Back to the Kitchen

Friday, 28 May 2010 | Tags: , , ,

Today I made marshmallows. Orange blossom marshmallows, no less. They're cooling right now, and I'm slightly, err, totally worried that they won't turn out...

I didn’t buy enough gelatin sheets for this marshmallow recipe, so I tried to improvise by adding a few grams of gelatin from a Knox package, which could lead to some questionable, perhaps inedible, results.

I’m not making marshmallows for fun, as there are perfectly good ones on the market made by other, more talented and better-equipped bakers. (Try Butter Baked Goods’ homemade marshmallows, delish!) After almost a year-long hiatus, Anna and I are back in the kitchen for a third season of Anna and Kristina’s Grocery Bag.

It was a much-needed reprieve, at least on my part. Beyond making a salad or a sandwich, I haven’t cooked more than a dozen times in the last year. No exaggeration. I plead cooking for one – as in, why bother – as my excuse. The only time I did delve in deeper was on the few occasions I had guests for dinner or was asked to bring something for a potluck.

Don’t get me wrong, I love to eat, and dining out is the most common way I socialize. But cooking is hard work! Especially when you don’t have anyone helping you with the dishes.

But now I’m sharpening my knives, dusting off the food processor and unpacking the spice rack. It’s time to get my hands dirty again!

The cooking we do on this show goes far beyond what you see on TV. Once we decide on a cookbook, we first give it a thorough read. Then, we individually try as many recipes as we can at home, in our off hours. (We try to make as many additional recipes as we can; and not those we’re seen testing on the show.)

After a long week shooting, I spend at least one weekend day slaving over a hot stove, as it were. We do this because we take our task seriously. Someone’s heart and soul goes into these books. Our evaluations need to be as fair as possible.

So yes, I made marshmallows out of an extremely intimidating dessert book we have on the roster. Yesterday it was peanut butter cookies and tomorrow I’m really stepping things up with chocolate tart that I plan to bring to a dinner party. Fingers crossed I don’t have to run to a bakery at the last minute.

Oh, and I just tried the marshmallows. They held together and look like the real thing! They taste like the inside of a perfume bottle, though. But that’s another story…




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