Monday, September 7, 2015

A Labor Day Look Back

Today is Labor Day and while the rest of America is grillin and chillin, I am looking back at my history of cooking and thinking about where I go from here. What wild craving will send me into the kitchen to find a way to scratch its itch?  Today it's peach pie.  So, while a peach pie bubbles away in the oven, I am thinking about the things that I have cooked in the last year and wondering why I did not enjoy them more at the time.

One of the things that I find to be less of a saying and more of a truism is that hindsight is 20/20. I know this to be true because in the moment, whenever I am baking or cooking, the defects and minor imperfections are magnified in such a way as to obscure my enjoyment of whatever it is that I am making.  Yet, when I look back at pictures of dishes past or I try to get a sense memory of what it was like to serve and eat a particular item, I almost always recall it with positivity and love.

Sure, there were some clear cut failures that ring out in my memory that no amount of time can glaze over.  Like the time I accidentally made some gorgeous chocolate muffins that had the salt and sugar ratios reversed.  They were picture perfect muffins with a gorgeous crown on them, their moist interior hinted at by the studding of chocolate chips that poked out of them..until you bit into them and they tasted like the Bonneville Salt Flats. My kids particularly enjoy recounting that failure.  Or the dozens of burnt cookies and un-risen cakes that I dumped into the garbage in my earliest attempts at baking.

For today, I will focus on the things that I made over the past year, but at the time, was too myopic to really enjoy.  In honor of Labor Day, her is a photo look back at some culinary labors of love:

Croque Monsieur
Silly Halloween Cupcakes
(not a decorating triumph, but a very delicious cupcake)

 Hand Rolled Cavatelli
(made at a cooking class in Rome)
 One of several Apple Crumb Pies
 Lasagna Bolognese
 Another Apple Crumb Pie
 A couple of Ribeyes getting cozy.
 Antipasto platter.
 An absolutely epic Chili Cheese Dog.
 Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies.
 Mille Crepe Cake
 Mac N Cheese Chili Casserole
 Panna Cotta with Berry Sauce

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