Accepting Defeat in the Kitchen

Gentle Readers, lean in close, it’s confession time. The Practical Cook is not the perfect cook with very good reason. This week, I made an incredible amount of food. I was tired. I messed a couple of things up. Simple things that could easily be corrected (undercooking one tray of cookies, using soy instead of terriyaki but catching it before the dish went further), and massive failures (no sugar in a double batch of banana bread, anyone anyone?).

Twice-Baked Potatoes, Ready for Dinner!

Twice-Baked Potatoes, Ready for Dinner!

In the words of Kenny Rogers, you have to know when to hold them, know when to fold them. After the banana bread incident, I went to bed. Even tonight, this blog was meant to be about Buffalo Spiced Pecans. But I’m not happy with the recipe yet. So please hold while I work on that.

Buffalo Spiced Pecans: Beautiful but a Work in Progress

Buffalo Spiced Pecans: Beautiful but a Work in Progress

Sometimes, you can salvage what you have, sometimes you need to stop. Ironically, I produced the best ever Date Nut Cookies and Twice-Baked Potatoes of my cooking career. I know these recipes, I’ve erred with them both before. I nailed it. Peanut Butter Cookies, same thing.

Spiced Biscotti: The Most Requested Cookie of the Season

Spiced Biscotti: The Most Requested Cookie of the Season

I made a new recipe, Spiced Biscotti, and it blew everyone away, perhaps because no one else in the family had made these before. They were perfectly balanced (the secret was white pepper). There was a disaster there as well, but a recovery.

Coconut Macadamia Banana Bread: Caramel Sauce Covering the Sins of Sugar Failure

Coconut Macadamia Banana Bread: Caramel Sauce Covering the Sins of Sugar Failure

Why am I confessing to you Gentle Readers? I am owning it because I hope you’ll keep cooking no matter what. It’s almost time to firm up those New Year’s Resolutions. I’ve got a couple in mind, including a constant: don’t let fear guide choice. Cook conservatively 4 nights a week if you must, or use shortcuts (I often do myself, life demands it), but never stop experimenting.

Santa is just not that choosy.

Santa is just not that choosy.

The sugar fail came in the midst of a lesson on fractions with TPCs Junior. They learned a second lesson: how to face frustration without throwing the mixing bowl out the window. So I doctored the banana bread with caramel sauce, admitted the mistake and asked for feedback, and enlisted the Juniors going forward to review the ingredient list.

Date-Nut Cookies, Glamour Shot

Date-Nut Cookies, Glamour Shot

A new day dawns. What’s your score for success in the kitchen this holiday season? Post your confessions in the comment box below, or Tweet with #TPCscore. Happy holidays, and back to the test kitchen for me.

My kind of buffet: cookie party!

My kind of buffet: cookie party!

Send your confessions, your confections, and your questions to practical cook at gmail dot com. Connect on Facebook: The Practical Cook Blog. (Thanks in advance for spreading The Practical Cook Blog word. Press “like” on Facebook today!)

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Next time, on Friday, Happy China Restaurant Review!

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