Dear people who have ever been rejected,
Two weeks ago I said I’d write to tell you how my eclairs came out. They were not good. I made a lot of mistakes during the process understandable, given it was my first time making choux pastry. I intend to make it again sometime soon. What did I learn? I need to make sure the dough is smooth after I add the eggs. Next time, I won’t use my pastry bag because none of my piping tips were wide enough to give me the proper form for puffs- a ziploc bag will do! Lastly I’ll make sure to do an egg wash. This isn’t me beating myself up, just telling you what went wrong so maybe you can take these things into account.
This is what I ended up with:
They didn’t not taste like choux pastry. People thought they looked interesting and were curious, but overall it didn’t quite work out.
This failure leads me to my next point about failure and rejection. I got a job last week in a temporary position that would be filled in by that department’s yet to be hired boss- I don’t want to dump a bunch of film jargon on you. But basically I was there for a week but there was a teeny tiny possibility that if the new head of that department didn’t bring in a new person for my position that I could keep that position through September. This would mean a lot of good things. Unfortunately, I was very nervous with the thought of that being a possibility and instead of acting like my usual self I acted like my usual self when I walk into a room full of strangers- like a nervous, bumbling, dum dum. It tapered off after the first few days but I was nervous around my boss and perhaps didn’t give a good first impression. I can be a bit tepid and impenetrable so that makes people uncomfortable.
So on Friday I brought in a cherry pie. Pie has become the opposite of choux pastry- I actually for the most part know what I’m doing. The director of the film eat two slices. They were impressed and my boss thought it was sweet. I sent a thank you email and got one back suggesting I wouldn’t be coming back, “All the best” and all that. I hope that even if I don’t come back they’ll remember me and my pie! Even though I didn’t get the job on a long term basis and I’m a bit bummed about it rejection is good. I got to stretch out a few other skills during my time that I hadn’t used in a while and I got to meet some pretty cool people. I hope to find something a little more permanent soon.
This guy is the ultimate n00b.
Dear Pie People,
I’ve made my best pie yet! I’m pretty proud of this one. The crust didn’t shrink. This picture is all mine:
I’m excited to serve this tomorrow. I also made some tarte au citron that’s solidifying in the fridge and have a ton of lemon curd left over. I’m thinking about making some choux pastry because my brother is going to try to devour this entire pie himself and I need to do something about all this lemon curd. I ended up making him a mini pie with left over dough- nothing shall go to waste!
I need to expand my portfolio from these three shorts to a few features under my belt. That’s all going take time but I’m going to have a brainstorming session. I also still have to do all those re-writes! Busy, busy weekend. Enjoy your Memorial Day weekend. I’ll be posting some summer goals on Monday when I take a break from my editing and transcribing session.
P.S. I’ve been slacking on these movie sign offs. Here’s a movie that’s on my mind today.
Jorodowsky’s The Holy Mountain
Dear Fellow Veg-Heads,
Today, I went to a market to donate clothes- GROWNYC check it out! It’s pouring out here in New York but I made it and my clothes didn’t end up in some land fill. Until recently I had just no idea how toxic the fashion industry was for the planet in its current model. Normally my mother would send these clothes to her family in the Dominican Republic but there were a lot of winter clothes in that mix. Proximity to the equator and winter clothes don’t mix.
The rest of the market was a bit pricey but I do intend to return. It was also raining so I didn’t want to stay outside. This led me to Trader Joes. And there it was Cauliflower Rice! I’d heard rumblings of this “new” trendy dish. The rice industry is in dismay! It’s Low CARB! Healthy! So I bought some for a very reasonable price, $2.99.
Here’s the recipe I made up:
1 cup of cauliflower rice
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon of paprika
1 tablespoon of cumin
Pepper to taste
It was good. I accompanied the cauliflower rice with a leftover burger patty. Not bad, not bad.
My pantry is a little bare but I’d personally add half a white onion, chipotle powder, and garnish with some cilantro if I wanted to keep tossing this together.
Here’s the salad I’ve chosen to make for Dominican Mother’s day: Tomato and Pomegranate Salad- NYT Cooking
Isn’t she a beauty?
Edit: This is not my picture! This is the salad from the link I’m very excited to make. Just to clarify.
As for my writing, yesterday I wrote the first draft of the third episode for my web series. It was a tough one to crack but I’m satisfied with my initial attempt. I’ll be going back to my first two before I do a second pass on the the third episode.
What else am I doing? I’ve definitely spent a lot of time talking about bread on this blog even though it’s not a bread or bread making blog, those are just things that have dominated my brain the last few months. What I should be focusing on is my writing! I should mention that part of the reason baking has dominated my brain is that I’m writing a web series about baking. Each episode so far has been seven minutes which I think is a good cut off mark.
Some of the influences to give you an idea are Party Down, High Maintenance, and Happy Endings. I don’t consider myself a comedy writer but I like to be somewhere between somber and sweet.
I don’t want to give details away just yet but the writing process has felt a lot more smooth in terms of figuring out plotting and dialogue. Usually my stories-and I think a lot of writers still figuring things out have this problem- have an issue with dialogue and how that moves the plot versus having dialogue that just sounds “cool”. People like sounding “cool” but then it’s just a bunch of drivel with no story! Kill your darlings!
