sure...

So I sat down after eating my masterpiece of a dinner entree - prepared from scratch - hot dogs and bagged salad - yum - and began the tedious task of peeling four large apples with a very sharp knife. I sat there, tongue in teeth, concentration forming beads of sweat on my brow as I attempted to make an apple-skinned curlie-q.

I failed.

Every time.

But I did get in there and cut each slice of apple paper-thin as my directions entailed.

I piled the appley-goodness into a pan, tossed in some flour, cinnamon, brown sugar, and, for the heck of it, a handful of walnuts.

After awhile - the syrup had thickened and I read the next step.

Add sour cream.



Take my staple burrito topping and slather on this pretty mess of sugar and apples?



It's just wrong!

But, like the novice chef/baker that I am - I cringed and then slowly folded in the white gooey mess.

It looked like the bottom of someone's shoe after a particularly icky day at the vet's office with a sick poodle.

And it was in my pan.

But, shunning my natural reaction, which, by the way, was to grab the gooey mess and run screaming through the neighborhood like a pooh-toting carney - I plopped the whole she-bang into the pie-plate (which I sooo didn't even know I had) and then sat down at my sticky kitchen table (result of freak syrup incident in the A.M. - and nooo it wasn't like that - I was alone - hey - you - you are a sicko!:) ).

I knew it was going to be gross.

It was going to be worse than that time that I had made White Chocolate Fondue.

Now THAT was downright icky - it tasted like old, stale marshmallows. And butter substitute.

Twenty-five minutes later it comes out looking beautiful and golden brown.

The little hearts that I had painstakingly cut out in various sizes were sitting pretty on top of a wonderful smelling pie.

It smelled good, looked good, but would it taste good?

I wasn't so sure...

I emptied half a tub of Cool Whip on top for safe passage to my picky pallate.

If I don't like it, I thought to myself, I'll just give it to Dad - he'll eat it!

I tetatively took a bite (mostly whipped cream with a tad of the pie) and grimaced in preparation.






So - chalk one up to me and my excellent baking skills!

What's next?

Do I dare?

Yup - I think I'm going to make my own pasta!


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