Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Stand Back and Admire

Potato-Rosemary Focaccia
Originally uploaded by Rozanne.
I made this potato-rosemary focaccia. Isn't it pretty?* I'm quite pleased with it myself, but in reality it is not at all representative of what usually comes out of my oven, which is to say--nothing. I'm not much of a baker.

But last night I went to a Stitch 'n' Bitch gathering and I had this bee in my bonnet about bringing something impressive and homemade, instead of just showing up with a bag of Terra chips or a box of cookies from the bakery, which is what I usually do.

At the risk of having Jamie and Bakerina boot me off of their blogrolls, I'm going to admit that I did not follow the recipe--given to me by a prissy and snobbish former friend**--to the letter. The recipe wanted me to incorporate two cups of mashed potatoes into the dough, but there was no way I was going to spend time mashing potatoes (and burning out my triceps whilst so engaged), so I used (gasp!) instant mashed potatoes. I couldn't help myself! Taking this sort of shortcut is in my blood. I am, after all, the daughter of a woman who scooped up Jiffy cake mixes by the dozen whenever they were on sale*** and never made a single casserole that didn't contain a can of cream of mushroom soup as an integral ingredient.

Also, when the recipe recommended that I allow the dough to rise in a "warm place," I got out the heating pad, set it on "Low," and placed the bowl of dough (draped with a kitchen towel) on the pad. Unorthodox, but the dough rose beautifully. I was quite pleased. On the rare occasions that I do attempt yeast breads, they usually are indistinguishible in size and shape from quick breads, i.e., they're about 2 inches high.

So I presented my focaccia at the gathering and basked in the admiration of my fellow S'n'Bers who lauded and magnified me and were suitably impressed. Privately they may have been confirming their suspicion that self-employed is indeed a synonym for unemployed. But if they were, that's their problem. I did work yesterday. Really, I did! I just took a few much-kneaded breaks! (Har har!)

*Next time (if there is a next time), I would overlap the potato slices a bit more. I didn't quite achieve the tile-roof effect I was going for, as shrinkage occurred during baking.
**This prissy and snobbish former friend is the madwoman with the green pencil mentioned in this post.
***What? Haven't I spent plenty of time lamenting my sugar-deprived childhood? And now it turns out my mom was buying Jiffy cake mix right and left? Here's the thing: These boxes of cake mix mostly ended up being turned into "cake mix cookies" that were sold at church bake sales--the proceeds of which went (I surmise) toward buying cases of Lancers rose, the wine doled out in wee sips at communion.


Post a Comment

<< Home