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4.09.2007

A safe bet

I thought it was over. I really did. After the disappointment of that coconut pie, it would have only been fair. With all the work that thing took – not to mention the woe that came with eating it – I figured I’d more than filled my monthly quota of culinary downers. Unfortunately, I was wrong. It was only the start of what turned out to be a very, very sub-par week. I don’t usually like to air my dirty kitchen laundry around here, but it’s piling up so high and fast that I’ve got nowhere else to put it. It would be comical, if only it weren’t quite so sad. I can hardly even muster the energy to write about it in complete sentences. Witness:

Monday: Made lunch for two friends, one being the co-owner of a favorite local restaurant. Failed to properly puree the carrot soup, leaving it oddly lumpy, like a vegetal oatmeal, and overbaked the lemon cake. Cringed while my companions dutifully ate.

Tuesday: Gave leftovers of aforementioned lemon cake to Brandon for breakfast. Nearly choked him with a dried-out crumb. Had a friend to dinner. Made a rhubarb clafoutis with the texture and appearance of a kitchen sponge. Ate it anyway.

Wednesday: Sought refuge in dinner out with a girlfriend. Got a little weepy.

Thursday: Tried again with my comrades from Monday’s lunch, this time at the restaurant. Had a delicious meal, along with, unfortunately, a glass of prosecco, two types of red wine, and three varieties of dessert wine. Closed the restaurant, danced to Blondie and the Rolling Stones, ate ice cubes in a futile attempt to sober up. Began to suffer.

Friday: Hung over. Managed, with some bad curly endive and Brandon’s help, to make a truly awful salad, something I had previously thought impossible. For dessert, tried a madeleine recipe from a favorite cookbook. Nothing special. Not even worth eating. Let the leftovers sit on the counter and go stale.

Saturday: Went to dinner at the home of a friend. Distracted her so thoroughly with my chatter that her Persian rice, with its many types of expensive fresh herbs, wound up irreparably scorched.

Sunday: Tried a recipe for milk chocolate brownies from a recent issue of Gourmet. Hovered excitedly over the oven, only to find them completely mediocre. Worse than boxed brownie mix, tasting neither of chocolate nor, really, of anything else. Ate two, because I was desperate. Set the rest out for the trash collectors.

See what I mean? So sub-par, and so sad. By the middle of the week, I was sufficiently wigged out that I made Brandon look up the lunar calendar. I was desperate. I’ve never bought into the folklore about full moons – that they bring insanity and crime and disasters and what not – but after last week, I’m not so sure. Monday, it turns out, was a full moon. It would be awfully nice if that explained all this. That way, in the future, at least, I might know when to stay away from the kitchen, if not food as a general category.

But anyway, all this is not to say that there weren’t at least a couple of decent moments in the last seven days. I don’t mean to be a total downer. There were some high points, in fact, and both of them involved asparagus.



This is yet another of those situations when I worry that I’m giving you a recipe that’s entirely too simple and old-hat, but seeing as I love it – and given that it was one of the few good things I got my teeth around last week – I’m going to do it anyway. The inspiration for this dish comes from a classic French preparation: poireaux vinaigrette, an elegant salad-of-sorts composed of cooked leeks and a mustardy dressing, smattered with a hard-boiled egg chopped fine as snow. It’s a dish I first learned from my host mother in Paris, and one that’s made a home on my table in the many years since. Sometimes, in the spring, I like to trade the leeks for asparagus – the fat spears, preferably, blanched to emerald green. That’s what we did this week, in fact, and it was so good that we ate it twice.

To best complement the asparagus, we mixed things up a little, trading my usual dressing for a lemon vinaigrette with a dab of garlic. The key is to serve it all with the spears still warm, when their flavor is mellow and sweet and their flesh still porous to the citrus and oil. It’s the perfect way to send up spring’s newest crop – casual, unfussy, and clean-the-plate good, and with its longtime comrade, the lemon. It’s what we’ll be eating for the next little while around here. Because, you know, no matter what, it’s a safe bet.

