I Failed the Test

November 30, 2009

I figure this blog is about posting my losses as much as it is about posting my wins. I've had about a week to lick my wounds so here it goes....

Remember how in my last post I talked about cooking one dish in the crock pot for our holiday party? It was a pretty involved undertaking because we expected almost 100 people to attend our annual open house shin dig this year.

Well, it started on a great note. I pulled out my external hard drive where I keep my super secret manuscript...nah, it not all that secret... And, I pulled up the channa masala recipe fully intending on following it. It called for 2 cups of chickpeas, spices and 7 cups of water to cook on high for 7 hours. I've made it a million times and it's pure perfection every time.

So...I got to thinking that morning of the party. What if I used double the amount of chickpeas and water and cooked it on high for the same amount of time - wouldn't I just cut my work in half? I mean, I'd have to use basically half the crockpots.

So - what happened you ask? Well, at 6 p.m. (two hours before my guests were slated to arrive)...I dumped everything into pots on the stovetop and started to try and cook it like gangbusters. By 8 p.m. the chickpeas were still hard little pellets. The crew I hired to serve the food was so overheated in the kitchen with all burners raging for those two hours that they politely asked if they REALLY needed to wear their button-down shirts and ties. Eventually, after the third pot dried out because I was busy chatting and sucking down some of the house chocolate martinis, one of the guys asked if he could just take over and consolidate everything into one pot. After all, I wasn't a pretty site in my party dress standing at the stove whenever I happened through the kitchen.

Well, we did have channa masala...but Sandeep and I ate it for dinner the next night. Thank god we ordered back up food for our guests.

Folks...the moral of this story is STICK TO MY RECIPES. They actually work - and it's not worth experimenting with them in SIGNIFICANT ways on the day of a party! Now, a little more salt here and a little more chilies there...sure. But don't double the main ingredient - especially dried beans and think you're going to cook it in the same amount of time. Basically - don't get cockey like I did.

As I've promised all of you I'm onto my next round of recipe testing. I'm going to start sometime this week with the Lentils section. So, anyone who is interested in taste testing, please post a comment to this site.

Hope to reconnect with all of you soon!

And for those that have asked, my book is slated for release Fall 2010!

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