Cooking is like alchemy, always searching for gold, coming up with other cool stuff as you go along, and punctuated with epic fails in between. Some young friends of ours have asked us to join in "Culinary Night" a tradition they observed with friends in Vancouver, BC: choose a country, create a menu, get the ingredients, then in a night of wine-fueled collaboration, cook it all up at somebody's house. I think this will be a load of fun.
These young friends do not yet know about my massive past failures, which include, but are not limited to:
1. The time I came back from a camping trip and absentmindedly dumped the the baggie of salt into the sugar bin & proceeded to prepare an inedible strawberry shortcake, serving up the first bowlful to a neighbor who immediately puked.
2. The time my then-7-year-old son asked if I could make "that snowman cake on the front of Woman's Day magazine at Krogers." Suffice it to say it was more like a blizzard of busted snowdrifts then anything resembling a snow man. (Who knew that a white cake mix was serious when they said to only use egg whites, not the whole egg? And that it wouldn't work if one didn't buy special cake pans.) Using yankee ingenuity, 7 boxes of *&$# cake mix, and every damn over-sized pan in the kitchen, I DID, finally make that snowman's head: a HUGE white sphere, that would easily feed 120 people. But when that little boy turned 8 the next day, it was all worth it. I was exhausted.
3. The time I had a get-to-know-you session with a new food processor, resulting in hot cream of broccoli soup on all 4 walls of the kitchen. Yeah.
sugar is horrible.
Okay, "Subconscious-Know-It-All," whatever. Screw you. I've got my own back. I will add 16 ounces of chocolate frosting, chocolate chips, and 18 Peeps to make this right. You see, it is a sunflower. How can that possibly be a bad thing?
It didn't look like a sunflower to John at first, but if I held it up just right and said the word "sunflower" he quickly caught on. Neither of us felt like actually eating this creation. So it just sat there.
It sat there until last night when we had an impromptu dinner party with the neighbors on either side of us, who had never met one another: wild sockeye salmon with aioli sauce, fresh asparagus, home-made sourdough bread, green salad, and...a revolting Peep sunflower cake.
So, all in all, I have confidence that Culinary Night will work out with our sophisticated young peeps, err, friends. The theme will be vegetarian food from India. Ideas anyone?