___


I hope this will keep your bellies full for a while, friends, because I’m leaving town for a few weeks. (It has nothing to do with escaping the disasters of last week, I swear. It was in the works long before then.) First, on Wednesday, I’m headed to the IACP conference in Chicago. Then, on Sunday, I’ll catch a plane to Paris with my mom for a pre-wedding mother-daughter bonanza, wherein we eat loads of chocolate and chaussons aux pommes and pâté and cheese, walk until our feet are sore, sit in cafés, visit old friends, say hello to David and Clotilde, and more generally spend some time ensemble before I become a Mrs. in July. I’m so excited, I can hardly sit still.

I’ll be back in three weeks. Until then, I hope you’ll content yourselves with asparagus. It’s not much, but it’s the best I could do.



Asparagus vinaigrette

This dish can be as simple or as frilly as you want it to be. I’ve called below for a hard-boiled egg and lemon zest as garnish, but just as often, we eat it without. In fact, we’re usually pretty low-key about it, eating the asparagus plain, with our fingers, and dipping it in the vinaigrette as we go. Whatever you do, be sure to choose asparagus with plump, firm spears. I like to use somewhat fat ones here, but any will work, so long as they’re flavorful and in season. To prepare them for cooking, trim or snap off their woody ends, and give the spears a quick rinse in cool water.

As for the hard-boiled egg, I have a new favorite method to share. (I can’t remember where I learned it, though - somewhere on the Internet - so if it’s yours, please accept my apologies.) I put the egg in a small saucepan, covered it with cold water, and brought it to a boil over medium-high heat. When it began to boil, I pulled it off the burner, covered it, and let it sit for 12 minutes. Then I rinsed it in plenty of cold water. The white was tender and the yolk bright yellow, with not one single nasty bit of gray in sight.

1 bunch asparagus
Salt
2 Tbsp. lemon juice
1 Tbsp. white wine or champagne vinegar
1 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
½ tsp. fine sea salt
5 Tbsp. olive oil
Scant 1/8 tsp. pressed garlic
1 hard-boiled egg, finely chopped (optional)
Zest of half a lemon (optional)

Fill a 12-inch skillet with water to a depth of about 1 inch. Add a good dose of salt, and bring the pan to a boil over high heat. Add the asparagus, spreading them out in a single layer, and cook just until they turn bright green and yield to the tooth, about 1 ½ to 2 minutes. Drain into a colander, and briefly run cool water over the asparagus to stop them from cooking. They should still be warm. Dry them gently on a paper towel, and transfer them to a serving platter. Set aside.

In a small bowl or jar, whisk together the lemon juice, vinegar, mustard, and salt. Add the oil, and whisk well to emulsify. Taste, and if necessary, add a bit more oil. Depending on the flavor of the oil and vinegar you use, you might need a teaspoon or so more oil. Add the garlic, and whisk to combine.

To serve, drizzle the vinaigrette over the asparagus, and top, if you like, with hard-boiled egg. If you choose to use the lemon zest, sprinkle a couple of pinches on top. Alternatively, serve the asparagus plain, with the vinaigrette and other optional toppings on the side, so each eater can dress it to their liking.

Yield: 4 side-dish or starter-size servings, or 2, if you’re us

61 Comments:

Blogger Melindy said...

Oh Molly!

Life can be that way- sounds like a wild ride...
Usually I discover after weeks like that- the reasons why I must have need that week to happen-
BUT in there midst they are tough.

You have support in your partner though, and good karma, and you are going to PAREE!

That's exciting- do have a wonderful time- and thanks for the asparagus idea-

5:46 PM, April 09, 2007  
Anonymous Samantha Guthrie said...

Oh Molly,
How I laughed and cried with you over this posting. I thought I was the only one who had aliens take over my kitchen!

Thank you for your honesty.
Samantha

5:53 PM, April 09, 2007  
Anonymous danielle said...

ohh, sister. how i know this pain you describe. after a weekful of my own culinary catastrophes, which i did opt to blame on the moon (that bastard), i am biting the bullet and trying my hand at a few new-to-me recipes, including your lemon cake, and perhaps rhubarb clafouti, or perhaps a strawberry rhubarb tart. after finding your blog, i just can't be stopped. that, and i've decided to use springy recipes to replace the hunger strike i considered taking in opposition of this rainy portland weather that just will. not. let. up. all in all, i am a HUGE fan. this morning my boyfriend woke up to me squealing and clapping at the food network segment featuring you and brandon. i plan to start a food blog of my own sometime soon, and i hope that my blog and your blog can be blog friends when that day comes.

