I had one of those eye opening experiences today. It occurred while I was going through the past year’s bank statements in preparation for filling out the FAFSA form for the upcoming 2011-2012 school year. For those of you not familiar with the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, I envy you. No need to worry though because if you have any children who will be applying for college you will indeed become very familiar with this form as you will be required to fill one out every year for each child in college. That is unless you have a child who has been blessed with a full ride, many scholarships or grants enabling you to pay the remaining balance or they have been left a boatload of money when great Aunt Irma passed on. I realized that my spending habits have been somewhere between what I think is horrible and atrocious. It’s not that I even own 42 pairs of shoes (I have 4 actually), dozens of handbags (1), or a closet full of clothes. Looking at statements today I saw a bank account bleeding profusely from a small little wound that was barely noticeable until damage was done. Sorry, it really isn’t like that at all. We just watched the movie, “Red” and there was shooting, etc. and I had that picture in my head and thought it was a good analogy to a bank account. However, I did see a lot of unnecessary overspending which needs to be curbed. It was the overspending on the little things – the eating out, and the purchasing of things before thinking, “Do I really need to have that, or do I just want it?”. It is soooooo easy to overspend when you have a debit or credit card. They can be vicious cycles as we have seen too many times in this recent economy.
I’m calling today’s entry the Great Experiment because if this works there will be some extremely happy family members in my home. A few days ago, my son became all excited at the prospect of me doing this challenge and exclaimed, “So you’ll be making Blintzes!” Nope, sorry, son. Those aren’t “baked”. Needless to say, the child was devastated. You see, this Blintz recipe that I have is unbelievable and everyone who has ever had them loves them. I didn’t create it, I found it in one of my Bon Appetit cookbooks and I’ve made them so often over the years that the cookbook now automatically opens to that page when I place the book on the counter. They’re delicious, but extremely time consuming. I only make them maybe two, three times a year. I liken it to a wedding – all the preparation and then it’s over, they’re eaten in no time flat. The crepes are what gets me. I stand for hours (no lie) at the stove making these round thin pancakes over and over and over again. Ok, there have been a few times when I’ve eaten a couple, and then I’m really upset with myself because I just “wasted” what could have been an extra Blintz. But, I am the one putting forth the effort and deserve to test them to make sure they’re turning out ok. I wouldn’t want anyone becoming ill from my cooking.
Being an only child, I inherited the crepe pan when my mother passed away in ’92. She used it to make Manicottis. I have fond memories of her making the crepes and every time she’d make them she would give me some with maple syrup. To this day I’ll still eat them this way (except it isn’t Vermont Maid syrup. 🙁 Again, she didn’t make them that often either. I’m telling you, it’s time consuming. But well worth the trouble. There have been many discussions as to who will inherit this all important crepe pan when I move on to the kitchen in the sky. My eldest believes that as the first born, it is her right. Our middle child really shows no interest and our youngest, our son, is eager to learn how to make them so that he can claim ownership. As of yet, no one has learned, but I will be holding a class for those who are interested. My dear daughter, if you are reading this, I highly encourage you to pursue the art of crepe making. That item will be given to the person who puts it to use.
My son’s disappointment led me to thinking that I could possibly bake the recipe. I’ve never “winged it” when I’ve baked anything. I’m always so nervous I won’t have the right amount of baking powder, eggs, water, milk, butter, or flour. You get the picture. How do chefs do that, come up with a recipe for a cake knowing the exact proportion of ingredients. Ah yes, culinary school or years of experience. I just decided to bake the recipe as is and see what happens, then take it from there. Still haven’t figured out what to call it. Fast forward 3 hours later…
Now I know. The great disaster. Do not try this at home. Day 7 and the recipe that wasn’t, so I’m not going to post the recipe. It was definitely not what I had hoped for and I have a disappointed son. I made the recipe according to plan for the crepes and poured the batter into a greased 8×8″ baking dish and cooked it at 350° for 30 minutes. HA!
It was definitely thinner after it “collapsed”, but was still dense like about 6 crepes this time and still too heavy.
Just wasn’t the consistency I was looking for. As my daughters would say, “epic fail”. I’m not through with this, but you don’t know until you try. This has ignited a fire of persistence in me to discover what I can do to make this right. So, I guess I will be baking twice a day for a while until I come to a conclusion.