Author Michael Ruhlman (author of Ratio – which is highly recommended!) posted on his blog about Unfinished Business. The topic was about unfinished business in the kitchen…things people have always wanted to make or do to the kitchen, and haven’t gotten to yet.
And it got me thinking. I have SUCH a list of goals and things I’ve always wanted to make. But I just haven’t gotten to them yet. So I figure, I would make a list, here and now, and it will be a reminder of what I want to do….
So many unfinished things in the kitchen! I LOVE reading everyone’s list! It inspired my own:
1. A Tiered Wedding Cake. I’ve been asked three times if I do wedding cakes (to varying degrees of seriousness). I’ve always gently turned the friend down, as I’ve never made one and I refuse to make my friend’s “big day” the experiment. But perhaps one of these days I’ll make a tiered decorative cake. If I’m successful, I’d love to contribute to my friends’ wedding by being the person who makes their cake.
2. Laminated dough. Puff pastries and Croissants here I come! Though I may cheat and use Nick Malgeri’s Modern Baker shortcut first before I do it the old fashion way. [DONE! I took a class on laminated dough and a recipe for classic kouign amann will be in my cookbook. The shortcut version for kouign amann is here on my site.]
3. Fondant and Gum Paste. I’m not a huge fan of overly decorated cakes, but I’d love to have the ability to do it for those certain occasions.
4. Chocolate decorations. I’ve been experimenting with spun sugar and caramel decorations. Now I want to do the same with chocolate. Chocolate ribbons, chocolate leaves, chocolate clay, chocolate piped decorations, decorative transfer sheet, etc. Again the ability to play with chocolate as decorations will widen my skill set for when I need to create that show stopper dessert.
5. French Macarons. I’ve gone down the path several times, but never finished it (in fact I went so far as to make my own dehydrate vegetables to make them into a powder for the macaron flavor I wanted). I will do it. In fact, I need to do. I have 25 egg whites in my freezer waiting to be used and I don’t want to just make boring angel food cake.
6. Donuts. Always wanted to. Never gotten around to buying the oil for it. DONE!
7. Bûche de Noël. Always wanted to make it, never had an excuse to.
9. Canning – homemade jams, marmalades and preserves. I make my own, but I’ve never actually canned them. The sterilizing of the jars seems like so much work, and I’m just lazy. DONE!
10. Baumkuchen. A traditional layered cake popular in Europe and Japan. One of these days I’ll make it.
8. Bread. I’ve done variants of the no-knead, as well as soft pretzels and pretzel buns. But I haven’t conquered other yeast risen bread. I’d love to make my own bagels – which has been on my to do list FOREVER. DONE! I have a recipe for bialy on my blog and make bread at home now an dthen.
9. Cheese. After reading Barbara Kingsolver’s Animal, Vegetable, Miracle, I want to make my own cheese.
10. Fresh Pasta/Gnocchi. I’ve always had dreams of making my own ravioli to freeze. Never got around to it (even though I bought ravioli molds years ago). And my one attempt at gnocchi years ago post-college came out like lead bullets. DONE! Made pasta at my week at Le Cordon Bleu and posted my recipe for gnocchi.
12. Sous Vide without the machine. Sounds dangerous but one of these days…
13. Shellfish. Strangely, I’ve never made it at home. Love to make lobster. But my partner is scared of live animals in our kitchen….Guess I’ll be doing that on my own. DONE! 14. Ribs. I bought ribs once. They languished in my freezer until they burned so bad we had to throw them out. Is this summer the summer that we actually make them? We shall see… Done! Recipe for oven baked ribs on my blog. 15. Taiwanese cuisine. A broad subject, but it’s my heritage, and I haven’t made anything specifically Taiwanese. Reading an article in the April issue of Saveur about Taiwanese cuisine makes me want to start. I should give my mom a call about this…. This is ongoing but I’ve made a few different Taiwanese dishes, one of which, Taiwanese Popcorn Chicken is here on my blog.
As always, this list is incomplete, and I’ll be adding and subtracting to it as I think of things and do things…