Thursday, December 18, 2008

Beating One's Head Against the Wall

Yesterday was a day of failed attempts. A day of not quites. One of those days where one must spend the creative energy that is building under the surface, yet every creative enterprise leaves one wanting.

So, I started the day making a batch of cookie press cookie dough. Standard Christmas cookie recipe, and it needs to be refrigerated so I thought I'd just make the dough and my daughter and I would cook them later. So far, so good.

Then I decided to make a cookie from Gourmet's site. They have the most popular cookie for every year since 1940, and there were some that looked interesting, so I wanted to try. The cookie of choice was the Cranberry Pistachio Icebox Cookies. Here's their picture.

I think you can see why I wanted to make them.

Here's what mine looked like:

Ahem. Not quite.
Well, the recipe has to be chilled for 2 hours, so I spent lots of time goofing around with them, and then I wasn't happy with the result.
Why wasn't I happy? Well, the dough is so crumbly, and you have to chill it and then slice it, but those are whole pistachios and cranberries in the dough. Not very easy to slice with crunchy, chewing stuff in there. So it was a total mess. Those two cookies up there are probably the only ones that looked like that. The rest are not very pretty at all.
I realized, too late, that the problem was that I substituted shortening for the butter. I also substitued equal for the sugar, but I don't think that made the dough much different.

Moving on...

While the cookies were baking, I attempted a paper craft.
I have this picture on my desktop currently:

And I've been looking at these star lanterns thinking I could probably figure out how to make one. I had a failed attempt two days ago that left me better educated and more determined. Then I found a pattern online, and after running out and buying more red paper, I made a template and tried again.

Sure, it looks pretty good here. But it's not.

It's in the gluing of this last spoke that things are coming apart at the seams. Literally, I have a tear somewhere in there.

And then there's this little bubble.

Sheesh! Can't I have one thing I attempt work out?

So, by now it's nearing 3:00. I haven't showered yet, let alone brushed my teeth. So I took a break from the creative stuff and when I came back, I decided dinner was going to be the thing that worked out.

Ratatouille's Ratatouille worked out just wonderfully, even though I cheated on the recipe. Instead of all the rigamarole with the tomato sauce, I just used some traditional Prego with some red wine and balsamic vinegar added.

And it was delish.



Melody said...

hahaha!!! I CAN so relate! But everytime we fall short we learn something, even if it is that it isn't worth the bother.
I am willing to bet that those cookies would have tasted good even if they didn't look like the picture.
The family saying: Looks terrible, tastes delicious.

Kristin said...

Hi Brooke,

It's nice to know I'm not the only one who has bad days! Yesterday I made one of Jinny Beyers "Puzzle Balls". I've had the book for awhile but this is the first time I've tried making one. For the most part, the directions are good but there was one little detail that confused me. The ball turned out fairly well, but alot of the points don't match. I was mentally beating myself up about it. It's a bad habit. Maybe an expert sewer could do one perfectly the first time, but I am far from an expert sewer.

Your star looks great, even if it has a slight flaw. Maybe it can be fixed? Thank you for the pattern; I'd like to try making one sometime, but they do look difficult. So don't give yourself a hard time!

I bet the cookies tasted good also. Perhaps your knife could use sharpening? I love Mel's "family saying"! I can relate to that one too. I am fairly new in my quilt guild and also a "BEE" I signed up for. I had everyone over to my house and made a dessert I had never made before, a no bake lime yogurt pie. Even though it was not baked, it took a lot of work! Unfortunately, I used 'no fat' yogurt, which as it turned out, I should not have used. The 'pie' flopped, and looked more like pudding. I was really embarassed. But, hey, it happens.

The only way to not make any mistakes is to never do anything!

Kristin in SC

lili11 said...

Still looks yummy to me ...