Monday, November 14, 2005

Sometimes I Surprise Even Myself

And I don't mean that title in a good way. Yesterday afternoon, I was in the mood for a little snack. I hadn't been to the store for a while, so I was forced to dig through the back of the pantry and the far reaches of the freezer to find something to eat. And find something I did:

blintz box
Originally uploaded by Kit Pollard.

I bought these frozen blintzes from Trader Joe's forever ago, on one of my just-before-lunch-so-I'm-starving-and-make-odd-decisions shopping trips. When I got them home, I realized they involved both defrosting and frying - two more steps than I'm usually in the mood for when I'm hungry.

But yesterday, I didn't have many other options. Plus, a little microwave defrosting and pan-frying doesn't seem that taxing, right? That's what I thought. But...not so much.

The defrosting went fine (as it should. I mean, it's defrosting.) But the trouble started when I heated a little vegetable oil in one of my super-heat-radiating pans. I always underestimate the cooking power of my pots and pans - they regularly shave minutes off any recipe. This time was no different.

The blintzes started out looking like this:

blintzes in pan
Originally uploaded by Kit Pollard.

Perfectly fine, though oil was spattering all over the kitchen (and me.) The box said to cook for 4-6 minutes per side. After, literally, 30 seconds, all the blintzes were black on one side. So I flipped. Then I removed. And I drained.

I should also just try to describe what my kitchen was like by this time. In the one minute the blintzes spent on the stove, my normally bright, cheery, airy, full of natural light kitchen filled with the kind of smoky haze most closely associated with shift-worker bars. And it a fish fry. Like the used frying oil from a fish fry. (Except maybe not quite so fishy. But definitely used.)

Two hours later, when Cooper came home from work, he asked me if I'd been frying fish. And he was serious.

Whenever I start to get a little cocky about my cooking ability, I'll have to remember the scent.

Then again, maybe not. Because despite the damage done to my kitchen (and ego), the final product actually tasted pretty good. I dusted the blintzes with a little powdered sugar and was good to go. They weren't too sweet or too sour, and had a nice crispiness about them.

Originally uploaded by Kit Pollard.

And oddly enough, the black parts didn't even taste burnt.

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