Cook Wise 101

Waffle Fail

The Mistah gave me Cook Wise for Christmas and no sooner had we cleaned up the wrapping paper and bows than I cracked it open and started reading.  And I immediately felt like I was back in college, struggling to understand Man In A Chemical World which was basically Science For Dummies Who Need An Easy Science Credit For Graduation.  I don’t know why or how but I’m starting to suspect that my ability to learn new information has abandoned me.  It’s a good thing I already have that college degree because if I can’t understand a book about food science specifically written for non-scientists, I sure as hell wouldn’t make it through Stat 331 or 332.  Nevermind that I had to retake 331 or that none of what I was taught in those classes has ever been used in my life outside of that classroom.

So I’m working through Cook Wise and I notice that while I feel like I need Cliff Notes for the chapters, the recipes make perfect sense.  Having never taken an in-depth Science course in college, I don’t know if I would have been any better in the lab than the lecture.  But I’m hoping that will be the case with Cook Wise 101.  Actually, I’m hoping that at some point the light bulb in my head will turn back on and the food science part will start making sense too.  But into the kitchen we go to try and make the Raised Waffles.  And despite understanding the recipe, I still fail the exam.  It’s like Man In A Chemical World all over again.

Even after rereading the section many times, I can’t explain why the inside of my Raised Waffles don’t cook.  I get the outside crisp but the inside is gummy and raw.  After four attempts where I vary the temperature of the waffle iron, cooking time, and amount of batter, I concede and throw some frozen waffles in the toaster.  My friends, defeat tastes like a buttered Trader Joe’s Blueberry Waffle.

Much like I retook Stat 331 (only because I absolutely had to in order to get that damn degree), I’m going to retake this exam from Cook Wise 101.   My kitchen gpa needs a Pass to offset this Fail.

15 thoughts on “Cook Wise 101

    1. Emily, as if it weren’t bad enough that 331 and 332 were Stat centric, the official course title of those classes was (and still is according to UMBC) Experimental Psychology: Design and Analysis I and II. So not only did I have to understand and apply the stat stuff, I had to design and execute an experiment in order to do so. I’ve purposely started to repress those memories.

  1. My problem seemed to stem from the fact that I found you can make it say anything you want it to…… so who cares?

    to make matters worse I was even more computer illiterate at the time than I am now. we had to go to the mass computer dungeon and instruct the computer ( in a language only it understood) and create a program to generate said slanted statistics………..I think EXECUTE is a good word!

    1. Oh Emily, I do vaguely remember that. We had to input all the data and then run a pain in the ass program to get all the results – mean, median, mode, standard deviation – and then use what we learned in the class to determine if our results were statistically significant.

      Why didn’t I major in English instead? Because I didn’t want to deal with writing all the writing they got stuck with. Kind of makes this blogging thing all the more ironic don’t you think?

  2. Speaking of jambalaya ( which has nothing to so woth anything) I am going to attempt paella this weekend. this Spanish influence is getting a bit much!

    but Ina garten made a version theother day with already cooked things. think I can handle this one!

  3. Is the recipe new? or the waffle iron? If both have been reliable in the past it might be the iron on its way out. I have a perfect waffle recipe that was a flabby, pathetic disaster recently when I used a new waffle iron. Which has turned out to be completely useless for making a decent waffle.

    1. Marianne, the recipe is new. I’ve had the waffle iron for two years and up until now have never had a problem with it. The recipe uses yeast, which is my kitchen nemesis. I figured, coming from Cook Wise, that it would be an unbreakable recipe but somehow I still managed to mess it up.

  4. Great recipe! I was looking around online for some info on that recipe – I have had that book Cookwise for some time, and had used it as a reference for the “science” of cooking rather than recipes. My daughter tried that Raised Waffle recipe and said it was grand. I tried it this morning (had made the batch previous nite as required and left out over night and in the morning, whipped it up a bit and put the eggs and baking soda in (pre-stirred), and they turned out just as described in the book, crisp and exceptionally light. They were quite easy, and was just wondering what caused the problem you had. I have had a problem (once) when pancakes turned out like that – would not firm up in the middle, but I figured one of the ingredients was bad… or something and just threw them out.

    1. Ike, I really thought that I would fall in love with Cookwise and am disappointed to say that didn’t happen. I never figured out if I got the raised waffle recipe wrong or if my expectations for them were off base. Glad to hear that you and your daughter have had success with it….a good waffle is a thing of beauty.

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