Posts Tagged ‘failures’

Last month, Amanda brought us some quinces grown here in Massachusetts; then almost immediately, before I even picked them up from her, they started going bad. We managed to rescue enough of them that hadn’t rotted yet and I quickly got to work on my project – kotonjata, a quince candy made from a Croatian recipe; it’s much like the membrillo they serve at Dali. It turned out they were starting to rot because some small insect had gotten to them on the tree, but we were able to cut out the sections with problems and salvaged about a pound and a half – enough for a successful batch.

Because they’re a traditional Christmas treat in Croatia, we snacked a bit mostly on the scrapings from the pot, brought some over to Amanda, and saved one big one to serve at holiday time and a few small ones to send to the inlaws.

And that was when disaster struck. If we’d only had less self control to save them for Christmas… Instead, the rodent population we didn’t know we had found the plate stacked with saran wrapped goodies in the pantry and gorged themselves. Small bites taken out of every square inch of every piece, bits spattered on the wall, a few mouse droppings to be sure we knew who did it.

We went out immediately and bought a) mousetraps, and b) more quince. This is an emergency; if the quince had to come from California so be it.
That same night we caught the mouse (although he’s probably got friends), and today we’ve got a replacement batch of kotonjata. I think the local one was better – but there’s always next year.


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Failure – Wang’s fast food is closed on Tuesdays, which we realized after my daughter’s polite and rational request for chinese food including scallion pancakes, and after I’d decided everything we wanted to order and gotten my mouth watering for our choices.

Completely undeserved success: scallion pancakes are *sooooooo* easy to reproduce at home!

I used Ming Tsai’s recipe here – skipped the resting of the dough, faked the mixing in of the boiling water, to make the dough, and figured so what if the texture was not perfect. Also, we used leeks, which I pre-sauteed a bit (that was the extent of the time my dough rested.) I used half a recipe because it seemed prone to complete disaster – but instead of complete disaster, they tasted like…. scallion pancakes! I somewhat burned 2 out of 3 of them because I was trying to throw together a main course at the same time, but now I know to watch them better.

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