22 September 2008

Success; failure

This is embarrassing.

I know I put it out there like I'm some sort of kitchen demigod, at least, but I must tell you, some days it just does not come together. Tonight was one of those...days.

In the last few years, my facility in the kitchen has progressed such that I rarely fall flat on my damned face, cooking-wise. In the past, major failures have been the fault of the cookbook; the repeat offender was so consistently disappointing that we threw it away after the Nth consecutive disaster (celery soup...seriously? Seriously). But anything that goes awry now is pretty much all my fault.

I was getting fancy with some risotto this evening, and through a series of steps that I'd prefer did not enter the public record, I produced pretty much the same effect as if I'd made up a pan of Campbell's Tomato soup, cranked in a little pepper, and then made risotto in that. *shudder* It felt like the Methodist church potluck version* of some bastard risotto: "Creamy Rice Casserole with Cheese." Oh, the cheese--another in a string of shameful missteps. My laziness often allows some really excellent improvisation, if I come up short of an ingredient list, but in this case, I'll just say that Monterrey Jack cheese DOES NOT belong in risotto, even under duress. Even if you're, like, camping, do not sub in this cheese if you value your personal definition of risotto--it will so harm the definitional integrity of the concept of "risotto" that the eventual, inevitable result will be that you find yourself whipping up some "risotto" for an evening dinner party by thwumping a can of Campbell's Cream of Mushroom, a can of skim milk, one diced white onion, 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder, and a jar of mushrooms (drained) into your slo-cooker in the morning, cranking that puppy to "low," and heading off to work, whistling that delightful theme from the André Riu special that aired on the PBS last night**.

In short, this dinner sits at the top of a very slippery slope. The planovers will only remind me of my failure, so I am abandoning them to my partner, who did not find dinner nearly as offensive as I did.

+ + +

As for my success: it's been just o
ver a year since I joined the gym and I am still going. This is major, as you may recall. My results are result-y, which is good because I went in with only one explicit goal: get ripped. I'm pretty ripped, I gotta say, and it's less difficult to haul ass up the hill on my bike. I have gained and lost no weight at all, which is interesting but not at all important to me. I find, however, that it is harder to keep pushing myself to do more, to max the envelope, as it were, without the encouragement of a trainer. I had one for about eight weeks when I started and I'm thinking about signing up for a few more sessions now that I have a little more experience and focus, routine-wise. Not that my liiiiifting isn't awwwesome, dude. So go me, go gym, go triceps!

And a second success: the following represents the final payment of one of my student loans, so take THAT, University Accounting Services!


* I must assure you that I love and respect the Methodist church's tradition of the potluck, and if you do not believe me, ask me for my Tuna Noodle Casserole recipe.
** I have only one beef with violinist
André Riu: WGBH plays the stuffing out of his insufferably bland, occasionally absurd concerts during pledge drive week(s), causing me to miss things like Masterpiece Theatre or, worse, Nova. This prompts me to only half jokingly call him "that André Riu fucker." Special message to Mr. Riu: Sorry! I know it's not your fault; I should be calling them "those WGBH fuckers," but that does not trip as lightly off the tongue.

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Blogger matthew_pw said...

Your risotto sentiments mirror mine coming off a weekend off-the-cuff "quick" "tomato" "soup" disaster. You have my deepest sympathies and my wishes for the remainder to find its way out the fridge soon. R’s still working on the soup and I can’t decide if it’s good news or bad news that she doesn’t see what’s wrong with it (and there’s plenty wrong with it, believe me). I only hope that you don’t suffer the recovery times I’ve begun to require as my skills have increased. One bad dish begets another these days and it usually takes a week or so of mediocre food for the problem to run the system.

4:50 AM  
Blogger jacket said...

when do we get to check out your triceps? come on nora, flex for us.

9:31 AM  

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