Saturday, April 7, 2012

Recipe Cards & Mistakes in the Kitchen

     Recipe cards have become one of my newest obsessions, and I am definitely on the hunt for the "perfect" card, right now this is one of the ones I found on that caught my eye, you can find it and so many more on Etsy.  Take a look at all of the beautiful cards that you can find on that website.  Some of them are so expensive though, I might have to figure our how to make recipe cards on my own.  Those beautiful cards make me dream of one day having all of my go to recipes all organized and neatly printed on beautiful matching recipe cards.  Maybe I am being a bit neurotic, but that really would make me happy.  My mother has a recipe binder that I can not actually remember how old it is, I strongly suspect that it is older than me.  As a surprise for my mother I am putting some of the best family recipes onto matching cards and into a new binder for her, the beat-up broken binder of hers has definitely seen better days.  I hope she likes it.

     At times its funny to think how cyclical life can be, just a few years ago most women didn't have aprons, or focus on cooking like their mother have before them.  Now there is a resurgence of young women setting out to conquer the kitchen.  How does one really conquer the kitchen?  When do you know if you have won the battle?  I fear that the battle that I will have is the battle for kitchen space, it seems as though there is never enough counter space to go around.  I guess no matter how much space a cook has they will always manage so use all of the space available.

     I look at my bookcases of cookbooks, the recipes that are in my recipe binders and boxes, and all of the various cooking tools of the trade that fill the drawers of my kitchen.  I look around and realize that none of that is what caused me to become comfortable in the kitchen (although of course they did help), it was the life lessons and failures in the kitchen that taught me to press forward in the kitchen.  I have had so many failures in the kitchen, the stories that my mother could tell you from my younger years would definitely cause a mixture of laughter and major embarrassment on my part.

     What I learned from my failures is that it is okay, you don't have to be perfect, learn from your mistakes.  Sometimes learning from your mistakes is making sure that you are paying attention to what you are doing in the kitchen.  Like the time I was running behind schedule and had to make some frosting and was not paying attention to what I was doing, and instead of grabbing the powdered sugar canister, I grabbed the flour.  Just so you know, it most definitely would have been the worst frosting ever.  Luckily I was able to discover my mistake and actually was able to add some yeast and some sugar and hot water and turned it into dough for sweet rolls that turned out quite nicely.

     One of the challenges that I made for myself about two years ago was to never throw out a mistake, but to try to salvage it.  I think I will be a person that will always have occasional mistakes in the kitchen.  Sometimes the sauces just won't thicken right or the food cooks unevenly, but as Julia Child always encouraged, we have to smile through it and be fearless in the kitchen.  It is sometimes through the greatest failures in the kitchen that we discover our best new recipes.  So lesson to be learned, get some recipe cards handy and start discovering what YOU can create in the kitchen.

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