Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Me and Cooking ... we don't get along so well

Maybe it's because when I try to cook something other than my usual basics, I try to be creative. I like to try new things that look easy. Yet, I don't know if that's what would explain today's cooking mishap. I decided I wanted pancakes. I have some instant stuff - the stuff you just add milk, an egg, and some oil. At least for waffles. See, when I saw the box, I decided - "no, I really want waffles". Then, I thought, "hm, I should make a yummy sauce. Something different. Something healthy." The sauce actually turned out quite good, by the way. But, the waffles, on the other hand, did not. I thought I had a non-stick waffle iron.  Not so much. I stopped making waffles after one, where it stuck on so hard on the top and bottom and just split the waffle apart. I worked for a while at scraping it off, but I had to be somewhere in about half an hour by the time I stopped. So, pancakes it was, albeit waffle dough instead of pancake dough. A slight different texture. The pancakes were alright but many were a little burnt. I have yet to learn what temperature to set the element at - whether it's higher heat or lower heat.

I take a diversion now to talk about the sauce.  I tried to figure out what ingredients I had and remembered I had some frozen mango in the freezer. I went to the internet to find a 'mango sauce' for waffles. I found one that looked easy, and in fact, I don't think anyone could go wrong in making it. There's literally no cooking involved. It was simply pureed mango, some water, some sugar, and some lemon juice. I guess it was meant to be a cold sauce. I'm guessing it would be good for ice cream. Mm ... maybe that's what I'll do with the leftovers. But I also have another idea for it. Frying it. Yes, you read correctly. See, while making the pancakes, I put some of the mango sauce in the pancakes. Very good, I must say! Then, I decided to try to fry some separately. Only thing is that the leftover oil in the pan started smoking and I set off the smoke detector. (At least it works!) That, and the sauce started bouncing - as in, tiny little balls of the sauce started jumping around. It was cool to watch. In fact, I was mesmorized by it for a moment. The smell of the frying mango sauce was divine! I think the frying of the sauce actually sweetened it a bit more. It made the sauce a bit more of an apple sauce texture. I still have about a cup of sauce left to try out all sorts of things. Or just to eat plain. I guess my new experimentation wasn't so bad afterall.

See, the only time I actually enjoy cooking is when I do experiments. But I need to be in the mood to do experiments in the kitchen. The rest of the time, I make food because I need to eat. On occasion, I make certain foods because I am really looking forward to the outcome. Then, I enjoy cooking too. It's different when I'm cooking for or with other people. I enjoy it so much more. I guess the people factor - whether it's for someone else or with other people - brings meaning to the activity.

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