Sunday, January 9, 2011

Things I Want to Master

Happy New Year y'all!! I hope everyone is enjoying this beautiful (but quite chilly) Sunday morning.

As I sit at my breakfast table and look at the gazillion leaves in my backyard, my mind quickly turned to anything that didn't require manual labor outside. No, seriously, I can't address the leaves until they ALL fall off. What's the point of raking leaves several times when you can do it have someone do it just once? back to my distracted thoughts.

I'm a sucker for trying new things and I have absolutely no fear jumping in head first and excitedly awaiting the outcome. Well I began thinking about a few things I really want to master and oddly, they all involved food, so for good measure, I threw in a couple of okay, one non-food related to-do. These are in no particular order, but simply things I'd like to tackle.

1. Breadmaking (especially rolls)

I do an okay job in this area, but I want to do an OMG job with breads. Aunt Maxine continues to advise me that technique and patience are the key combinations, along with not overworking the dough. I'm going for that smooth-as-a-babies-bottom kinda finish and I'm definitely not there yet.

The lower left roll is what I'm aspiring for:

2. Making Madeleines

This one isn't so much as mastering, but just taking the time to make them in efforts to avoid driving all over Atlanta to purchase them and getting home to realize I've eaten waaaay too many on the drive back. Ridiculous I know, but I'd rather reserve my driving for more important things, like a lamb shank, a steak, perfume or shoes. ;-) I'm obsessed with these delicate beauties.

Love these!!

3. Piping Frosting

My great niece Briana is cupcake-obsessed and of course it's Aunt Sheila's duty to spoil her rotten by turning our play dates into cupcake baking sessions. Although she's impressed by anything I do, I'm not quite where I want to be with adorning her favorite treat. We've enjoyed creating quite a few things in her soon-to-be four years. At two, she made biscuits, at three, snickerdoodles & spaghetti sauce (her request), and she's been the official family "pancake flipping" coach for a couple of years, by yelling, "It's time to flip 'em!" She's already great in the kitchen and truly enjoys creating and experimenting.

I did this a few months ago:

4. Keeping Just One Plant Alive (longer than a week)

I simply have NOT managed to do this and I'm not so sure I really want to, other than to ease my conscience about killing so many beautiful living things. The routine is, buy it, bring it home, kill it, take it to my sister Riley, let her nurse it back to health, visit it often and wonder in amazement how she managed to make it beautiful again. *sigh* This is really going to be a tough one. I simply REFUSE to post a picture of a dead plant.

I'll make every effort to keep you posted, but I'm not so sure about my green thumb journey. I hope to have a grin as big as Briana's when my mastery is complete.

Stay tuned.

Sheila Denise