I feel Anna’s pain.

Desserts are too demanding!  Don’t sift your flour?  Get ready for heaviness in your concoction.  Don’t have a silicone pad for your baking sheet?  Get ready to soak, scrub, soak, scrub, and probably give up and heave the messy pan.

I used to love making desserts as a teenager. It was my “thing”.  It was also the limit of my kitchen ability back then.  The pivotal moment was when I learned how to make Eggplant Parmigiana, the one dish that ALWAYS stops me in my tracks.  (And that I have learned how to make gluten free, causing an equal sensation of Nirvana!)  Baking ceased, and real cooking commenced.

When the kids came home to us, I thought they might enjoy whipping up fresh chocolate chip cookies.  I sneered at the pre-made rolls in the grocery store, and stocked up on the true Tollhouse ingredients, only to have the chocolate chips eaten by all but me in the house!  (How did they know they were there?  They weren’t always in the cupboard!)  Restocking the cabinets, and some serious chocolate-chip-hiding, I tried baking with Grace.

Burned.  Blackened bottoms on my cookies.  Even me, a good Cichello kid, could not scrape off the burn and eat the cookies.  Ugh!

I tried turning the endeavor over to Grace entirely.  Maybe it was just me?  Here are the ingredients, Sweetie, and the recipe is on the chocolate chip bag.  Go to town!  Enjoy!  Have fun, and then eat loads of doughy goodness!

Oooey, gooey dough slopping into one large “cookie”.  She said “I may have forgotten some ingredients.”  Come to find out she also prefers to measure “by eye”.  Those pesky measuring cups and spoons just mean you have to wash more dishes, Mom!

I blamed it all on the fact that we live in Timbuktu the country.  We have a gas stovetop, thanks to LP gas, but when you buy a standard range, it is ready for gas only.  You have to modify it to be ready for LP, for a different burning rate.  For some 10 years then, I blamed the conversion process from gas to LP:  “No one ever changed the orifice in the oven!”  Stephen said no.  I said yes.  We tried a few more times, ending up with burned cookies, albeit measured carefully, with the full list of ingredients.

It turns out, years later, and no cookies scenting our home, that while gas stove tops are better at manipulating heat quickly, electric heat in the oven provides a more constant temperature for baked goods.

It also turns out that in the end, my husband, my kids and I, prefer a really great dinner.  We are usually too full for the after-thought that is dessert.

Anna’s creamy pots sound absolutely delicious.  Here’s the problem, though.  Anna claims to be ‘scatter brained’, but trust me – she is not!  She is a seriously successful business woman, making a living in the North Country.  She makes those little pots sound like even I could create them at home.  I’m not so sure.

Instead, I may have to visit BarVino to taste them.  Perhaps as an appetizer!


About Claire Ziamandanis

Claire Ziamandanis is Professor of Spanish at The College of Saint Rose in Albany, NY. Over her 20 years at the college, she has been a champion for study abroad, establishing the first affiliation for Spanish students, and then working with the Study Abroad office to open the doors to students from other majors. Claire loves travel, food, wine and Spanish but not necessarily in that order!

One comment

  1. You’re too kind Claire! But how’s this for flakey? I had dinner plans for this Thursday and although I make the schedule, I gave myself Wednesday off instead. As well, for the first time in the five years bV’s been open, I forgot to book music for this week. As in completely and totally forgot. Maybe I should stay away from the sauce 🙂

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