Sunday, December 5, 2010 in ,

5.5 X 3.2

I’ve mentioned before I’m not very good at cooking. I go through spurts of trying to get better at it. Like after watching Julie & Julia or reading some terrifying article about Americans slowly killing ourselves because of our high fat diets. Or seeing some consumer alert about sneezing restaurant workers and the disturbing amounts of E coli on spatulas.

It doesn’t make me proud to admit that the only good thing about my cooking is that I know I washed my hands. But I have gotten a lot better at baking. And the holiday season has always seemed like the perfect time to bake some unhealthy food.

He's a closet Paula Deen fan
I’m not too bad at baking some things. I can make a mean vanilla cupcake so by default I’m not too bad at cakes. Really I should stick with those. But every year I find these recipes and I think to myself, “Oh, that would be really good. I like cranberries and pumpkin, I’m sure they would taste great together in a cookie!”

That’s when things start going wrong. I don’t have the culinary skills to pick a recipe by just looking at the ingredients. And unfortunately I don’t have a taste tester to warn me before I take a bunch of weird cookies to school to feed some potential new friends.

That’s the thing about moving to a new town, you don’t have a special friend to taste test your experiments... ahem, cooking. A friend is going to be honest but still nice about it. They’re not going to spit it out in front of your face while making loud, theatrical, gagging noises. A kind taste tester is a true friend.

This is also a good opportunity to see how long your current relationship is going to last. For example, you’ve just spent hours trying to find the perfect recipe online. You’ve found all the ingredients at the grocery store and just spent the rest of the afternoon mixing, measuring, and stirring. You're hovering in the lava hot kitchen because it’s been preheating for the last two hours as you debated how lumpy a batter should really look.

Enter your new boyfriend. You have high hopes for this one. He’s got a great personality, clever sense of humor, and to top it all off a lush head of hair. He  tastes the food of your laborious day and remarks unenthusiastically, “Well, it’s not bad.” I give that relationship two weeks.

Since it is the holiday season, I already did a little baking. Some of it turned out good and some not so good.

Cranberry- pear crisp. Not bad.
With my apartment being so small, it makes sense to have a small kitchen. But small doesn’t even begin to describe it. My kitchen is only about 17 square feet. It has a beverage refrigerator. Yeah, just like the one you had in your freshman dorm.

So damn cozy
It’s hard to cook much of anything in such a tiny space, let alone try to mix and stir baking batter but it seemed to work out OK.

The vast counter space
Well, the pumpkin- cranberry cookies didn’t really work out but that’s not my kitchen’s fault. The cranberry- pear crisp turned out really well. However, it should have come with a warning that you’ll attract older divorced men.

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