Wednesday, January 5, 2011
henry heinz once said, "to do a common thing uncommonly well brings success". he would know, he made freaking ketchup and there's nothing more common than that and heinz is undoubtedly the most successful ketchup (and other condiments) company in the world. i like to cook but i've never made anything stunningly amazing like a diamond fruitcake or something like that, perhaps because no matter what you put on it, its still a fruitcake and fruitcakes suck. how do you think the word itself became a derogatory name? or the most stereotypically regifted christmas present? but i digress.
in my first semester at gordon college, i made a lot of different foods for myself and other people, from simple stuff like bacon and eggs to more complicated things like cinnamon bread. i even won an autumn dessert contest with my grandmother's apple pie recipe. my most common culinary creation, however, was the crepe. after i learned how to make crepes from my belgian uncle, i started to host "crepe dinners" for my friends and whoever passed by when i was preparing the food, usually on thursday nights. i wasn't that great when i started but people who came to the dinners seemed to enjoy them so i was happy and continued to do it. a big break in came when my friend katie asked me to make crepes for the french club. i can't remember how many i made, but it wasn't enough and they were gone way too fast. the next french club event was a little different.
i was planning on making a double batch again but katie asked if i had enough ingredients to make a triple. i said yes. then she asked if i could make a quadruple batch. i said yes, getting excited and nervous at the same time. so i did it. thankfully katie helped with the stirring, which in the case of crepes, is the most miserable part of the cooking process. but this was my culinary magnum opus so far. i made a quadruple batch of crepes, twice as much batter as i had ever done before. it took me two hours in total and i made 61 crepes and not a single one was burnt or torn. the best part was the french teacher, a french woman herself, liked them!
i've always wanted to be exceptional at something and while i understand that my crepes probably weren't as great as i make them out to be. but even though they weren't as good professional crepe makers (check this older post) i definitely do believe that they were good, really good even. and that was a success for me, because it was a common thing done uncommonly well.