You win some and you lose some the old saying goes…then you completely bomb some too. That was me in the kitchen this evening. It was so bad I couldn’t even finish eating it. Seriously. How did this happen?!! I apologized to my cookware this evening for subjecting it to the food I prepared (I also apologized to my wife and son too).
The bad part is I had made the recipe before. Last time I made it it was awesome. So much so that Marixa (my gorgeous bride) requested that I make it again this evening, even though we had it last week. So, I fired up the stove and got after it. I expected it to be just as good as the other day, but I hit a few snags.
First, I didn’t have all the ingredients. So, like I have done many times in the past, I improvised. This was not my fatal flaw, but it didn’t help in the long run. Next, I pulled out the recipe for Pasta Carbonara and glanced at it. Since I had made it the other day, I thought I knew my way around it. Wrong-o. When I made it the first time, I read the recipe all the way through, pulled my ingredients, prepped them, and then started cooking. I had the stove fired up this time with stuff a cooking before I got into the first paragraph. That was the beginning of the end.
Now, I have to admit, I didn’t follow the recipe exactly the first time. Here is the original recipe. I didn’t change the recipe much, but I did omit the Italian Sausages as we don’t care for them. The recipe calls for Panchetta, but I had to use bacon (I have read that bacon is a suitable substitute for Panchetta and it worked awesome the first time). I also didn’t have as much Parmesan as the recipe called for so I added some Gouda to supplement. Now, that I have written all this I see I did make some major changes…ok, that isn’t the point…the point is that it really worked well the first time. The picture below is what it is supposed to look like.
Now we get to my second try. I didn’t follow the directions and I didn’t have the same set of ingredients. The recipe calls for linguine. I used angle hair spaghetti. Call it a brain lapse, because those two noodles and only similar in the fact that they are noodles. Not a good choice. I also eyed the ingredients this time…and tried to cook it from memory. This is why the meal just plain sucked. I got the ingredients way out of proportion. I don’t even want to be near lemon zest right now. I am not going to post a picture of this one. No way, no how.
I am going to reference the movie Julia and Julia again. There is a scene where Julia Child’s character (played so amazingly by Meryl Streep) corrects her friends when they state that measurements don’t matter. She reminds them that they do matter and that cooking is a process of scientific workability. That phrase stuck with me. There is a science to cooking. It is really part science and part art, but the structure of the meal has to be in place before you can get creative with it. You also have to know the elements that you are trying to be creative with very well, or they will not do what you expect them too.
I told Marixa that I was embarrassed for what I had cooked. She is so very gracious and loving. She told me I have cooked worse. I don’t remember when I did. Thankfully it hasn’t been for a long time. I expect better of myself. I expect to eat better too! To get better though I am going to have to keep at it…and I MUST read my directions…