It may be slightly counterproductive to start off the year with talking about all of my kitchen disasters from 2017, as traditionally a new year is about fresh starts but I'm both a bit behind on blog posts and it's fun to reflect on what happened over the past year so I can improve for this upcoming year! So bear with me, as this post and the next post are still all about 2017.
Compared to 2015 and 2016, this year was relatively light when it came to mishaps in the kitchen. Maybe it was because I was making far less food compared to the last few years since Kristen moved to Hawaii and I started living solo? Or maybe I've improved? Mostly I think it was because of the former and also I didn't really go wild and experiment this past year. I pretty much stuck to tried and true, easy favorites with the goal of being better at following recipes.
Around Christmas, I thought I wasn't going to have anything to write about here but then this crust fail happened. A few posts ago, I talked about my goal of not having any more soggy bottoms in my meringue pies. From mid-November to end of December, I made five meringue pies with the intention of working on my blind baking crust technique. After following and playing around with these instructions, I found that rice actually works better than ceramic pie weights because it covers more surface area. I also found that you want to pull out the crust when it is golden brown and flaky as it's not going to bake anymore when you put it back in the oven to brown the meringue. So come December 23, I decided to blind bake the crust the night before so I would be able to save myself time on Christmas Eve. What I didn't take into account was that I was using a convection oven which doesn't automatically cool down like a regular oven does. I was trying to be smart by leaving the crust in the oven to cool overnight but in reality, it just browned into a very, very dark cracker. So, lesson learned when it comes to baking in different ovens.
That was probably the most memorable mishap of 2017. Other than that, I had a very bad homemade chicken broth experience because I think the peels and such that I was using were incredibly bitter. And I made a standing rib roast for New Year's Eve which was slightly more done than I would have liked but still good and I am glad that I tried to make one. It is far less intimidating than it seems!
Here are some goals for 2018 at the knead. bake. cook. Headquarters (aka my mind):
- Rework Recipe Page
- Post more Adventure/Weekly Wander photography
- Try not to get hyped up about Instagram
- Continue to improve general food photography
- Proof, proof, proof...
- And remember this is for fun!
More soon... with scenes from December.