Saturday, March 3, 2012

St. Juanita: Patron Saint of My Kitchen

I look weird but it's probably just extreme jubilation.

Before you go any further, if you haven't met Juanita, you MUST do so or none of this shit will make sense!  Some of it might , whether you read it or not, but you'd be totally missing out on your intro to St. Juanita herself.

You're back? Cool! Isn't Juanita AWESOME? Yeah, The Bloggess is OK too, but Juanita totally rocks.

Which is why I had to buy a Juanita apron. Two actually: one for me, and one for my friend.

Kat McCullough is owner of the ever-glorious Parachute Promise which has the most amazing way to express your gratitude. You MUST visit (or I will hunt you down, like the dog you are, and give you a very firmly worded comeuppance). Go now and come back. We'll both all feel better. in case you need the URL itself.

Hey! Welcome back! Whadja get? Something cool, I know. Isn't Parachute Promise the best site ever?
In spite of Kat's brilliance in business (see and photography (also see, the kitchen isn't one of them. She's trying, bless her pea-pickin' li'l heart, but I'm afraid she's more "challenged" than most. Which is why she was the proud recipient of the Juanita apron. It's especially funnily ironic (or ironically funny....I get 'em confused) for Kat because she's never even tried to make a souffle.
I, however, have made a souffle.

Way back in the olden days, when microwaves first appeared on the consumer market, I bought one. It was HUGE and cost about $700 (that is NOT an exaggeration -- that shit was expensive!). It came with a cookbook which I needed since I had never cooked in a microwave. And I wanted to actually cook in it, since I'd spent that small fortune on it, instead of just reheating shit I'd cooked the regular way.

I came upon a souffle recipe. I happen to love souffles. My sweet Oneida made the most gorgeous souffles you'd ever hope to eat -- light, fluffy and a true work of art. I thought a souffle would be the perfect thing for my new oven, so much so that people would probably beg me to make a souffle for them in their new $700 microwave. I was going to be the new Queen of Microwaved Souffles!

I beat the egg whites into perfect peaks as Oneida taught me. I ever-so-gently folded in the cheese sauce. I placed this magnificent creation into my souffle dish (yes, there are dishes especially for souffles. The fact that I know this is further proof of my Queenliness) and set it in the microwave to begin the cooking process. The recipe called for 50% power, so I set it accordingly.

For those of you who use nothing but 100% power levels on your microwave, let me clue you in to what happens (in my limited knowledge of all things scientific). At 100% power, the oven  cooks 100% of the time; at 50% power, it cycles on at 100% for however-many-seconds, and cycles off for the same amount of time, and continues to do so in equal intervals until your food is cooked. Actually, this may not really be the way it works, but it works like this in my mind, which is all that really matters. To me, anyway, and it's my post.

So, my souffle is in the oven, set at 50%. Since this contraption was new, and since I'm a little strange, I watched it cook. (I'll probably get some form of eyeball cancer because I stood in front of it, staring. But it was totally worth it.)
This is what I saw: when it was cooking at 100% the souffle 50% it fell.  100%....up, 50%....down, 100%....up, 50%....down....  It looked like it was growing with each cycle, then "resting" in the intervals. OMG! IT'S ALIVE! <<<<< CLICK IT!

It wasn't remotely on par with Oneida's souffles, but it was edible....sorta....and a little chewy (definitely un-souffle-y).
I may try another souffle someday, but not in the microwave. If it's awful, St. Juanita will share my angst. And then we'll order pizza.

Have you experienced cooking disasters? Did you have Dominos on speed dial, just in case? Have you blatantly over-promoted a friend's site in a completely unrelated blog post, just 'cause you could? It's a special day for her ( launch of, you guessed it! Parachute Promise! ;)

Have you been there?

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Yes! I've been there, Claire!