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I am a horrible housewife - The art of Thornwolf
thornwolf
thornwolf
I am a horrible housewife
Today I tried to introduce Phil to the wonders of American style pancakes and failed miserably.

He says they are good, but pancakes, to me, aren't supposed to be crunchy and golden and lard encrusted on the outside and liquidy buttermilky on the inside. I tried varying the temperatures but that didn't work out so hot either.

Then, I tried to make a red velvet cake. I went to 2 different stores to get the ingredients and I still couldn't find all the ingredients I needed. For example, I couldn't find cocoa powder, which seems odd to me since this is "The Land of Chocolate". I also couldn't find any red food coloring because Germans apparently don't believe in chemicals in their food and don't like food coloring.

So this was going to be my first "Pus Yellow Velvet Cake" ever.

I didn't have proper measuring cups so I had to improvise with a coffee mug and by my inkling of what "cups" looked like (about half a coffee mug, to me, is a cup, approximately)

I divided the yellowish white mixture into the pans and stuck them in the oven. Little did I know, Phil's oven is apparently too small for 2 cake pans, and one of them got shoved sideways causing one cake part to be half moon shaped and crunchy on the edges. The other looks like a German pancake. In a bad way.

I also tried to make frosting with lard instead of butter. This didn't work out. It tastes like gritty crayons (the grit, of course, being the vanilla sugar I put in it since apparently this stuff is used instead of extract...its not the same. Not in the slightest)

Phil says it all tastes delicious. He's really good at lying and I love him for it =)

Until then, I'm going to stick with whatever the German version of Betty Crocker mixes are.
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Comments
animakitty From: animakitty Date: September 7th, 2006 04:48 pm (UTC) (Link)

Hmm,

Maybe you should try dirt cake instead. Delicious, bad for you as desserts should be, and easy.

http://www.cooks.com/rec/view/0,186,129189-247192,00.html

If you want to really get into it, serve it in a flower pot with a few gummi worms lurking in its depths. :K9
thornwolf From: thornwolf Date: September 7th, 2006 04:54 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: Hmm,

oreos aren't common here. And they're uncommonly expensive cuz theyre an import D:

Much to my dismay of course. They are, in fact, America's favorite cookie. Just not Germany's I suppose.
animakitty From: animakitty Date: September 7th, 2006 05:04 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: Hmm,

There aren't even any knockoffs? Like Hydrox? (A cookie that sounds like a cleaning agent or biological weapon...but I think it's essentially an oreo...) That sucks! O,o
(Deleted comment)
animakitty From: animakitty Date: September 7th, 2006 11:51 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: Hmm,

O,O ...Well...I guess names have come from dumber places. :K) I heard Pepsi's name was pretty stupidly come by.
kittomer From: kittomer Date: September 7th, 2006 05:07 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: Hmm,

It makes me bleed from my ears in incomprehension why they don't market them here, too. I can assure you they could run a whole manufacturing plant from the money they'd recieve from just me. :P
altonwings From: altonwings Date: September 7th, 2006 04:54 pm (UTC) (Link)
But... but... pancakes are like, the easiest thing to make! I really can't say what you did is wrong, because my wife also made pancakes that were... well, some were hockey pucks, the others were oozing yeasty sores. I just don't know... My faith in my fellow Americans is now completely shattered.
thornwolf From: thornwolf Date: September 7th, 2006 05:02 pm (UTC) (Link)
I dont know what i did wrong either! ive made them before but...theyve NEVER turned out like crepes! The batter was fine, there was plenty of flour in it and everything. D:

captainq From: captainq Date: September 7th, 2006 05:02 pm (UTC) (Link)
Does EVERYONE have bad pancake experiences?

Mine turned out PERFECT...except. I used Bisquik, and it was terribly old. Can you say "pancake bricks?" At least they cooked well and looked OK. The most filling pancakes in the world, lemme tell ya.
thornwolf From: thornwolf Date: September 7th, 2006 05:20 pm (UTC) (Link)
Bisquick pancakes are...eh.

I have that problem a lot with that stuff atually. These buttermilk pancakes tasted WONDERFUL ( I hate pancakes normally, i only made them for Phil ) but bisquick just kinda tastes like....airbread. if that makes any sense XD

Besides I don't know if they have bisquick here.
captainq From: captainq Date: September 7th, 2006 05:39 pm (UTC) (Link)
Airbread? Yeah, it does. Kinda like the biscuits that you're SUPPOSED to use the stuff for. What I made tasted good, but...y'know.

