Recipe for Disaster


Like lots of people I like to putter about in the kitchen. My mother was never terribly interested in cooking except around the holidays, and I grew up on a steady diet of plain meat and vegetables, so cooking is a skill that I have had to acquire on my own.

In the dark ages before internet, I used to read cookbooks the way most people devour novels – I didn’t try many of the recipes but I read them cover to cover. This has something to do with a very unfortunate encounter with a chou paste recipe from Larousse Gastronomy – apparently you cannot substitute one type of yeast for another if you don’t want to germinate a science experiment that makes your kitchen reek of the sort of odor usually only found in the alley behind a frat house the morning after a rave.

But then the whole world started posting recipes on the internet and I found a new hobby – hunting for recipes for dishes prepared by my favorite restaurants. Some were easy …and some… not so much. All I can say is, if the Cracker Barrel restaurant really makes their coca cola cake according to the directions posted online my hat goes off to them – who ever heard of boiling cake ingredients before baking them? Needless to say I haven’t tried this but I would love to know how you get on if you do.

Then I decided to get all healthy and change my entire diet. I am now low fat and practically gluten and dairy free … well at least until they start passing the cupcakes around my office anyway.

The problem is that there really are a few things I do miss – mainly ice cream and potato chips. I have had lots of success with dairy free frozen desserts so when I read that you could make potato chips in your microwave with practically no oil and no salt I practically ran to the store to buy potatoes.

According to the recipe all you had to do was slice the potato paper thin with a mandolin, spray the slices with cooking spray and then pop them in the microwave for about four minutes. Sounds easy right?

What a mess – they went from limp and mushy to a version of cardboard stuck so firmly to the plate I had to chisel the stuff off in small chunks and then soak the plate in the dish pan for close to 30 minutes. Never again.

Next time I get a craving I am going to store and get an evil tub of rocky road and a jumbo bag of chips and then invite a few friends over to make sure I don’t get more than my just desserts.


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