gut, and other ignored things

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It’s a terrible thing to ignore your gut instincts, though I’m sad to say this wasn’t my first time. There was the otherwise-engaged record store Rastafarian, a pair of overpriced, excruciatingly uncomfortable shoes I never wear (fine, several), and now there is this, too.

Bypassing your cooking intuition is a torturous affair. On one hand, what are all of your hours in the kitchen for if not to understand your recipes on a more base level, to inherently comprehend that creaming butter with the sugar, not over-mixing your flours, getting your ingredients to room temperature make for the best cake foundations. Yet, on the other hand, we want to learn new things; who really knows everything there is to know about kitchen-crafting? Maybe the cake will be improved with more salt or baking powder, maybe three cups of sugar in a batch of cupcakes isn’t too much, maybe this recipe makes the kind of cake that doesn’t rise very much, so filling the paper cups to the top as the recipe clearly dictates is a good idea.

And then what? Where do you go from your realization that you knew better than this, you just didn’t follow through with your own gumption? After these cooled, I trimmed them down to their approximate, rightful shapes only to learn that to add insult to injury, I should have left the massive cupcake blob in the oven a little longer – they’re a little sticky. The second batch, which I filled to the more traditional 2/3-level looked lovely. Then, I ran out of mini-muffin liners and had to make the last 9 full-sized. Was this expedition cursed? I loathe inconsistency.

The scraps, which of course we tested again and again, were mighty tasty but excessively sweet. I knew 3 cups of sugar was too much! But their texture and flavor had all of the awesomeness I initially anticipated. I can’t give up on Ina (though I’m starting to believe it might be good for us to spend some time apart) just yet, so I think I’ll make a more discerning, insightful batch before Saturday and hide the imperfect and mix-sized ones in the freezer until I’ve long forgotten about them.

In fact, when tucking them away in the freezer, I found a pizza dough I’d made which I found too salty, pork dumplings which hadn’t met my approval and pesto I hadn’t put enough oil in, all of which I dutifully dumped to make room for my most recent misfortune.

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