Saturday, March 12, 2011

Lemon, Lemon and a Side of Lemon

Life is uncertain: make dessert first. (Don't just eat it first: that's a waste. Eat it first, second, third and fourth.)

The cookies were simple to throw together until I reached the direction to press gently down on the cookies with the bottom of a brown-sugar-coated glass. I'm not sure whether there was a subtle, insidious rim on the bottom of the glass I was using, or whether this is just one of those things that works better in Perfect-Chef-Land than it does in real life, but I had a bear of a time accomplishing this and the sugar wasn't distributed very evenly.

Final verdict (cookies): They're growing on me, rather like fungus. My test-taste cookie was a disappointment: they're rather dry, even when done under the advertised time. My oven does run hot - in the sense of heat, not in the sense of winning America's Next Top Appliance Model - but I don't believe I overdid them. But then ... there's something in the taste that sends you back for another, and another ... this cookie gets my vote for sneaky addiction of the month. Another complaint is it doesn't make enough. Nigella Lawson claims about thirty; I cry foul. I got twenty-four, and they were fairly small. Next time, double. For this time, glad I still have ice cream.

For dinner, I came up with an elaborate villainous scheme for timing the spaghetti and the meatballs so I could be working on one while the other was in a baking stage. Alas, my plot was foiled by the reluctant hero / pasta pot, which took far longer to boil than I had anticipated.

Prep-work was a long haul. I hadn't anticipated how long it would take to chop the herbs. (Is that why they call it thyme?) I had bought three lemons, then realized that the recipe probably meant normal-people-lemons, not the massive, mutated spheres of perfection that seem to show up in Ohio grocery stores. Or at least my Ohio grocery store. So I still have one lemon left to use for world domination.

My mother and I discussed the meatballs yesterday. It's a good thing she didn't place money on it: she was convinced I wouldn't be able to find ground chicken, but bam, there it was. I soon discovered that there was barely enough pan for the meatballs. I have no idea how they didn't manage to stick to each other and metamorphisize into a chicken burger, but I managed thirty-ish lovely small meatballs. Next time, would do two batches, separately, so I could watch and flip them more easily.

Final verdict (pasta): Very good - but I love lemon. The amount of lemon in this pasta is not for the faint of heart. It's a very strong, distinct flavor. Makes way too much.

Final verdict (meatballs): Pretty tasty - they're quite moist, and one doesn't miss the beef. I don't think I chopped the garlic finely enough, but that still somehow managed to not be a problem.

Actually, this maybe should be "lemon, lemon and a side of brown sugar," as both the cookies and the meatballs included it ... but that just doesn't have the same ring.

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