5:55 PM, April 09, 2007  
Blogger Anna said...

hello! I am a big fan of your writing and I love these simple recipes as much as your fancier ones. You have a good handle on what 'real people' are looking for in food.

one question- do you peel your asparagus? a couple sources imply that it is absolutely necessary, but I had never heard of it until recently. I suppose I should just try both ways and decide myself in the end.

Also, I am excited to hear you are coming to Chicago! I love love love this city and (like many of my Chicagoan friends) feel a compulsion to gush about it at every opportunity. I hope you get to eat some great food (there is a lot of it here) and meet some great folks.

cheers-

Anna

6:05 PM, April 09, 2007  
Blogger shari said...

oh dear molly! what a week but your days are looking up! lots of fun travel and paris! yahoo. i'll miss you. xo

6:19 PM, April 09, 2007  
Blogger Mercedes said...

Ooooo, are you a lucky duck, off to Paris! You are going to have ball, enjoy every minute of it.

Don't worry about the culinary funk, it happens to everyone. In the meantime, know that I have been eating simple roasted asparagus for the past five nights. Five nights. It's good you've shared the vinagrette, so I can at least branch out a little.

7:13 PM, April 09, 2007  
Anonymous Mary said...

You've sure had a great sounding week. You make asparagus exactly the way I do (but I was an exchange student and then, like you, an assistante in Paris). I'm sure you're going to have a grand time in Paris. Profites-en!

7:36 PM, April 09, 2007  
Blogger Lia said...

Oooh, Paris! I'm heading back there myself in a month for the first time in 10 years. I'll have to get some recommendations from you when you're back. Have a great trip!

7:45 PM, April 09, 2007  
Blogger Janice said...

Phew, glad to hear I'm not the only one susceptible to culinary disasters.

What a timely post -- I just had an asparagus dish similar to this one at Delfina Pizzeria. Delicious!

8:07 PM, April 09, 2007  
Anonymous Maria said...

That looks so simple, but so delicious. The snow of eggs is a nice touch. I will seek out some asparagus at the market tomorrow, hopefully.

And though I am very jealous of your trip to Paris (lo, I almost wrote 'trip to Papers' - this is what finals are doing to me) I hope you have a wonderful time with your mom! They're the best kind of company.

8:09 PM, April 09, 2007  
Blogger Monique said...

Greetings. I made both the lentil soup and the lemon cake this weekend and both turned out fantastic. Thanks for the recipes!

9:53 PM, April 09, 2007  
Blogger Alice Q said...

Hi Molly! I know how you feel, it's hard to put a lot of energy, not to mention good ingredients, into something and have it not turn out the way you hoped! I hope you enjoy your trip, and have a wonderful time in Paris!

Love the video clip by the way - you guys are really cute in it - you didn't tell us that Brandon was such a fox! :-)

11:10 PM, April 09, 2007  
Blogger Gemma said...

I hate disappointing kitchen moments too. Have a fabulous time in Paris - I recommend a trip to the garden at the mosque to drink sweet mint tea and eat little sticky semolina cakes and baklava in a beautiful setting.

3:29 AM, April 10, 2007  
Blogger s'kat said...

I really feel your pain! Sometimes, it is best just to set down your pans, step away from the stove and order in!

As far as the salad, silly girl, you should know that endive wasn't meant to dissuade against the almighty hangover. You needed grease, girl!

Have a great trip! I'm guessing you will come back with a plethora of recipes and ideas.

5:02 AM, April 10, 2007  
Anonymous kayenne said...

chopping eggs can be messy and mushy(the yolks). learned this trick in singapore from my favorite popiah hawker. use a fine grater. looks pretty and evenly "chopped" too.

have a great trip! =D

5:07 AM, April 10, 2007  
Blogger mary said...

