I had a moment this week where I learned to make do with a failed project in the kitchen. It reminds me of Julia Child, apparently, she never apologized when something didn’t quite go as planned but just carried on as though it was all part of the plan.
First, a little backstory…
Last week we were set to go to our second-trimester ultrasound. Both of us were pretty happy that it fell on the day before our first anniversary. Jeremie had taken the day off and we were both excited to get to see our little man flipping about as a kind of anniversary gift. The experience was great, and thankfully he’s looking healthy and cute as ever (it’s amazing to me what you can see with the 3D ultrasound images.) At the end of the appointment, she repeated a comment she’d made a couple weeks earlier, “He’s sitting a little low,” and in that moment I felt there was something I’d lost in translation from the last appointment. She said I was sitting low but I thought of it as no more important than saying someone is carrying high. I heard a flippant comment and now I was realizing there must be more to the story. So being a foreigner I knew it best to start digging for more information. After asking what was the big deal, her tall slender Algerian frame shot into action with her dark curls suddenly seeming a bit tighter than moments earlier and her arms waving, “well where do you think he’s coming out of!? Your throat?!” I couldn’t help but laugh at how absurd it sounded, but really, what’s the big deal about a low baby? I guess with his head down and being so low he’s putting the pressure on and showing signs he wants to come join the party early so she ordered 3 hours of bed rest a day and no long car rides until my next appointment, though I was permitted to go for Christmas in Champagne with the in-laws provided I did absolutely nothing the day before or after travel but rest. Jérémie would be there to get me what I needed when I needed it and he seemed happy enough to comply with her orders.
Of course, after a few days of bedrest and not really feeling like an incapable pregnant woman I was anxiously looking at the pre-Christmas to-do list that was only growing since all our plans following the appointment had been suddenly cancelled and it was all going to get left behind if I didn’t spring into action. What day did I choose to tackle all this? Christmas eve. What day were we headed for Champagne? Christmas day. So here I am doing anything but resting and Jeremie is busy working away on a painting commissioned by his mom, hoping to have it finished before we left and I realize that the chocolate truffles he’d really wanted to make weren’t going to make themselves and he was so engulfed in his work that I added that to my list of to-do’s in the kitchen.
Of course, everything always goes according to plan when you tack something else on the list. Especially when it’s a recipe (or an item) you’ve never made before.
In Jérémie’s mind, truffles are child’s play in the kitchen, and I’m sure they are if you have the right recipe. But maybe you’ve encountered this before, I know Julia Child has, the French omit certain steps when writing recipes and I’m not sure if it’s a way of keeping closely guarded secrets or if it’s just that they assume you already know. Whatever the case, having never made truffles I followed the “4-star” recipe to a T. I was having my doubts as I was going because while I’ve not made truffles it doesn’t mean I’ve never made chocolates, but I had already launched and figured with 200 reviews how could so many people be wrong? How did they turn out? A mess of chocolate on one side and clarified butter on the other. I was pretty vexed by the whole thing and urged Jérémie not to mention the truffles to his family. I drained off the clarified butter and placed the chocolate portion of what was left covered in the fridge while we were away deciding I could deal with it upon our return.
Thankfully a little time and distance can go a long ways, even with a failed recipe in the kitchen. Upon our return, we both tried a little spoonful only to decide it tastes like a really rich brownie so I put on my Julia Child cap and rolled out a “dough,” sliced it with a pizza cutter and my step-daughter drizzled it with white chocolate. It was like it was always meant to be a little bite sized brownie.
I even felt confident enough to bring over a little container full to our neighbours and passed them off for “brownie bites” and they were a total hit. Even the neighbours I don’t often see indulging in sweets kept grabbing for more.
So while I won’t be leaving a 4-star review on the recipe for Chocolate truffles, I’ve got a great accidental dessert from a poorly written recipe that might have to remain a closely guarded secret lest anyone know that they weren’t really meant to be brownies…
Anyone else had this happen or any other great kitchen failures? I’d love to hear about your story in the comments. Besides, it’s fun to laugh about after the fact…