Today in My History
Baring My Sole
Books Read in 2021
Cast (updated 7/16)
NOT MARTHA STEWART
19 July 2021
The older I get the less competent I am in the kitchen. It started with my inability to make pie crust, the thing I have been so proud of for decades. But no matter what I do in the last several years, I just can't make pie crust. The crust is OK, but I am unable to roll it out. I watch every Food Network show where cooks are making pie crust and can't understand why I can't do it any more because I swear I am doing exactly the same thing they are doing...and what I've been doing myself all of my baking life.
I also tend to forget ingredients in dinners I'm making. Fortunately Ned cooks with me and can remind me when I've left something out or done something wrong. But it is embarrassing how many times I get recipes wrong.
Saturday was Marta's birthday. They celebrated at our condo at Lake Tahoe and planned to be home for dinner on Sunday. I checked to be sure they would be here.
I decided to make a special dinner for her as a surprise.
Her favorite cake is the tres leche cake and I literally thought about the cake all afternoon. I didn't want to make a big cake because we won't eat it, but found an air fryer recipe and decided to make that. The problem with the tres leche cake is that it takes not only cream and milk, but evaporated milk and condensed milk and because this would be a small cake, it would mean opening a big can of those two milks and then just using a small amount, leaving most of the milk in the can...with nothing to do with it.
I literally thought about it all day. I was going to make the cake in the afternoon so the milk would have a chance to soak into the cake and kept putting it off...I'll make it in the afternoon, I'll make it after dinner, I'll make it before I go to bed, etc.
I finally convinced myself that it would be a waste of canned milks and Marta might not even eat it because she's cutting back on her calories. So I decided instead to make a lemon cake with cream cheese frosting.
As I said, I could not get to sleep and spent the entire night thinking about making the lemon cake.
I finally got up at 5 a.m. and started making the cake. It makes a small, 8", one layer cake, which would be perfect. The kitchen was filled with food stuff and I finally got the ingredients all put together and into the cake pan and into the air fryer. Then, as I was straightening up the kitchen, about 10 minutes after the cake started cooking, I found the lemon juice that was supposed to go in it.
I let the cake finish cooking and then poked holes in it and poured the lemon juice over it. I have no idea how that is going to taste.
Because there wasn't enough liquid in the batter, it wasn't a smooth cake but I figured out I could make it look OK with the cream cheese frosting I was going to make.
It didn't turn out quite the way I hoped it would but it looked OK, decorated with berries and mint leaves.
The plan was to put the cake, with a candle in it, on the table with her gift, but I couldn't find the wrapping paper, which used to be in the living room but is no longer there. So I just wrapped the gift in foil, with ribbons.
I was also going to make clam dip and have the cake, the gift and the clam dip on the table when they got home from Tahoe, so it would look festive.
And then Ned called to say they had decided to pack up the car tonight and drive home in the morning, so they won't be here for dinner after all and Marta will arrive home and go right to work when she gets here. So do I fix clam dip for breakfast?
Of course Ned had no idea I was planning something for Marta, and I didn't want to say anything because their time at the condo is a time when they can be alone and don't have to deal with Walt and me, so I wasn't upset, just disappointed.
I'm sure the cake will be fine and when I decided to write about my experience for this entry and went to take a photo, I knocked over a glass of water. Fortunately I was able to grab the cake and lift it up before the water got to it.
I know this is not how Martha Stewart would have spent the day today.
PHOTO OF THE DAY
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This is entry #7786