Good asparagus can go a long way toward making amends for so many ills. Simple, delicious standbys like these that can slip into regular rotation are some of my favorite things to hear about.

Have fun in Chicago, my town. We're in the midst of a cold snap here, so bring warm things. I'll be stopping by the cookbook expo on Friday. (If I see you and go all stupid and wide-eyed and say something obvious like "that's Molly of Orangette! In real life!" a little too loudly, be forgiving. My capacity for foolishness, at times, amazes even me.)

6:23 AM, April 10, 2007  
Anonymous mittie said...

Bon Voyage-I Love Paris-enjoy and have a great time

6:31 AM, April 10, 2007  
Blogger Clare said...

Don't despair, Molly! You are a fantastic cook and a few little misses don't change that. Just look at all of the wonderful recipes you've created on this site and know that these speak louder than anything else.

You're human :) It happens. I overcooked some sugar snap peas the other day - to the point where they were all starchy and soft and yucky, and I make those all the time.

Anyway, have a fantastic vacation, and congrats on the Food Network profile!

8:54 AM, April 10, 2007  
Blogger Lily said...

i just got some asparagus from full circle farm and couldn't figure out what to do w/ it (them?) til now. yippee!
have a fabulous time in Pareeee, safe travels!

8:55 AM, April 10, 2007  
Blogger christianne said...

Regardless of the culinary catastrophes that preceeded it, the timing of this recipe is perfect! I've got stacks of hard boiled eggs leftover from Easter that I'm trying to do away with, and this will be a huge help!

Have a wonderful trip with your Mom!

9:08 AM, April 10, 2007  
Blogger Helene said...

What a week! But the future looks bright! I wish I was going back to the home country soon...Have a wonerful time and enjoy every minute spent with your mom. I did the same thing when I got married and we had a great time!
Poireaux vinaigrette sent me back 10 years ago when I used to hate them and now I can't get enough!
I finally saw the Food TV segment. You guys are a great looking couple! Congratulations and best wishes!

9:30 AM, April 10, 2007  
Blogger Tea said...

Dare I say it's good to know I'm not the only one? I was blaming it on the awful new stove and cookware I hate, but perhaps it was the moon. So nice of you to take the blame on the rice, but it was my negligence that burnt the sucker. As for the clafouti, I didn't think it was bad--I even had seconds! I'm just sad the brownies were a no-go, they sounded so promising.

10:49 AM, April 10, 2007  
Anonymous Melissa said...

I have plenty of weeks like that too, but hey, look at the bright side - at least the week wasn't boring to boot! And I'll hazard a guess that the next three won't be either. So have a wonderful time in Chicago and Paris, bring back plenty of stories and enjoy your last chance to travel as a single woman! ;)

p.s. I just watched your spot on the Food Network website - you go girl! What a treat to see you tell your story. xx

10:51 AM, April 10, 2007  
Anonymous Amanda said...

Sometimes you need a little disaster to make good times that much sweeter. I think maybe there's something in the water. I've had to choke down 2 separate asparagus recipes that turned out stringy and mushy, interspersed with depressing, institutional-tasting matzo ball soup. And then! AND THEN!! Every grocery store from Ballard to Sand point ran out of kosher for passover matzah! This is what happens when I let my (dear, sweet, talented-in-other-ways) boyfriend be in charge of domestic tasks.

10:52 AM, April 10, 2007  
Anonymous Julie said...

Oh darlin', it does feel unfair, doesn't it. After several of my own recent disasters, I've wondered if I'm just plain losing my touch in the kitchen. Last night I burned BLACK and had to throw away an entire batch of freshly buttery garlicky red peppery parsley-ey garlic asiago bread, much to G's dismay. He's ever-kind about such things, fortunately, which is one of the reasons why he gets to marry me in a couple of days. You and I, well, we're just distracted, that's all.

And G & I are totally greedy for asparagus, too. I have to buy THREE bunches if I want any leftovers. I'm going to try your treatment, since it sounds fab and may get me out of the roasting rut in which I find myself.

