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Today's Kitchen Disaster: Lessons Learned

Sunday, February 27, 2011

So, lately I've been making quiche on about a weekly basis. This week I wanted to try a new variation with bacon. Also, I didn't want to make my usual cereal crust this week because I was going to use my 2 cup pyrex bowls to do the baking in and I thought that would be overdoing the carbs per serving.

So, last night I bought some nice yams, fresh mushrooms, spinach, fillo dough and some turkey bacon.

This morning I cooked up a bunch of the bacon and wrapped it in paper towels and put it in the refrigerator. I thawed some of the fillo dough. I steamed the yams. I cut up some onions, garlic and mushrooms and cooked those up for my portions. (My husband hates mushrooms).

When the yams were done I peeled them and put them in my countertop mixing bowl. I thought it would be nice to add some clove and cinnamon to this. It smelled good enough. I added all of the other usual ingredients.

I've never used fillo dough before and I didn't read all the directions prior to trying to use it. It dried out very rapidly and I really had no idea if one or two thin layers would give me the "crust" I wanted. By the time I got them in the bowls and got the bowls filled - the edges were completely dried out.

I baked everything and topped it with cheese. It looked good and had a faint sweet smell. I cooled everything and tucked away part of it into the freezer for later this week.

About 4pm I decided it was time to try my latest creation. Well, it just didn't work. The fillo was ok, but the clove and cinnamon completely overshadowed everything else and it tasted pretty bad. I got through about half of it, but I can't really say I enjoyed it. I'll probably end up trashing it and that makes me both mad and sad.

I hate to waste food. Part of my mind says I have to eat it no matter how bad it is, but I really don't want to. I'm not going to starve if I toss it. And I deserve to eat food that tastes good. That was the whole reason to start cooking anyway. I wanted to create healthy, tasty food that I enjoyed eating.

I learned some things about what not to do. I kept busy for a couple of hours. I tend not to nibble when I cook, so it's actually a good activity for me to do to keep from over eating. And, I've had a lot of cooking successes lately. So, maybe I was due for one failure. Nothing ventured, nothing gained or so they tell me.

This means I may have to cook midweek since I will run out of my pre-cooked meals by then. But that's ok.

I think next time I make this, I will stick with the italian seasoning that I usually use and perhaps add a bit more egg and a bit less yam. The yam is a volumizer. Sometimes I use acorn squash, pumpkin or sweet potato - really anything that can be steamed and mashed. I guess I could use cauliflower or pretty much any soft vegetable. This time I had about 3x the amount I have been using. I think it completely changed the texture of the dish.

And the fillo - well - I know now that you have to keep it covered with plastic and a damp towel and that you should spray it with cooking spray or something to keep it moist while shaping it. I also learned that trying to use just one layer is very difficult and was probably not necessary for what I was doing. Maybe just cut out circles next time and drop them into the bottom of the dishes and use the rest on top.
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