“Please, please not the squash casserole again; try something else,” it pleaded. There was a butternut squash on my counter begging me not to chop it up, add apples, a little brown sugar and lots of butter,
Then I spotted a recipe in Bon Appetit. Besides the butternut squash, it had few ingredients (which I substituted with abandon):
For pancetta… bacon.
For pecorino… hard parmesan.
Fresh rubbed sage… Bell’s Turkey Seasoning- “A New England staple since 1867”
Other than that I exactly followed the recipe with the remaining ingredients- salt, pepper, garlic, and pasta.
I was determined to follow the quantities too… until Andrew spied the little dribbly 4 oz. of chopped bacon, “maybe you should double that; aren’t you using that diet cooking magazine you get? They always skimp on the good stuff”
“Cooking Skinny? No, this is Bon Appetit.”
In the end, none of us liked it. Okay, I dumped it in the trash. BUT I dutifully waited a week or more until it had molded so I wouldn’t feel guilt. In the morning I spied 2 cereal bowls in the sink soaking from their midnight nosh.
Friday Caitlin and Zac were zipping to town and bought steaks on the way to have dinner with us. I wanted to add a special dessert.
Fool that I am,I tried another Bon Appetit recipe, Lemon Buttermilk Pie with Saffron. Let me save you the heartache of a perfectly good crust.
I followed the recipe perfectly, every last ingredient exactly, as called for, the exact right amount. For reals. Thank heavens I told Andrew to pick up just one lemon or I may have made two awful pies. Go on back and click on that link and look at the photo of Bon Appetit’s pie. Lie. It comes out of the oven the color of Big Bird. Maybe “pinch” needs defined. Maybe just never make the pie.
Here’s the thing; saffron will remind you of roasted chicken or turkey or maybe a delicious rice dish. Saffron in dessert, to me the novice, seemed wrong on two levels- 1.taste and 2. neon screaming sunshine yellow. Also saffron has a certain smoky lingering flavor. All red flags were screaming, “Don’t do it!” But I did.
It was disgusting as though someone had taken a drag on a cheap cigar and with a straw infused it into the sacred pie.
Thankfully a few grandchildren have undeveloped taste buds and they thought it was quite a treat to eat pie for lunch. I just kept hacking off slices and doling it out.
So on Sunday we were having a couple for dinner and I was kind of spent with the novelty of the new and opted for tried and true, never to disappoint Domestic Goddess Chocolate Loaf Cake. I did make two- I dared to double- both happily ensconced in parchment paper. And then Saturday night it began to ever so slowly but steadily drizzle ice-ish stuff on our way home from a midnight céilidh where Jarrett played parlor pipes and people line danced and then Taite danced with a former Lord of the Dance Irish dancer and having accepted a dare to do it, received $50 for the privilege, and we caught up with friends we see rarely; on our way home from that fest, rainy sleet had begun. By Sunday afternoon we had to cancel the dinner for safety’s sake and eat the only decent thing I’d made in a all week. By ourselves.