11:12 AM, April 10, 2007  
Blogger Timi, Jenn & Kainoa said...

I love aparagus season! We'll try the dressing tonight. Have a wonderful and safe trip and I'm looking forward to your return.

We saw your spot on the Food Network over the weekend...what fun! It felt like seeing an old friend on TV. Thanks for sharing your life with us.

11:21 AM, April 10, 2007  
Anonymous Meryl said...

Oh Molly! Will you share your favorite Chicago spots when you get back? I'm going in June for the first time and I want to make sure to take full advantage of the city's foodie offerings...

have fun in Paris - what a fabulous pre-wedding trip!

12:19 PM, April 10, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i don't know where you got that hard-boiled egg method, but i read it in one of Rachael Ray's cookbooks.
i'm excited that you're coming to Chicago, my hometown, I hope you get to eat at lots of good places and can't wait to hear all about it.
I just have to say this: Although the debate rages on and on - My favorite place for real Chicago pizza is called 'Lou Malnati's' - there are several branches in the city, my favorite is at sheffield and wrightwood in the lincoln park neighborhood (which is a very young/yuppie/fun neighborhood) If you can get there, try their signature butter crust, and order it with fresh tomatoes on top.

peace,
meg


p.s. the food network spot was adorable!

2:29 PM, April 10, 2007  
Anonymous Leah said...

Molly! Have the most wonderful, fantastic, glorious time. Can't wait to hear all about it upon your return! Meanwhile, I shall go back to plotting a Seattle trip. xoxoxoxo

PS - To your friend above looking for Chicago recs, I went in November and OH it is such an amazing city. All I did for three days was eat. And eat. And eat. I can't wait to go again one day!

4:44 PM, April 10, 2007  
Anonymous Leah said...

PS - Another in the same boat here! I too have had naught but culinary disasters this week. Which was why I poked on over here today - to remember the dressing for the endive/radicchio/radish dressing. I'm in need.

4:46 PM, April 10, 2007  
Blogger Kirsten said...

Oh, bad food days/weeks are so discouraging!

But Paris, a wedding, a cookbook???? I just know it's a passing thing and not here to stay.

Safe travels and enjoy your trip!

Kirsten

11:21 PM, April 10, 2007  
Blogger love.boxes said...

I am not a cook, but I try sometimes and my only success this week involved aparagus as well. I had the in-laws over. I feel un-confident cooking for them because I love spicy and they hate spicy and that makes me feel that everything I make is bland and yuck. But, we all liked the asparagus so that good.

8:40 AM, April 11, 2007  
Blogger Brian Gardunia said...

It sounds like time to bake bread to me. Nothing is as cheery as fresh baked bread. Just the smell of it is enough to dispel any clouds of frustration.

I baked a lot of bread when I was writing my dissertation. Nothing was as frustrating as realizing how long something that seemed straightforward could take.

10:28 AM, April 11, 2007  
Blogger iamchanelle said...

thank you for sharing a normal week of failures with the rest of us - you KNOW we have all had 'em. it is a comfort to know you are not alone in a cursed kitchen at times.

i hope you have a WONDERFUL trip and much fun planning for the big MRS.!!!!

12:57 PM, April 11, 2007  
Anonymous Stephanie said...

The asparagus sounds lovely and if only you could have seen the miserable spiteful shrivelled ugly and inedible Genoise that I baked on Monday you'd be feeling like you'd had a string of triumphs!

1:58 AM, April 12, 2007  
Blogger Margo said...

Hey, you're in Seattle Metropolitan magazine! I was just reading about restaurants, and there you were! Congrats on the deal.

9:37 AM, April 12, 2007  
Blogger amisha said...

hi molly,
the week may have been awful but you're on your way to paris... and you made some lovely asparagus :) have a wonderful time in chicago and with your mom in france... it all sounds delightful!

12:49 PM, April 12, 2007  
Blogger Chez Jake said...

I've only recently discovered your blog, and I love both your writing and your food.

For a variant on the dressing for the asparagus, try using fresh squeezed orange juice and grated zest instead of the lemon. I also add just a tiny pinch of cayenne.

