I’m sure you’ve noticed that a very large majority of the posts on this blog are about successes in the kitchen. As we all know, this is not how the world works. Sometimes, we fail. Sometimes we fail more than once. And sometimes that story is funnier than the preceding victories. This one’s for you folks with a little bit of the Schadenfreude. You know who you are.
I was feeling pretty positive about my chances of having a good weekend today. I was sure that I’d built up enough good karma giving 8 of my classmates free lunch (as it turns out, such things are real!) and then topping off the bucket of positivity by finding a wallet that a girl had just dropped and calling out her name in the middle of the street to give it back to her. All true. To me this means maybe today something good will happen to me. Like maybe I will make delicious, delicious rugelach successfully. And then eat it.
The night started off innocently enough. I made stuffed peppers for dinner with sausage and rice and chopped serrano peppers. I was hesitant about chopping the peppers without gloves on because that’s come back to bite me in the past, but it was only two peppers, so I just went with it. Dinner was tasty and full of nutrients. I was so happy with the results that I decided to bake cookies for football-with-friends tomorrow. (Go Blue! What, we’re not playing? Hmmph. Go Blue basketball!)
I had made a pie crust earlier in the evening in anticipation of some kind of baking adventure. (Using this easy recipe.) So I broke out half of it and my trusty tub of Nutella and set about making rugelach. It’s impossibly easy, people. You roll out the pie crust, spread whatever you want on top of it, then cut it into triangles and roll them up. And when “whatever you want” is Nutella, everybody wins. Except people with nut allergies.
The cookies were in the oven for ohhhhh… maybe twelve minutes. In retrospect, I have no idea what happened. I’ve baked these things a dozen times before and every time is a complete win, and nothing bad ever happens. Until today. I smelled the chocolate starting to burn, which isn’t entirely unusual, but I went to check anyway. Head-enveloping smoke emanated from the oven in such a way that the smoke alarm going off was unavoidable. YAY! I pull the cookies out of the oven and somehow my parchment paper is totally scorched–isn’t that stuff made for baking? So why….? Never mind. The much, MUCH worse part is that the bottoms of my rugelach…
Don’t worry. It gets better. The peppers return. While dealing with the cookie “situation” taking place approximately two hours after I made dinner, I notice I have a mild case of jalapeno hands. This sounds like not a real thing. Well I am here as a harbinger of terrible news: it is real. See funny/horrifying example here. I can commiserate with this guy. The first time it happened to me I was caught completely unprepared. I tried soap & water, olive oil, milk, sour cream, lotion, and ice packs. Both my hands felt so on fire that I ended up driving to the store alternating which hand was on the steering wheel and which was clutching the ice pack I brought with me. At the store, I bought benadryl and calamine lotion. As soon as I got back out to my car I tried the lotion (which is much less viscous and much harder to get out of your car seat than one might think), which was utterly useless. Eventually I did manage to fall asleep after taking a couple Benadryl, but it was bad news.
Fortunately tonight was nothing like that. Only a couple fingers on fire, but not ideal. So now my fingers hurt, and my pride hurts, and I spent all day at school/work and I just wanted to kick off the weekend right! So I get in the shower to wash away the travails of my cruddy evening.
And get soap in my eye.