Friday, February 6, 2015

Kitchen Fails: Garlic Press, I Curse You

So that Jamie Oliver cookbook I won has some pretty intense opinions about the types of things I should have in my kitchen. Admittedly, he is trying to give 15 minute recipes and is super up-front about the fact that if you don't have all the gadgets you will not be able to do it in that amount of time. Still, I think that requiring an immersion blender, a regular blender AND a food processor is a bit much. I'm still super pleased that I have a blender at all, but I got that mainly for smoothies (mmmm, smoothies).

But! I do in fact have a garlic press. I even managed to find a nice heavy metal one at a garage or estate sale or some such. And garlic always takes forever to peel and chop, so hey, just putting it into the garlic press with the skin on sounds sort of amazing. I'm game. Let's do that time saving thing!

Now, I'd had mixed results with the garlic press before, but I hadn't left the skin on, and maybe I hadn't committed to it properly? Surely it can't have gone as poorly as I remember it going. Time saving! Do this thing! Yay!

Did you know that garlic juice burns? I do now. And I don't mean in the frying pan. I don't know if it is me, the press, or some type of horrible cosmic cooking justice, but I sent garlic juice flying EVERYWHERE, and every drop that splashed onto my arms was like a tiny horrible acid burn (which makes sense, I bet garlic juice is acidic. Probably what makes them so delicious! mmm.). My hands were slippery, the press was fighting me, and there was horrible acidic garlic debris all up my arms. And I still had four cloves to go. And since you are supposed to just press the garlic right into the pan, the garlic needed to be added NOW and I didn't have time to stop and just chop it. Also my partner was "helpfully" mentioning that the garlic that had made it into the pan was beginning to burn in the more traditional cooking disaster sense.

Garlic Press, I curse you. I am also pretty sure this is the second time I have attacked myself with this garlic press. Which means if I don't get rid of it I will, in a couple of months, give it another go. I can tell you now, it probably won't go any better.

But you can totally leave the skin on when pressing the cloves. That was cool.

Friday, January 16, 2015

Kitchen Fails: No seriously, vinegars, whyyyy? or What's with all the vinegars part two

I like white wine.

But even I sometimes have half a cup or so of leftover white wine in the fridge which has maybe been lurking in the fridge long enough that I am not super keen on drinking it. It will maybe have gone a bit sharp.

No big problem, I thought. I know that people add white wine to vegetables or something. I know that I have glared at recipes that want white wine in them, but only like half a cup, and I hadn't been planning on opening a bottle that evening and I was annoyed about it making a demand that would require a whole bottle commitment when it only wants a little. This is great! I can add this wine to those recipes and I won't even be angry at the ingredient list! Perfect!

Plus I had some new Jamie Oliver cookbooks which I had won in a draw and this seemed right up his alley. So I opened the index.

The index was initially a bit of a disappointment. It did not have a list of all the recipes that had white wine demands. I am regularly disappointed by indexes, especially in cookbooks. But! It did have a WHOLE PAGE devoted to leftover wine. AMAZING. Maybe this page will tell me when and what I can add white wine to for flavour just because I feel like it.

No. No, this page does not tell you useful information like "just add it to those vegetables you are frying, it will be fine" (which is, by the way, usually true it turns out).

This page tells me that, despite ALL THE MANY TYPES OF VINEGAR I ALREADY HAVE, I should be making my own with leftover wine.


The worse part? THE WORST PART? I now totally want to make my own vinegar.


That wine is still in my fridge.

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Kitchen Fails: What's with all the Vinegars?

So I decided to make some salad dressing the other night.

I always thought I hated salad, but I have slowly come to realize that I hate Kraft Italian Dressing and that the salads my friends made with actual homemade salad dressings were lovely, so I've started making my own. Most of the time it is just balsamic vinegar, lemon juice and olive oil with some salt and pepper, and maybe honey if I am feeling fancy. Sometimes I add garlic.  But I was feeling chipper and thought, AHA, I will see what other salad dressing recipes are out there on the internet and perhaps make a different dressing for tonight.

Guys, I hate food blogs. I hate them SO MUCH. They give me rage outs. So I am looking for a salad dressing recipe, feeling pretty good about the fact that I have been making my own salad dressings for a couple of years and have a well stocked kitchen and should be able to do it.

And does the internet give me a nice alternative and simple recipe to make?


No it does not.

No, it tells me that the vinegars I have are unacceptable and that I need to go out and buy YET ANOTHER TYPE OF VINEGAR.

For the record, I already have four types of vinegar in my house:
Rice wine vinegar
White vinegar
Apple cider vinegar
Balsamic vinegar

This seemed to me an already excessive number of vinegars. I was already cranky about the recipes with their super specific vinegar needs. But nooo, evidently I need Red Wine Vinegar too. No, I said, no, I don't want more vinegars. So I clicked on the next link.

What did it want?

Champagne vinegar.

No seriously,  I didn't even know that EXISTED and here the food blog recipe thing is just all ... and so you just get your champagne vinegar out of the cupboard and make salad dressing. Nothing for the vinegars I already had. What do people just have ENTIRE SHELVES in their houses of types of vinegar? WHEN WILL THE MADNESS END?

I have so far refused to buy these extra types of vinegar. I made my old recipe instead. Screw you internet.

grumble grumble Champagne Vinegar grumble.