May 02, 2005

Whoops, I did it again...

... I played with the requisite pan-size of the recipe that I was making. Consequently, the banana cake took almost twice as long to cook, and got rather firm on the top. Volumetrics, baby: always do the math.

The thing of it is, when I'm paying attention I know that you can't sub an 8" springform pan for a 9" square pan, for crying out loud! It doesn't matter what the recipe says. But no, I was thinking "Oh, I've got an 8" springform! I'll use that." I would have been better off using an 8" square pan, rather than the round one. The math was backwards. You can sub them the other way 'round. Oh, well.

Then, there was the ham. I was looking for something suitable for a jambalaya version that I've been working on, and when I saw inexpensive, marked down further, smoked picnic shoulder lurking in the supermarket, I thought, "Oh HO! This will work nicely!" Completely forgetting to check to see if it was going to need cooking, or was in fact fully cooked, I tossed it into the fridge (with a heavy thump, might I add, at 7 lbs of piggy goodness) and it didn't occur to me until about 5:30 that it might need some time in the oven.

Of course it did. It needed 2 1/2 hours in the oven, in fact! By the time it was ready, I was starving and the house smelled like an entire roast pig was turning on a spit somewhere. The cat was going ballistic whenever I went into the kitchen to check on things, and I was starving. No way was I going to much around with chopping up celery at that point - dinner was going to be revamped around the pork shoulder.

The thing about pork shoulder is, it's much fatter than pork hind-leg, from which we get ham. This means, that at 8:00pm or so on Sunday night, starving half-to-death in the face of plenty, I was rather sloppy about removing the fatty layer from the roast before slicing. The meat was succulent and very tasty, but the amount of grease I ingested has left me quite queasy even to this moment of writing. I really shouldn't have nibbled on the crackling.

Evenutally, I divested the meat and (most of) the fat from the remains of the roast, and placed the meat in large chunks in the fridge to be made into jambalaya today. The meaty bone, from which even the least greedy person could have found more flesh to carve, got wrapped and frozen with the vague notion of split pea soup in the future (Hi J!). Tonight, I get to carefully remove the remaining fat from the chunks of meat (and oh, how I will be scrupulous to get each bit!) and make it useful once again.

It was one of those weekends, though, where almost nothing went quite right. There was an apple-raspberry crisp that turned out rather nicely, and I didn't manage to cut myself while slicing roasted chicken breast or anything, but that's the extent of the triumphs.

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