Flashback Friday – On Probation

Flashback Friday

The following originally appeared on 7/1/08 at Exit 51.

On Probation

I’ve got a secret, I’m addicted to finding new recipes to try. So far, I haven’t found a program to help me overcome this affliction. Instead, I try to keep it hidden away in folders and binders in dark corners of the house. The problem is that on this information superhighway, there’s no shortage of rest stops that tempt my demons. I have folders stuffed with pages from websites, magazines, and even some newspapers.

To balance this habit, I rarely buy cookbooks. I’m still trying to get through recipes I pulled years ago from Cooking Light, so how can I justify spending money on a book full of recipes I would have to put in the test rotation? At that rate, my folders would overflow like the loaves and fishes.

Now, this is not to say that I don’t own cookbooks. I have never looked a gift cookbook in the mouth. I just don’t go out of my way to add titles to my collection. So I’ve really got to be excited about one to hunt it down and find room for it on the bookshelf. That’s where I was with Cake Love.

Don’t ask me why but I was infatuated with the idea of churning out all kinds of frosted delights. So much so that I preordered the book and then patiently waited through two publishing delays for it to arrive. My expectations were high. I just knew that with the help of Warren Brown, I would be whipping up buttercream with ease and pulling perfect cakes from my oven on a regular basis. And then I tried my first Cake Love recipe. And I failed miserably. Have you ever managed to create a hollow cupcake? I have. 24 of them to be exact.

Not to be defeated, I dusted myself off and picked a different cake. I measured. I mixed. I baked. And somewhere between the words on the page and the cake in my oven, we ended up in two different places.

So Mr. Brown, you are officially on probation. I’ve give you one more shot to guide me to Cake Love. After that, I can’t guarantee your spot on the bookshelf.

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9 Responses to Flashback Friday – On Probation

  1. I’d say out of all the cookbooks I own, I’ve made maybe 3-4 recipes from each one. I can’t justify buying them anymore unless they’re techniques or baking-related.

    Booo on the Cakelove book! Thanks for saving me some cash.

  2. I love the blogesphere because who else understands the crash n burn emotions we cooks go through when a recipe doesn’t work out, it takes sheer will power to pick yourself up and dust yourself off for another round. I’d be putting that cookbook on probation too. Good Luck with Round 3.

    • Wendi says:

      Anna, I am certainly no stranger to fails in the kitchen. But, and I guess I will go ahead and say it, I had zero success with Cake Love. I ended up sending the book off to greener, and possibly more skilled pastures. Maybe it was me. Maybe it wasn’t. But I finally decided it was time to move on.

  3. SMITH BITES says:

    oh I have a cookbook addiction as well! and i force myself to purge my books every now and again because if i don’t, we’ll have to add on to the house to store them! i do cook from them when i first get them but, dang it – there’s always another new one coming out that i absolutely ‘must’ have! Mr. Brown would be on probation with me as well!

    • Wendi says:

      Believe me when I say that I have purged my cookbook collection a few times to be able to bring new books in. And then I shower the new one with love for a while before getting all obsessed with the next one I’ve GOT to have.  I am fickle. There, I’ve said it. And I know that I am a publisher’s dream customer because of it.

  4. omawarisan says:

    A hollow cupcake?

    Wait, you might be the missing heiress to the Hostess cakes fortune!

    • Wendi says:

      Yup, hollow cupcakes. I still don’t understand what happened. But I know that if I had been trying to get them to be hollow, it never would have worked.

  5. Pingback: Flashback Friday – Terms of Probation | Bon Appetit Hon

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