This has got me thinking. What do David Lynch’s notes look like? Since so much of his work is abstract I wonder what his conversations with Mark Frost are like. Hmm…
Sorry I haven’t posted in this last week. Twin Peaks has begun. I watched the first four episodes and I’ve had nightmares two nights in a row. I made those baguettes for the show and cherry pie. I didn’t understand what a high hydration dough meant until I had to form those baguettes. It was messy, and I don’t know when I’ll want to try it again. One looked like a guitar, my friend called it a turkey leg. I forget to take a picture but please take my word for it!
The cherry pie turned out swell! I had to de-pit half of them by hand using a chopstick. The internet giveth, and it taketh away. It was messy. But I’d make the pie again. Even more satisfying for me was that I made a crust using the NYTimes Cherry Pie recipe with a lattice top crust. Pie crust has always been a little weird for me so I’m pretty happy with that result. Here’s the cherry pie pictures which I managed to remember.
Yes, there was damn fine coffee
The lattice up close!
While many Americans will be celebrating Memorial day this next weekend, I’ll be having a Dominican Mother’s Day bash with family members. Finally a larger audience for my food! I needed this excuse to really go all out. I made more pie crust for an apple pie, I’m going to make vanilla ice cream, and a chocolate gateau basque. Originally it was going to be strawberry ice cream, chocolate chip cookies, and a vanilla gateau basque. But I realized you need almond meal for the vanilla version- that’s $10 I can’t spend. I’m trying to save money and I’ve been meaning to use up this Dutch processed cocoa powder for a while now. The only thing left to figure out is what my giant salad will be! Any suggestions? I was considering a Niçoise salad but that has eggs, an ingredient in my moms potato salad.
I’m not only trying to save money, I’m trying to spend it more wisely. Student loan debt and credit card debt is awful to have on your back. I knew you could use a method of paying once a week versus once a month in order to pay off debt faster but I hadn’t really considered it for myself. Let’s see how this pans out. Freelancing means my bank account is always in flux- hopefully I can spend my money less on frivolous purchases! I’ll let you know how the stuff turns out.
The Red Room from Twin Peaks. It’s back!
Yeast heads is a gross way to greet someone. I’m very happy to say that my mother’s day brunch was a success! My croissants were definitely worth all the waiting and work. They were buttery, flaky, and delicious. My brother, aka the world’s pickiest eater said he didn’t like the because they were too crunchy and flaky. He thought croissants were supposed to be soft and tasteless. He’s growing up with so much processed food he doesn’t know what a real croissant should taste like! AH! My mom thought they were delicious.
I should really start focusing on cooking. While baking is great, you can’t have croissants and home made bread every day. You need other form of sustenance like fruits and vegetables. The croissants were so buttery I definitely will not be making them again any time soon.
For the next mother’s day, Dominican mother’s day I’ll be making a salad! Yay, something green-for once- on this blog. I’ll also be making a gateau Basque, vegan chocolate chip cookies, and a strawberry ice cream- a Neapolitan array of choices. I haven’t decided what kind of salad, I’d like it to be super bright and attractive, but also obviously delicious. We shall see.
Dear Dough Downers,
Bready Lamarr had to be discarded. She got filled with fruit flies! I was putting her next to my fruits not thinking they could get into the jar. But since I stopped using a kitchen towel over it and solely relying on a cling film with tiny holes in it, they crawled right in there! I’ll be attempting another sourdough in the near future.
I’ll be making baguettes with a poolish next week but it won’t be like a starter. I’ll be using yeast and an overnight proof. I wasn’t able to make anything for about four days because my kitchen sink was severely clogged. We suspect the neighbors were pouring grease and straws (???!) down their drain causing ours to get wrecked. Thankfully, my mom’s two work friends came to the rescue. So I made them cinnamon babkas.
For mother’s day since I’m insanely broke, I’m making a brunch for my mom, brother, and I. What’s on the menu? I made croissants! They’re in the freezer right now waiting to be proofed tomorrow for three hours. Definitely a top of the morning task. In addition to the croissants, I’ll be making a mushroom frittata, Dominican salami (which is actually just bologna), and maybe hash browns. I’ll be serving a side of fresh fruit as well. I’m gonna make it look super fancy by pulling out the cutesy china we never use.
Next week is Twin Peak’s premiere! I’m very excited. On the menu for that? A Stir Fryer Wok with me courtesy of my friend. I’ll be making a Cherry Pie, and as I mention before baguettes a la Horne. Hopefully my friend can also make a damn fine cup of coffee.
Since I’ve been on this baking journey I’ve been concerned with balancing my excitement and eating healthy- something I’ve struggled with my whole life. So today I’ve been eating fruit and healthy protein all day. If you saw how croissants are made you’d be shocked. It’s dough with an entire sleeve of butter. And yes, that dough already has butter in it. My other issue is sugar. Trying to stop eating so much processed food, but especially processed sugar which is everywhere! Today I’ve been okay. I did eat a bread roll I didn’t make. I have a whole wheat bread loaf I did make that I should be eating.
Here’s to eating healthy but treating yourself. Remember to hydrate!
P.S. Here’s a great Italian film I had to watch in school. Inspired by all the good food and the new season of Master of None. Benissimo!
Pane e tulipani (2000)