28
Feb

Not on the Menu: Goat Cheese

I will never eat goat cheese.  I know that’s a very bold statement for someone who likes food so much.  I just needed to get that out there, seeing how I recently confessed to hating beets as well.  I’m not super picky though, it’s really these two things that are a permanent “never” on the list of things I will eat.

(Photo: Examiner)

Goat cheese tastes like goats smell, and I’ve been around goats.  (And goats stink!)  I recently thought I’d try to venture out and taste the tiniest piece to see… I’m not even sure what I was trying to see.  It was disgusting.  Now there are other cheeses that I am not a huge fan of, but I would definitely tolerate.  I would never choose bleu cheese or brie on anything.  But, I would definitely tolerate them if they were placed in front of me.  I could live in a world without feta, but I’m not going to lose my mind if it sneaks its way onto my plate.  Goat cheese though?  Nope.  And what’s the worst thing in the world to me?  Everyone’s always pairing goat cheese with beets.  I think I’ve had nightmares where Freddy Kruger was trying to make me eat something like this:

(Photo: My Recipes)

16
Feb

Not on the Menu: Beets

Everyone knows your tastes change, grow and develop as you get older, but dirt will always taste like dirt.  And beets will also always taste like dirt, too.  My best friend and I once went out for lunch and she excitedly ordered a beet salad.  I’m not terrible, so I didn’t recoil or audibly shriek as she placed her order.  Though, I think I did when our food came and saw her plate which should’ve been called “PILE OF DICED BEETS.”  That was no salad.  I tried one, like most adults would agree too.  Dirt.  Dirt.  Dirt.  I want to like them.  They’re such a gorgeous, vibrant purple!

(Photo credit)

Perhaps they’ve got a bad subconscious connotation deep in my brain, due to my television habits.  When I think of beets I think of Dwight Schrute.  Of course he has a beet farm!  Jim Halpert once referred to Dwight’s future children with “beet-stained teeth” and for a person who detests beets (yes, I am aware of the strong language I’m throwing around here), that is one hilarious low blow.  Heading deeper into the layers of my brain, the second TV association I make would be the Simpsons episode my sister and I recorded on VHS and would watch/rewind countless times in an evening.  In this episode, “The Babysitter Bandit,” Penny Marshall voices the infamous Babysitter Bandit.  She’s hunting around for Bart, who’s hiding in the basement.  She stumbles onto cabinet and delightfully proclaims, “Oh!  Homemade pickled beets!”  Bart then drops a bowling ball on her head.  The beets did her in.  Beets will never do me in.

I’m just glad beets are no part of this Tartine cookbook.

Previously “Not on the Menu”:

Fruit Cake

Macarons

15
Dec

Not on the Menu: Fruit Cake

I’m going to go ahead and continue my ‘Not on the Menu’ list, today featuring a holiday edition.  Fruit cake shall be joining macarons on the list of things I’ll never bake.  Mind you, they’re on the list for two very different reasons!  Macarons are the mystical unicorn of baking – I’ve been told how easy and manageable they actually are, but I don’t want to ruin the magic by trying to figure out how to construct them.  Fruit cake, on the other hand, is something I just don’t want to make.  Not appealing.  Not particularly nice to look at.  

That little Russian princess cherub child looks a little apprehensive with the fruit cake.  Maybe because it’s giant?  I think it’s because it’s just fruit cake. 

Okay, I feel a little bad for fruit cake.  It’s the butt of holiday baking jokes – the epitome of all bad gifts – both given and received.  Suggested uses for fruit cakes include door stops, kiln for the fire, and (my personal favorite) pen/pencil holders.  That’s just gross.  I’ve recently read about whole towns battling for titles, vying to be the person who can throw a single fruit cake the farthest distance.  Yes, an entire afternoon is dedicated to such an event. 

Betty Crocker’s entire quote probably says: “Choose the fruit cake you like best – Personally, I hate it with a fiery passion.”  (She looks pretty angry.  I wouldn’t want to cross her path in a dark alley.)

I just don’t understand fruit cake.  Was there a time where it was a popular Christmas dessert?  Are the coolest hipsters in the world eating it as I type this, just to be ironic?  Simply put (as to not join in the harsh bullying of fruit cake): There are just so many things to bake out there in the world, and I just don’t think I’m going to have the time to bake fruit cake.  Ever.

Now, I want you to be honest – have you had fruit cake?  More importantly, do you like fruit cake?  Have you been gifted fruit cake?  Better yet, have you ever given someone fruit cake for a gift?  Details, please!

9
Nov

Not on the Menu: Macarons

This is my first post of things I will never make in my kitchen.  I think every cook/baker should have some things that are off limits.  Who wants to figure out how to make everything?  Not me!  I need some magic in the world, so there’s a handful of things I’ll continue to let people make for me.  Makes sense, right?

Do you know about Ladurée macarons?  They’re kind of famous, and kind of perfect.  They look Rainbrow Brite designed tiny hamburgers, but they’re really the sweetest treat in all the world, I dare say.  I first became familiar with the company when I looked into all of the sweets that played a pivotal role in Sofia Coppola’s film Marie Antoinette.  (I loved that movie for the soundtrack and the literal eye candy – piles of macaroons!  cakes with multiple pink towers! – throughout the film.  I see the signature box of the macarons and my heart skips a beat.  Honestly.

I’m pretty glad macarons not in this cookbook!  I’ve actually only had these Ladurée macarons once – we were driving along the southern coast of France and I think we were in Cannes.  Whoa!  Who am I?  Giselle?  Anyhow, that famous macaron was so life-alteringly phenomenal that I’m afraid to eat another one.  (I totally would if one were in front of me.)

I don’t have a whole lot to say about these goodies – I’m pretty busy in the kitchen today.  I will say that I will have my picture standing in this very doorway as I eat my macaron on the Champs-Élysées in Paris one day!

Totally annoying how delicious those look, right?