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.