Saturday, April 21, 2012

A testament of efforts

When I was around seven years old, my growing discontent with the state of the salad dressing options in the world reached its breaking point.
I had long ago decided that oil, sugar, mayonnaise, dairy, and other such common dressing components were for sissies and had been using vinegar and vinegar alone on my lettuce. Irritated at the plainness and lack of imagination this afforded me, I decided to take matters into my own hands, and produce a real salad dressing, one for those of mature, discerning taste. So I got out the red wine vinegar, squeezed a lemon, and mixed it with salt and pepper. This, too, fell short; so I dug out an onion, sliced it, put it in a ziplock bag, and juiced it with a rolling pin. This (raw. onion.) juice turned out to be the perfect missing ingredient, so I added it to the other ingredients in the clean canning jar.
I was just about to present this for my parents' appraisal (and, I felt sure, to widespread future acclaim) when I realized that a label would really add that professional, grown-up touch. My first-choice name: "Humongous Explosion." I couldn't spell either of those words, though, and thinking that my credibility would be damaged by such amateurish mistakes - can you tell I may have taken myself too seriously as a kid? - I settled on my second choice.
A few minutes later, I gave my mom a jar of vinegar, lemon juice, onion juice, pepper, and salt, with the title scrawled proudly in the taped-on scrap of paper: "Boom Pow."

Yeah, of course it was terrible and spawned years of references whenever I made up a recipe growing up.  Maybe it's my massive bossy streak, but I've always been entranced by the idea of making things myself - because then I can make them exactly how I want them.  I realized recently that I really should be documenting my various attempts - if nothing else, so I can attempt repeat results in the future if desired. More than that, however, is the fact that countless personal blogs have given me invaluable advice in my adventures. Professionals are great resources, obviously, but their information frequently comes with technical language, and the assumptions of existing specific tools and proficiency with relevant techniques. The beautiful thing about the internet is that you can find tutorials and blog posts from every level of experience and success, and not only learn, but also create evidence-based expectations about what you can realistically achieve with your project.

So! Enough blabbering.  I am the worst photographer you know (yes, including your Instagram-addicted roommate and your 8-year-old nephew who always puts his finger in front of the viewfinder), but I'll attempt to include at least crappy snapshots of various stages with posts...and maybe coerce Joel into taking some decent pictures.

No promises, except this: You'll probably figure out exactly how spot-on this blog title is before very long.

P.S. A list of the origins for some of my more successful projects in the past follows!
P.P.S. One of my biggest blogging pet peeves is when links aren't set to open in separate windows (who wants to navigate away in the middle of a post? Seriously?) mine always will be. Also, I promise to get rid of the stock theme asap...

Homemade Crackers - Smitten Kitchen's Crisp Rosemary Flatbread - Really good. I made these without rosemary for a versatile, plain cracker.

Glue Batik T-Shirt - except all I had was Elmer's Washable so I used that and just dipped it quickly in a concentrated dyebath and let it dry flat.

Salted Caramel Sauce - just so delicious.

Henna For Hair - Boom Pow may have been my childhood crush, but henna was my first true love

Flour tortillas - Took awhile to get the hang of rolling them thin enough, but the efforts along the way were tasty, if misshapen, flatbread pita-y things.


  1. SK flatbreads are amazing and easy as anything so I don't know why I've only made them three times.
    The glue batik looks really fun - what kind of design did you do? I wonder how well I could transfer a mandala printable with my shaky hands...
    The salted caramel is getting bookmarked immediately; I love salty sweets. Have you ever tried salted rice krispie treats? (SK again)
    Your henna link is pointing wrong for me, I think I know which website you're talking about though.
    I am going to have to try the tortilla recipe - I am swimming in corn tortillas from the store but I miss a good flour tortilla.

    And may I just say that you have a genius for naming things?

  2. someday soon i'm gonna try that henna remember whom it was that did your first henna, right???

  3. Kylie - I'd forgotten that I got the bug to try the flatbreads from you! I did some...uhh...lame swirls? Yeah, not exactly starting an Etsy store with that, haha. Haven't tried her rice krispy treats, but I might have to soon. Thanks for pointing out the wonky link! I'll fix that after work.

    Mom - Of course I remember! You should pick up some bags in Pahurat (70 baht for a bag - much cheaper and better quality than here!)and I can do it when you guys get here...