Saturday, March 04, 2006

Cooked Blatherskite

It's been my intention, for several years, to go through my recipe box (such as it is) and put my recipes on word documents to make them more readable. The cards in my handwriting are pretty much illegible because they're in my handwriting, and the ones in Carl's handwriting are pretty much illegible because they were written by an engineer and some of the instructions are unfathomable. For instance, here's an instruction from a cookie recipe - Roll into ball; dip fork in water to flatten. My first reaction was, why would I want to flatten a fork? Aren't they more useful with a slight curve to them? Then I figured out that he meant to dip the fork in water before pressing down on the COOKIE thus to make the cookie flat. And that example was one of the easier ones to figure out.

Anyway. Now that Carl is working feverishly (sorta) in the basement trying to get it finished, I've gotten on an anti-packrat crusade. I've gone through my craft stuff once and filled a couple boxes with things I want to get rid of, and I plan to go through my stuff a couple more times to throw out yet more stuff. I have a small pile of items I no longer need (like clothes Boo-Boo's outgrown) in a corner of my dining room, and I plan to dispose of them all at this year's City Wide Garage Sale. I've been going through cabinets, looking for things I no longer need and adding them to the Garage Sale pile. The other day I went through the Recipe Book cabinet and tossed out a few never-used books. I also had a couple of folders with loose-leaf recipes in them, so I went through those, tossed out the ones I didn't want, and put the rest in plastic sleeves in a three-ring binder. And I figured since I'd started, I'd go ahead with my recipe cards project.

So I've been sitting at my computer for the past two days deciphering and typing out recipes from the recipe card file. I've discovered recipes that Carl had at school that I've never used (tuna burgers? YUCK!) and I've discovered recipes that I'd used in the past but forgotten I'd had. I got very misty when I found the card for Applesauce Cake. This was one of my Dad's favorite recipes. I used to make those all the time when I lived at home, and I haven't made one in years. I have no clue why. Maybe because with kids it's just easier to pull out a cake mix or buy packaged cookies than it is to make something from scratch. That, and I really don't enjoy cooking. But putting my recipes on word documents (thus inscribing them forever on the computer's hard drive) is reminding me of meals, cakes and cookies that I haven't had in ages and am now very hungry for. And yet, I hate to cook. What to do, oh, what to do.

Um, Mom? Are you busy?


Anonymous Bismuth said...

I find Carl's instructions rather interesting. Engineers are known to give terrible directions, but usually it's because they make them too exact.

So the instructions for those cookies night go something like:

Immerse a 4-tined fork in water in its liquid state (between 0 and 100 degrees C at atmospheric pressure). Remove the fork from the liquid and place the tined end upon the top of the previously formed sphere or cookie dough. Apply a mild downward force on the other end of the fork while maintaining a firm grasp on it. When the aspect ratio of the globule of dough becomes less than 4:1, halt the application of force and lift the tined end of the fork off the flattened globule. Repeat for each sphere of dough.

11:38 PM  
Blogger neophyte said...

HA! Exactly, Bismuth!! That's the way my brother (the engineer) cooks! He wants directions like yours!! Though I think "mild downward force" might be too imprecise. He'd want it measured.

10:58 PM  

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