Worst Food Moment. Ever.

5 06 2011

As part of a Pity Party event, we were asked to write about our worst food moment. The event I’ve selected might not actually be the worst of the worst, but how does one judge that anyway? Twelve year old me might argue that sneezing and having a piece of spaghetti come out my nose was traumatizing enough for a lifetime.  Twenty five year old me might point out the gourmet meal on a Valentine’s Day that was so rife with the beginning of the end of the relationship that it was just as heavy on my tongue as the butternut squash ravioli appetizer.

Instead, let’s talk about last year.  In July 2010 I made my experimental move from Vancouver, BC, Canada to Hayden, Rural-Ville, Alabama.  I am so far from the life I grew up with that it feels like a million miles some days.  The first few months were rough, to say the least.  The emotional fall-out from only seeing my parents and sister on Skype was far greater than I could have anticipated.  I’m the fearless adventurer and world traveler.  I can wash my socks in a hotel sink if I have to.  My pragmatic nature knew that this move would be trying, but the benefits of starting a life with the man I love would far outweigh my separation anxiety; my family was only going to be a “convenient” 7 hour plane ride away.  Too bad I forgot to tell that to my emotional nerve centers.

So, there I was, living the ideal of well matched romantic love and running around like a madwoman with my tear-ducts on a hair-trigger.  I wanted my Mommy.  I decided that the only way to cure what ailed me was to make her Baking Powder Biscuits.  These biscuits are a magical cure-all.  Nothing can be wrong in the world for as long as the basket of delicious flaky hot morsels in front of you lasts.  (Albeit they don’t last long.)  These are the biscuits everyone asks for, and they all take seconds.  I have been known to fill the pockets of my house coat with these same little pieces of wonder, but that is another story.

I knew my homesickness could easily be resolved once I had the recipe.  After phoning Mom to get it I should have been concerned when it included directions like: “four heaping teaspoons of baking powder, more or less, I eyeball it” and then the milk “about a cup, adjust it to use as much as it needs”.  But I was on a mission.  I could have been in the Blues Brothers movie.  I could already taste the mouth-watering goodness of the finished product as I mixed the dough.

I like to think that my skills with both pastry and written directions are quite good.  I was more than a little traumatized when my buttery blankets of biscuit love came out more like horrible hockey pucks of hate.  It was the physical embodiment of the emotional reality of leaving home for good.  Both literally and figuratively hard to swallow.  Just like the giant lump of homesickness, these biscuits were impossible to wash down.

The next three attempts at those biscuits were all failures of other varying degrees of insult to my culinary abilities and emotional well-being.  What I have learned since that devastating night is that climate can make a difference in cooking, so can using a flour made entirely of winter wheat.  I have learned that failure in cooking just means you learn to try something different the next time.  As for the rest?  The homesickness has lessened, my family has been down to visit, and when I finally get my green card in about 3 weeks I’ll be able to go back for a vacation with them.  I was unsure whether I wanted to make another attempt at them, but writing this post motivated me.  As of yesterday night, I have been in Baking Powder Biscuit heaven.  Finally, success.

Biscuits = awesome, pictures late at night = fail

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