After I learned that yes indeed, there's more ways than that to make pancakes, I'm not planning on using bisquick again anyways. :0pq
hartssong From: hartssong Date: September 7th, 2006 05:05 pm (UTC) (Link)
Don't feel bad, I worked in a kitchen for three years including a span at Bob Evans and I can NOT manage pancakes that actually turn out pancake like.
kittomer From: kittomer Date: September 7th, 2006 05:05 pm (UTC) (Link)
Well, I'm sure it was delicious, regardless. XD

And, you would probably have to go to one of the big supermarkets to get food coloring, but it IS common in the big ones. As well as vanilla extract. I just suppose there isn't a big one in the near vicinity, eh? Cacoa powder, should be found even in small stores, though. O.o
And yeah, lard is really only good for frying things in it. XD
faybleofdoom From: faybleofdoom Date: September 7th, 2006 07:51 pm (UTC) (Link)
I would have to agree. Cocoa powder should be available. Be careful because "Dutch processing" makes it taste very different than the Hershey type cocoa that you are probably used to. It is darker and less bitter. If you can't find vanilla extract you could put in some vanilla bean (you scrape the seeds out of the bean pod).

I don't know if it is the same in Germany but the British call powdered sugar frosting sugar and there is another name they give it as well that I can't quite remember.

Sorry about the measuring cups. Coffee mugs vary so much in size. One cup is 8 oz but a coffee mug can be 12 or 15 or 16 or 20 or ??? whatever the maker wanted it to be. Maybe you could use an empty bottle of a known volume and that would give you a better guess at how much to add.

Are you at any type of high altitude? That could affect both the pancakes and the cake. Cake batter is pretty good about sitting around waiting to be baked if the oven is too small for two pans. Then you will have flat cakes.

The pancakes sound like the heat was to high. The outside got done before the inside could turn into cake. Really easy to do if you are not used to the stove and its unique ways.

And lard for frosting...yes it can be done and is by many commercial bakeries. But it has to be whipped a lot so that it gets more air introduced into the mixture and loses it heaviness.

Don't be down on yourself. When you are not in your own kitchen, with your own tools, and ingredients that you are familiar with, things don't always turn out the way you are used to them turning out. We lived in Canada for 2 years and I had to start learning to cook with the metric system.
westly_roanoke From: westly_roanoke Date: September 8th, 2006 12:13 am (UTC) (Link)
Confectioners sugar is the other name for Powdered sugar.
maggock From: maggock Date: September 7th, 2006 05:14 pm (UTC) (Link)
Oh yeah, good luck find chocolate chips over there. I never did find any! It makes another American classic (chocolate chip cookies) a pain, because you have to buy huge chunks and smash them down.

OMG, lard instead of butter in frosting? The pain! It hurts us precious! :O
thornwolf From: thornwolf Date: September 7th, 2006 05:19 pm (UTC) (Link)
I didnt have enough butter and damned if i was gonna get dressed and walk to the store just to get it XD
gizmo_nine From: gizmo_nine Date: September 7th, 2006 05:55 pm (UTC) (Link)
seriously... so you like LIVE in germany?
we need to send you a care package with measuring cups...
thornwolf From: thornwolf Date: September 7th, 2006 06:00 pm (UTC) (Link)
lol no i dont live here. I just have been living here for the last 3 months to visit my boyfriend. Im going back to the Land of Plenty (measuring cups that is...) in october XD

dragonheadthing From: dragonheadthing Date: September 7th, 2006 09:18 pm (UTC) (Link)
Well, you tried at least. :)
steppinrazor From: steppinrazor Date: September 8th, 2006 12:01 am (UTC) (Link)
Awww, that makes me really nostalgic for my Moscow trip... I was determined to make brownies for my man, because they just don't have them in Russia...

Apparently they don't have baking chocolate, of any sort, or even cocoa. At least, not that I could find. So I subbed candy bars (they had fantastic chocolate bars there, the Red October brand COMRADES), but they had a high wax content...

I also almost exploded his apartment because I didn't know how to work the oven... You had to light a little gas ring in the bottom. And there was no temperature control.

I -did- succeed in making something brownie-like, which he claimed to really like... and he also said he really liked my attempt at cheeseburgers... and when I tried making him tea and made it way way way too strong (I had to pry the cup outta his hand and remake it, because he was determined to drink it, even if it meant making lemon-faces between each slurp)...

I miss him a lot ._.
merry_cat From: merry_cat Date: September 8th, 2006 12:50 am (UTC) (Link)
Awwwwwwwwww, you guys make my heart go pitta-pat, Steppinrazor and thornwolf!
I hope that you enjoy the rest of your visit thornwolf. (I totally want to send you a care package and I only just met you/admired your artwork!)
My brother spent some time over in Minsk and he had such a craving for Peanut butter and chocolate bars...
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