domestic battles

One of the things I most love about post–college graduation and marriage is the time I have to cultivate domesticity. I love wearing aprons and baking and sewing and decorating. We know this.

Lately, however, domesticity has been giving me a run for my money. I've had a few successes, but I have also lost several battles. Please review the following case studies.

01. The grease-stained shirt, possible points: 1
I bought a new taupe shirt from DownEast Basics, and I was really excited about it. I've been needing new basics, and this was perfect. My first time wearing it I was cooking pork chops and butter splattered from the pan onto my brand new shirt (lesson: always wear an apron). I washed it right away (like, I left the pork chops in the pan as I stripped through the kitchen to get my shirt in the wash), but the stains remained. After I tried Mom's suggestion to treat the stains with dish detergent, I ended up washing the shirt about five more times before the stains came out. But, they came out. In fact, I'm wearing the shirt today. Success.

02. The wraparound skirt, possible points: 2
Mom directed me to this really cute wraparound skirt pattern that was advertised as a one-hour project. I found the perfect fabric and, after a trip back to get more fabric after a cutting mishap, I went to town. I learned to hand-hem, because I don't like the blind-hem stitch on my machine. Using a dress Mom made me as a reference, I taught myself how to hem by hand, I was very pleased with the results. Success.

Then I set out Saturday night to finish it, and the waistband was completely backwards. The skirt ended up even less finished than when I started working on it. (One-hour project? False.) Failure.

03. The Boston Cream Pie, possible points, 4 (because ganache counts as 2, obviously)
The first thing I said to Josh as we got in the car to go home: "I hate the cake." I don't even think I'll save the leftovers.

Part A. The cake
I don't even want to talk about it. But I do, because I'm so mad. I looked up a sponge cake recipe from Cook's Illustrated, because how can they lead you astray, right? The cake turned out tough and holey. Cakes elude me, readers, and I really wish I could figure them out. Whenever I make them, they don't rise very high, and sometimes—like in this case—they actively seek to do me in. Failure.

Part B. The custard
This part worked out fine. I like making custard, and so far, it's never let me down. If you can't find me, chances are I'm watching Gilmore Girls and eating the leftover custard by the spoonful to drown the rest of my Boston Cream Pie failures. Success.

Part C. The ganache
Don't even get me started. I think this counts as negative two points actually. Every single time I've made ganache it turns out thick and smooth and delicious. This time it was runny and grainy. I couldn't even look at it. Failure.

Final tally: Domesticity— 4; Me—3

So maybe I'm not losing by as much as I thought I was. Domesticity is sometimes elusive, I've learned. And when I get frustrated I have to remind myself that my mom and grandma have had years and years more of domestic experience than I've had. And really, catching up to domesticity shouldn't be so hard when I'm only one point behind.

Wish me luck. And maybe volunteer to clean up the Boston Cream Pie that I'm ready to smash on the ground. Thanks.


A Mitton said...

"I don't even want to talk about it. But I do, because I'm so mad."

Laughed aloud at my desk. So, so funny.

Sorry about the pie, though. I'm so not domestic; I kind of hope the domesticity gene will kick in when I have children. Nesting or something?

Jill said...

This is funny. I feel your pain because domestic failures tend to haunt me, but of course it's all trial and error and years of experience so it's good to consider that; and really you should be excited about how you've hit the ground running and will be an expert sooner than the rest!

jt said...

I would still totally eat your Boston Cream Pie, and just today I left this comment on Joy the Baker:

This is funny. I needed to make cupcakes in a pinch with what I had on hand, which did not include staples such as buttermilk, or more than I stick of butter. Enter: your delightful cupcake recipe. Next, enter: my stupidity and ignorant dismissal of parts of your recipe. I gave it a cursory glance and thought two things: 1. That is not much flour. 2. That is a lot of leavening. So I whipped it up and thought my third thought, 3. That is not going to be enough batter. I hate having flat little pucks for cupcakes. I’m always after a lovely dome and a beautiful lip over the edge. So I frequently overfill my cupcakes in an effort to achieve this effect and avoid the tiny flat cupcakes. So I properly overfilled them to begin with. I filled 6 cups and then made another batch to fill the remaining 12. That’s more like it. I continued to mix up the frosting, which I altered a bit, and began to smell my cupcakes earlier than expected. At the point of fragrance I took a peek to see quite a monstrous sight: Cupcake batter covering the entire muffin tin, completely disguising it as such, dripping down onto my oven liner, where it promptly burned. But I bet you saw that coming. So when they were done I thought I could try to salvage them by cutting away the excess and disguising it with frosting. That was so not happening. It was just not possible. So I made a tough and some might say, risky decision. I scooped it all out of the liners and dumped it in a bowl, what my family affectionately calls ‘cake guts’, the remains of a failed cake. Then I served it in small individual bowls, topped it with frosting and sprinkles, and put a candle in each one. Luckily it was just a casual gathering with a few friends so I could get away with such antics. It tasted great despite my many efforts to ruin it.
Also, I added another cup of powdered sugar and added half a brick of cream cheese to the frosting. Cause I’m really trying to hasten our family’s diagnosis of pre-diabetes.

That was really long, but I wanted to properly illustrate that I still have the domestic failures as I think we all do. Take heart, even grandma had to throw a cake or two.

Mary said...

I can relate to this! I have wanted to sling pancakes all over the kitchen. :-D

Miranda said...

Sweetie, Boston Cream Pie is not an accurate indicator of your cake baking abilities. It is a beast. I have yet to make a decent Boston Cream Pie AND I wasn't even able to make one with your grandmother's help! I will keep trying but I have to make sure I am having the BEST DAY EVER if I'm going to make it so that I have lots of patience on reserve.

I wish I could come over and bake cakes with you. Have you made the Edith James cake before? Also, I'm so proud that you're doing so much sewing. Despite the backward/upsidedown-ness, you have far surpassed my skills.

michelle said...

Considering the fact that you are still in your first year of marriage, I'd say your domesticity score is amazing!!

I like to remember that Grandma threw cakes a few times. It helps me feel better when I have a domestic failure.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...