Am I the only one who has off cooking days?

Slightly overdone pizza

Sometimes I have off days in the kitchen. Maybe it’s because I experiment with recipes, and not all food experiments are bound to be successful. Maybe it’s because I haven’t had enough years experience. Who knows?

All I know is that I sometimes have off days, and I hope I’m not the only one.

Today, I planned to do a lot of cooking because 1) I had the time and 2) I knew that later on in the week I wouldn’t have the time to cook nice meals. I started with tamales and enchiladas. Last month I made a tamale recipe from Food Magazine that I loved, and I wanted to try it without cheese so that it would be vegan. As for the enchiladas, I found a chicken enchilada recipe in the family cookbook that sounded good (except we didn’t have chicken so I planned on using beef).

With the tamales, I could not for the life of me get them shaped right in the corn husks. They came out funny shapes and sizes, tied together in whatever way I could get them to stay together. I’m not sure why my first batch came out perfect and this one was not so pretty. I sampled a bite of one and it tasted okay, although I think I might have been overzealous with the green olives.

With the enchiladas, I decided not to fry the tortillas. And I also added a little water to the homemade sauce because it didn’t seem like it was going to cover everything in the casserole dish. The combination of those actions resulted in mushy enchiladas. It reminds me of cafeteria food — looks awful, tastes okay.

I think what finally made me break down and admit I was having an off cooking day was the pizza…

Obviously not to well done to eat 45 seconds after pulling it out of the oven, dismayed

I needed something to do with my excess sourdough starter, and I found a recipe for pizza dough. I made some pizza last night (topped with onions, peppers, Swiss chard, and fresh basil) that was by far the best homemade pizza I’ve ever made. Matt begged me to make some more today and I did.

Only to get on the computer, loose track of time and let the pizza cook far too long. Fortunately, it wasn’t burned too badly. So, everything tastes right except for the slightly burned crust and the really browned cheese.

When Matt got back from mountain biking some trails a few minutes ago, I asked him to eat a piece and tell me it tasted okay so I’d feel better. He did. Since he’s usually ravenous after a hard ride, I don’t think he was fibbing. I just hope it tastes as delicious in the morning when, I have a feeling, he’ll pull it out of the fridge and eat it cold for breakfast.

The last thing I’m cooking today is our dinner — Chinese dumplings with steamed sticky rice. Let’s hope my off day doesn’t botch this attempt, too!


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