Of course, for the sinfully rich experience of orange and asparagus, serve the asparagus with Sauce Maltaise (essentially a hollandaise made with orange juice and zest, plus that pinch of cayenne).

8:51 PM, April 12, 2007  
Blogger Shaun said...

Molly, darling - Sorry for the bad week. I, too, am rather sad, for I can't find our digital camera and now don't want to post anything without it; consequently, I'm not even cooking and feeling worse for it. If you're interested, head to Pitchi Poi in the 4th arrondisement where they have the best flavored vodkas (the caramel one is fabulous) and matzo soup (it is a Jewish restaurant).

10:53 AM, April 13, 2007  
Blogger Amy said...

Thanks for the idea of using a vinaigrette on asparagus. I usually make hollandaise to go with mine, but this would be a great change for a little variety.

Also, it's so nice to see someone adapting their recipes to the season. Very refreshing concept. You've won yourself a new reader!

1:29 PM, April 13, 2007  
Anonymous Alycia said...

I just saw your commercial on the Food Network and I thought I would come and comment! :) That was a cute story.

12:24 AM, April 15, 2007  
Anonymous the Dichot said...

Please, Molly, please: never write another post about happy and successful cooking events again. These disasters are waaay too much fun to read, and oh-so-truly true. I wept, I laughed. I peed a little. Enjoy Paris and please bring back stories of leaden soufflés and rubbery microwaved croque messrs.

5:09 PM, April 16, 2007  
Blogger Bill said...

I was defeated by an egg. Same week. What's with this week?

http://12tutufondue.blogspot.com/2007/04/egged-on-not.html

I redeemed myself last night with an outstanding, if I do say so myself, batch of pork ribs smoked with hickory, potato salad and corn bread with jalapeno.

Some day I'll tell you about the cabbage dish that went bad, and let me say at this juncture that when cabbage dishes go bad, they go really, really, most outstandingly bad.

All the best,
Bill of 12tutufondue

5:12 PM, April 16, 2007  
Blogger Stephanie Crocker said...

You've just described my life since we temporarily closed the bakery...a series of baked mishaps, several batches of failed croissants and just a general feeling of malaise and meaningless moments.

However, I bet there's a way to rescue the IDEA of milk chocolate brownies with maybe a very dark bottom and a milky top? So all may not be lost ;)

Oh, and Dudette! You might be in paris when I'm in paris. we're leaving april 30th-may 9 for my 40th. So warm up some cafe seats to pave the way for more seattleites! We're taking one of David's tours to get grounded in the chocolate world before we set out on our own.

6:58 PM, April 16, 2007  
Anonymous joey said...

Aw! Thanks for sharing you kitchen troubles...it's good to know I'm not alone. I know what it's like! It's ok Molly...you rock all of the time anyways :)

AND...Paris! How exciting! Sounds like the most incredible pre-wedding, mother-daughter adventure ever!

I love the sound of this recipe...along with the rest of your "yet another of those situations" recipes...they are simple but they are GREAT! Those chickpeas with parmesan are so incredibly excellent! I just tried your braised in cream brussel sprount and they where amazing...i think i forgot my own name while eating them! Just wanted to say thanks for all the great recipes :)

10:41 AM, April 17, 2007  
Blogger stitchkommander said...

My goodness, that Paris trip sounds fabulous, hope it's going well. Funnily,the other my very pregnant good friend gave me a snack of asparagus sauted with olive oil and lemon juice, with hard boiled eggs on the side. A wonderful combination, hopefully I can turn her onto your blog too!

11:11 AM, April 17, 2007  
Blogger Deborah Dowd said...

The egg "snoe" on the asparagus pretty much sums up Spring thusfar here in Virginia. Take heart... this too shall pass. cooking is a lot like research, sometimes things don't turn out the way you expect!

3:32 AM, April 18, 2007  
Blogger Carol said...

yum, asparagus! at least the week wasn't all bad. have a wonderful time in paris!

10:55 AM, April 18, 2007  
Blogger Carol said...

also, i just watched the food network bit of you and brandon...it was so sweet! :)

10:56 AM, April 18, 2007  
Anonymous Andrea said...

