As promised, I remade the Strawberry-Chicken Salad w/ Pecans again. I don’t think it was as amazing the first time, but it was made and devoured:
So here’s what I think went wrong this time: when I went to the store, I suppose I didn’t look very clearly at the strawberries. Although how can you really analyze them? Are you allowed to open the package and take out handfuls to make sure they haven’t gone bad? Well, thanks for my lack of thoroughness in my background checks, I could’ve snuck in an M-bomb into our stomachs (“M” for “moldy”). I did my best as I was washing them out though. Anything that even looked funny, I sent to the trash can. I mean, I wish you could sue the store for that, but it’s not really their fault. And I’m sure that if they’d found a fruit that went bad, they would’ve thrown out the package themselves.
Also, I made it too early. Well, I suppose the timing wasn’t the issue. I could’ve just stored everything before mixing it with the dressing into the fridge and left it alone until we were ready to eat it. But no. I didn’t think. Instead, I dumped all the dressing into the large bowl of spinach and just kept mixing. It got pretty soggy by the time we got to it (individually).
So that was my meal prep of the day. Nothing too special. Still have lots of learning to do, which is what happened today, so there’s that at least.
Oh, you’re probably wondering why I chose Emily Dickinson’s famous coconut cake as my heading photo. Well, long ago when I was in college (so a little more than a year ago now), I was in poetry class and my professor does a lot of baking. Once, she baked her own coconut cake specifically for us, and of course it was delicious. I tried it out myself after graduating and it tasted really good. I figured, hey! I just baked something from scratch!
So then I started making cornbread because my dad loves it. My mom kept buying cornbread mix, although I might have ruined it for him because he’s just gotten old for him, I guess. She keeps buying cornbread mix though, so what else is there to do? Keep it in the pantry? Keep it in the pantry… After all, it doesn’t go bad, does it? I mean, it’s cornbread mix.
After a few more attempts, I got more comfortable with my baking, so I decided to try mixing it up a bit. I added mashed bananas to the cornbread muffins. The first time, I didn’t tell anyone, so they all found a pleasant surprise. I recall my brother–who lived with us at the time–said it was a nice touch.
At this point, I didn’t necessarily feel like I had a knack for it, per se, because I was only following the recipes exactly. It’s not like I was some genius who figured it all out myself. I’ve learned that even with the most detailed recipe though, there’s still a lot to learn about the craft. Just like anything else in life, you just gotta keep practicing it till you get more comfortable.
Then, I took a break from baking, but then my mom gave me a task: to make biscuits for Thanksgiving, so that happened. She ended up finishing it up though, because that was the same day I went to see “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Pt. 2” in theaters. I still had to explain what to do, even with the recipe right in front of her, but I still got all the credit. With all the cooking I’m doing right now, hopefully I’ll get to do more this Thanksgiving.
Oh, I also just decided that, since my mom’s birthday is in a few days, I’d bake my own birthday cake for her. I’m not quite sure what her plans are, but most likely they’ll involve her family since we live much closer to them now. I’ll have to ask her what she plans on doing, but either way should probably coordinate with them in case they’re planning something special too. I’m going to look up recipes from my usual sources tonight, so hopefully I won’t screw this up. After all, it’s not everyday your mother turns [this information is confidential], is it?