Friday, June 22, 2012

Depression: Time to Put on the Big Girl Panties

I know it is the middle of summer, and hibernation usually starts sometime in late fall.
I know that humans are not necessarily equip to actually hibernate.
I know that hiding in my room with the covers over my head isn’t the healthiest thing to do right now.
I know I can do better.
But it isn’t about wants, sometimes it is about needs, and right now I just need to fall apart.

The past three weeks have been a whirlwind of family and friends, of plans and adventures and tons of activity, of losses and death and emotional rollercoasters. So now that I put Ms. Ivey on a plane this morning I am not being strong. Instead I am hibernating and I am not really sure when I will come out.

That is I was hibernating until Ms. Pool Shark called. I just adore this girl. She listened to me whine, she listened to me cry, she held my and as I cried and then when I was done she smacked me across the face. She told me to suck it up, she told me to shower and she told me to DO SOMETHING.

Her words exactly: “Its time to put on your big girl panties.”

Sadly getting yelled at was exactly what I needed. I got up, I showered and I called Mrs. Dancer. We just took a macaron class last week and part of ingraining a process into your head is to do it a few times in a short amount of time. She came over, we went to the store to buy supplies and we attempted round one of making the devilishly difficult macaron cookies at home.

Hindsight unfortunately is a bitch. If I could go back and make these cookies all over again I would not use recipes online. Granted I did my research. I found recipes that were on tried and true cooking sites with tons of positive comments. We followed the tips our instructors gave us for the class and we followed the recipe to a T.

Our first hurdle was to make super fine sugar. You see there is granulated sugar, then there is powdered sugar which is sugar that is 10x times finer than granulated sugar. To make super fine sugar you have to grind granulated sugar to get it to be 5x. We used my new Vitamix to grind that sugar down. It was a process but we got it done.



And of course we had all the camera equipment out so we could document the whole process.


One thing that was very different this time than in class was that we had to weigh out and measure all our own ingredients. This was the first time weighing and preparing the ingredients ourselves and I have to say that is what took the majority of the work. Being sure to get all the portions right. The almond flower shifting gave me the most surprise. Before weighing we were told to shift the almond flour three times. We found a ton of bigger chunks that were sifted out that would have caused the cookies to be a little lumpy.


We decided to make a half recipe of two different recipes, that way we could attempt to try more recipes and see which we liked the taste of better. The first batch, a lemon macaron with a curd middle went along just fine. The second batch, the vanilla bean macaron felt a little off. After seeing our instructor make a batch, making a batch during the class, and then seeing the lemon batch come out you start to get a feel for how the batter is supposed to be. Since it was just a feeling and we weren’t sure we decided to go ahead and bake them anyways.


The cookies had to set out for an hour. While we were waiting we cleaned up and then made a yummy salad. After all the sugar we were eating testing the batter, and anticipating eating at least a few of the cookies we wanted to keep our dinner light.


After we ate we baked the cookies. The lemon cookies came out ok. They weren’t perfect there were multiple issues. I would have preferred a puffier cookie, they didn’t have the true macaron and then there was the issue of the cracks. Most of those issues were about the baking time and temperature, also something that the cookie class assistants took care of. That might just take a few times of baking to perfect as each oven and home is different. Thankfully they tasted fantastic. So at least on taste we got an A here.



Sadly we were right about the Vanilla Bean macarons. They came out as tiny little shriveled hockey pucks. Not only did they look terrible they tasted horrible as well.



There was only one place for these cookies. The trash.


We spent over nine hours baking these cookies. Between being so careful with the ingredients, the grocery store, the grocery store again, all the baking and then the cleaning we were exhausted. Because we only made half batches, because we ended up with one batch that ended in the trash, and because we taste tested quite a few, we actually ended up with only four cookies left to share with the husbands.


Next time we are going to have to at least make full batches.


Jess said...

There may have only been four, but those were four seriously scrumptious cookies! yum, yum! <3

Jennifer Arens said...

Cute aprons ladies!

paul peggy zeus said...

Taste tested quite a few, and only four cookies left? Hmmmmm. . .. . that few just multiplied.

Inzodda said...

I am proud of you for putting on your big girl panties. I wish I could have been there to make macarons too. Why or Why is all this space and time separating us? WAAAAAAAA!!!

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