Thank you for taking a difficult week and turning it into a post that made me laugh out loud... repeatedly! I didn't mean to laugh at your pain, mind you.

I love your blog.

11:06 PM, April 18, 2007  
Anonymous Leland said...

Mediocre meals always seem to come in threes around here. It's hard not to feel sad about it! At least you get to take a break in Paris.

The method you describe for hard-boiling eggs is exactly how we learned to do it in the classic French cooking class I'm in. It seems to work every time. When we're using a hard-boiled egg in a dish such as this one, though, we just run it over the grater or push it through a drum sieve rather than chopping it.

5:05 AM, April 19, 2007  
Blogger Bad Home Cook said...

Too bad I can't spell "Schadenfreude" (or did I just?) I love when people who actually know what they're doing muck it up once in a while. It makes for great reading. And if I can blog about it, so can you.
Love your site! Have a great time in Paris (grumble, grumble)!

8:29 PM, April 19, 2007  
Anonymous Pam from the Point said...

Hi, Molly. All good cooks have weeks like that at some time or other. Not to worry. You still rock! Just saw the video from the Food Channel and loved it! You two are so cute! And not blinky at all, despite your nerves!

Have a stellar weekend!

Pam

10:20 AM, April 20, 2007  
Anonymous Erin said...

I laughed when I read this because I just had that same thing happen to me 2 weeks ago. I made 3 things that no matter how hard I pretended, I couldn't post about them. The kicker was a zucchini/avocado soup that despite being very photogenic, turned out to just be a big bowl of guacamole -- which we ate anyway. There's a reason why people don't tuck away that much guacamole in one sitting!

Anyway -- glad that you shared this with us, and the asparagus dish just went on my list of recipes to try.

10:09 AM, April 21, 2007  
Blogger cchang said...

Does it make you feel any better if I say that the Asparagus vinaigrette is quite yummy?

I think we've all had awful weeks like that. By far my most horrific memory was not timing the additions of various vegetable for a soup I was making correctly out of nervousness (I sort of dumped them all in) and discovering that the broccoli had turned to mush. My rice noodles also turned mushy.

This was the first meal I ever cooked for my in-laws and after my husband mentioned how much I liked to cook, my brother-in-law snarked "she really needs to practice more then" It really damaged my ego.

8:30 AM, April 24, 2007  
Anonymous Terry Golson said...

Hi-
I think that you got that how to cook hard-cooked eggs info from me! I'm a cookbook author (missing IACP this year or I'd look you up) and last year my "The Farmstead Egg Cookbook" came out. Around Easter I was interviewed by a number of different newspapers, so perhaps you saw the method there.

I've got hens in my backyard and am very fussy about eggs!
Check out my Web site (I've got a live streaming Web cam in my coop - silly fun) and I write a blog about all things chicken. www.hencam.com.

2:00 PM, April 24, 2007  
Blogger kangaroogrrrl said...

Just to say that I stumbled on your blog yesterday, and got so hooked that I read through all your old posts - wonderful stuff, and very inspiring!

In fact, I'm strongly considering picking up some asparagus on my way home.

Enjoy Paris!

7:47 AM, April 25, 2007  
Blogger Lizzy said...

I'm glad to know I'm not the only one who gets on cooking-turning-out-bad streaks:) Love your blog!

12:01 PM, April 25, 2007  
Blogger anado said...

orangette -

where are you? i miss your posts!

~sad fan

4:08 PM, April 26, 2007  
Anonymous ASMO said...

And I thought my recent disasters were all down to my pregnancy... Well, actually they are, and my lack of bloggin is attributable to that too. 3 months of 'full moon' so far, I hope to snap out of them pretty soon and my husband is looking forward to that too...

8:53 AM, April 30, 2007  
Anonymous Heidi said...

I made the lemon cake and I completely understand what you mean about if it's too dry that it's hell on earth. I was very grateful about the glaze, for sure, when I made it this week. The cake I made was just borderline, you know? Anyway, I'm a new reader and just wanted to say thanks and hello.

11:48 PM, April 30, 2007  

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