I have certain rules I set for myself when it comes to cooking and baking. Among some of the more important ones include: Never over-bake anything, always pay attention to what you’re cooking, always use a kitchen timer and one of the biggest, never try a new recipe for an important occasion.
I learned the last lesson the hard way when I made the brilliant decision to bring a Swiss Cheese Fondue to a gathering of friends. As I prepared the dish at the host’s house, I just couldn’t understand why the cheese was melting, but only a bit. In fact, it melted into a big lump of cheese swimming in a garlicky Chardonnay based puddle. It was a complete disaster. I was embarrassed. Only later did I learn the difference between Swiss Cheese and Swiss American Cheese. Believe me, there is a big difference. Oh, and when you use the correct cheese, that fondue is wonderful.
Fast forward about 10 years and my culinary skills have continued to improve. I have much more confidence when approaching a new recipe and find myself becoming more adventurous in trying new creations in the kitchen. Unfortunately, I still have a problem following my own rules. Try as I might, there often isn’t a good time to try a new recipe before I need it for a family function or maybe a Presidential Innauguration (I haven’t been invited yet, but who knows, it could happen). I will probably never truly learn that lesson, except to say that I almost always have a Plan B in place should Plan A fail miserably.