January 30, 2013
Just another routine catastrophe in my kitchen
This is kind of embarrassing as it's the second time this week I've talked about doughnuts, but this story is too astounding not to tell.
Over the weekend, I woke up one morning super grumpy and hormonal feeling, and I had this idea in my head that only doughnuts could make me feel better. Only doughnuts. Matthew said that you can actually make doughnuts with Bisquick, and do we have any Bisquick? So I pitter-pattered into the pantry where I found a box of Bisquick and proceeded to happily Google "Bisquick doughnut recipes." (how many times can you say Bisquick in one paragraph? I bet I just maxed it out).
I found a recipe that seemed to suffice, so I pulled out the deep fryer that we got for a wedding gift and never used, and then poured an entire unopened bottle of vegetable oil in it, only to find that wasn't even barely enough to cover the bottom of the little fryer basket in there, and thus wouldn't be deep enough to fry the doughnuts in. So I was like, "Matthew, what do I do in this situation?" and he, being the very intelligent man that he is, transferred some of the oil into a frying pan, where it was plenty deep enough to fry some doughnuts in. He turned on the burner for me and then returned to the couch and his iPad, while I busied myself with dough preparation.
Well, I am rather slow when it comes to reading and following new recipes, so while I was meticulously measuring ingredients and shaping dough into little circles with holes in the middle, Matthew was noticing a lot of smoke and odor coming from the kitchen, so he came back in to check it out.
"Oh my gosh, babe, did you not notice that the oil is burning and smoking?" He cried, as he switched off the burner and began to run around the house, frantically throwing open windows.
"Uhhh..." I said. "Well, you see, my glasses are really scratched up, and it's hard for me to see clearly, so I didn't notice the smoke."
*Matthew rolls eyes.* But honestly, that was the truth! (just got new glasses in the mail... hopefully this crisis will be averted in the future)
So anyway, we cooled off the oil, and I started to fry up our doughnuts. The deep fryer not working out and the nearly setting off the smoke alarm were only minor setbacks, and I was confident the doughnuts themselves would make up for the process starting out a little rocky.
It would all be downhill from here, however. The next thing to go wrong was the fact that the doughnuts simply would not stay together. Every time I flipped one it would break into smaller and smaller pieces. Only one of the six I made managed to stay in tact. This was especially frustrating to me because I'm pretty big on the aesthetics of food. So perhaps in my hastiness and increasing frustration I became a bit careless, and at one point I was flipping a doughnut when I accidentally dropped it into the crackling oil, which then splattered out of the pan and onto Matthew's nearby leg. At this point he began bellowing curses and staggered over to the sink to grab paper towels with which to wipe off the hot grease, and I was feeling a mixture of horror and the strange urge to laugh hysterically because why am I being punished so severely for deciding to make these doughnuts?
We finally finished frying up the doughnuts (or shall I say, the ONE doughnut and many doughnut fragments) and then we sprinkled them with powdered sugar and iced them with some vanilla glaze I'd made. I took the one intact doughnut and arranged it nicely on a plate beside my coffee and snapped a picture of it on Instagram, planning to later pick a filter and post it as proof that the experience was not a complete loss. Then we started to eat our doughnuts, but unfortunately it turned out they wound up tasting "like they'd been fried in the same grease as a hamburger," as Matthew so aptly put it. They were disgusting.
To add insult to injury, after we decided not to eat them due to the nastiness, I went to Instagram my picture, and Instagram ate it. The screen just went white, and the photo never saved to my phone. At this point, I wasn't even surprised, because clearly this entire experience had been jinxed from the start. Now I didn't even have proof that one doughnut turned out nicely, so I had to Instagram what was, essentially, a pile of deformed dough balls (see photo above - and believe me, they tasted much worse than they looked).
So, what is the moral of the story here? Well, there really isn't much of one, except maybe to leave things like doughnut-making to Krispy Kreme or, better yet, Gourdough's, next time the hankering strikes. Some things are just better left to the professionals, no?