Thai Week

When looking back on the week's recipes, wondering "What went wrong here?" I can see immediately that one of the most significant factors is: "I didn't make any noodles." Why would I have a Thai-themed week and not make noodles? That makes no sense! Thai food = YUM NOODLES. Will I get through Mexican week with no beans? French week with no butter? Italian week with no...noodles, again? No I will NOT. I have learned my lesson. It tasted like disgusting, badly-cooked fish.

Cookbook #15: Thai Kitchen Cookbook (Thai Kitchen Epicurean International, 2000). Provenance: I believe this came with a gift set that included some curry paste and such. Previous recipes on this blog: none. This is the first straight-up brand-sponsored cookbook, but it won't be the last by far. All I can hope is that it's the least successful, because the recipe for Baked Tomato and Pineapple Fish went pretty far awry.

It looks like food that is edible, so it has that going for it.

In fairness, this disaster was at least partly user error, as I'm pretty sure I failed to fully defrost the fish fillets before sticking them in the oven. Also, our oven is so ridiculous that it takes up to four times as long to cook things as it should, which isn't great when you're dealing with something like fish. But even beyond that, flavors that seemed like they would be bright and complimentary somehow emerged sort of dull and muddled. Verdict: I am genuinely loathe to waste leftovers, but I think I'm going to "forget" that the rest of this in the fridge until I have to toss it out for safety reasons. However, because I screwed up the fish, I'm willing to give it one more chance. One more noodley chance.

Cookbook #16: Thai Food and Cooking (Judy Bastrya and Becky Johnson, 2003.) Provenance: Mom. Previous recipes on this blog: none. Recipe: Sweet and Sour Vegetables with Tofu. This is a good contrast to the previous recipe, as a fairly simple combination of flavors here came together really nicely. The only problem I had with it was that I was thinking it was more of a soup, so I didn't bother making a starch to serve it with. A starch like, say, noodles. But it was successful and easy and it made me want to make more Thai food posthaste.

Verdict: NOODLES.
Cookbook #17: Baking with Julia (Dorie Greenspan, 1996). Provenance: Mom. Previous recipes on this blog: none. Do I realize this isn't Thai: Yes. But I was scheduled to host a playdate this week, so muffins seemed in order. The playdate was canceled. The muffins live on.

This really seemed like the type of blueberry muffin recipe that would result in mind-blowing deliciousness, what with all the extra sifting and the sour cream and the fussy folding-not-mixing and whatnot. So I'm noooooooot sure what happened here.

Maybe my oven has a poltergeist.
I mean, they are...okay. Anna will eat them. They're not very sweet, which I usually like, but with the sour cream it's too much tang. The blueberries all settled at the bottom, and the general texture is weird and mealy. So I'm pretty sure I did something wrong, because I refuse to believe that Julia Child would sanction such a thing, and also other bloggers seemed to have more success. It's possible that they were working in non-jinxed kitchens. Or not using 10-year-old cream of tartar.

Verdict: this is one of those prestigious-type books that I put on the main bookshelf to show off. It was the James Beard Cookbook of the Year. The recipe for French bread is like five pages long. I'll be putting it aside for a rainy and ambitious day.

At least it gave Anna a chance to put on her big girl shoes and help me out.

It was nice to have Anna in such a pleasant, helpful mood, since Ivy mostly looks at me like this these days:

Add a few inches of hair and a cell phone and she may as well be 14.