March is a confusing month for me. It seems sunnier out, there are fluke 50 and–gasp!–52 degree days and then there is this “first day of spring” that shows up on my calendar but does precisely nothing to thaw my cold fingertips. I’m sick to death of all of my winter clothes but if I am dumb enough to go out in new short or half-sleeve tops, I shiver all day.
We’ve discussed this before, but I really hate cooking anything twice. I know what an awful shame this is–falling upon gasp-worthy, decadent and even flawless recipes, broadcasting their merits across the Web, then filing them away only to never speak of them again–but I am going to have to insist that you do not judge me for this; after all, what would thesmittenkitchen be without my impatience for the next new thing?
You know those stories about when you were a kid that your parents can’t get enough of? That they’d go on. And on. And on about to their friends, your friends, prom date and future in-laws? Because apparently, when you were little you were cute. I mean, really cute. And you did cute things. And those cute things were hilarious. And still are, nearly 30 years later.
Did you miss me? We here at the smittenkitchen are terribly sorry about this week’s downtime; I’ll do better to warn you (oh, and myself) next time. However, it was all in the name of, in Martha Stewart parlance, a “very good thing” which is a long-overdue migration from a hosting system whose customer service was nonexistent and whose servers we’d apparently long outgrown to a new, shiny and already more helpful one. There are still a few kinks being worked out, and there are still people (probably about one-third of you) for whom this site is not fully back up, but by the end of the weekend this will hopefully just be a blip on the radar screen of the complicated world of DNS propagation.
It has been almost a year since I told you that I don’t like boneless, skinless chicken cutlets, I never had and I never would. Furthermore, I did not understand the American obsession with them (in sandwiches! on pizza! in pasta! on salad! in 54-packs at Costco!). “They have the texture and excitement of pressed sawdust,” I believe were my exact words, and even though I knew I was in a distinct minority on this, I knew I couldn’t rest soundly until I got it off my chest.
I’ve been thinking this week–probably more than anyone should–about what it means to be a perfectionist. I never considered myself one before; fussy, maybe; needly and exacting at times. Oh, and I have been known to cut cookie bars with a ruler, but I never thought it was about being crazed with perfection–I just don’t understand why anyone wouldn’t use a tool readily available to them.
Nope, I’m thinking that being a perfectionist isn’t about so much what you do, but how you react when little, obviously unsubstantial things go wrong. You over-browned an edge of the cake but it has absolutely no bearing on the final flavor. You accidentally measured wrong and now the aforementioned brownie bars aren’t all even.
Sunday night, along with roasted stuffed onions and that apple tart for dessert, I made Martha Stewart’s Silky Braised Chicken with Wild Mushrooms and Pearl Onions for my family when they came over for dinner. But if you want to know if it was any good, you’ll have a hard time getting a straight answer. I thought it was dry and could barely eat three bites of it. Everyone else didn’t mind, and even called it delicious. Then again, they may have just been polite.