Monday, July 23, 2007
Cooking in the Fog
Sometimes I just know I shouldn't be in the kitchen. I can't seem to focus and can reread the same sentence 3 times without comprehending what it means. It's like a fog has settled over my brain and I just can't seem to process anything. These are the times when I need a lighthouse to warn me of the shoals ahead. To flash a beacon warning me away from certain disaster that looms in the mist.
Recently I came upon a delightful little lemon cake on Alpineberry. I was smitten by its charms and filed it in my mental "make soon" file. My opportunity arose when my husband arrived home with a bag of lemons and a friend was going though sugar withdrawal. What better way to fill that need than with this sweet cake?
Or it would have been, if not for the fog. I looked at the recipe. And moved over to the counter to pull out a bowl. Then went back to recheck the recipe. And went back to the counter. Then back to the recipe. I finally gave myself a mental shake and tried to focus on the task at hand. I measured, sifted, and blended. Oops, it called for cupcake papers. Did I have enough? Yes! Just barely.
I carefully scooped the delicate chiffon batter into the papers and then wiped an errant blob off so it wouldn't burn onto the pan. Of course I couldn't resist popping it back into my mouth.
Euwwww! Why was it so sour? Had I really forgotten the sugar? Yes, I had. And adding it at this point was going to spell disaster for the dainty beaten egg whites. But I had no choice.
As I scraped out the cupcake liners I realized that there was no hope of reusing them. They made a sodden, nasty heap as I worked. Since granulated sugar would be too difficult to incorporate at this point, I used confectioner's sugar, blending as gently as possible. And since I had no more cupcake papers, I used two mini loaf pans and guessed on the baking time. Sigh.
It turned out pretty well, all things considered. And the friend to whom I gave one of the loaves did not complain, so maybe she was sufficiently sugar-deprived that she didn't notice all that was wrong with it.