Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Cooking with Kristin = Yum!

My brother-in-law's birthday is June 23. I never know what to get David - he's just one of those people who is very picky extremely difficult to buy for. But recently, our friends Ted and Kristin came for dinner, and when Kristin whipped out the dessert she'd brought I knew exactly what to get David: a cooking lesson with Kristin.

Okay, not cooking lessons for him - a cooking lesson for his daughter.

Kristin brought ├ęclairs, David's favorite dessert. She promised they were relatively simple to make and that she’d be more than pleased to teach Megan how to make them. So she came over Monday and taught us how to make the yummy delicacy.

Megan stirring and stirring the pastry dough

All my church friends are, I’m sure, drooling right now, because Kristin has a reputation for being an excellent cook. She has this reputation because she is an excellent cook. She can make anything – savory, sweet – anything.

When I read the recipe, I thought it sounded easy enough. The trick, though, was in the touches Kristin made throughout the process. She eyeballs everything, something I cannot do. I have to measure all the ingredients. But I may have been messing up my measurements – did you know it’s better to spoon the flour into the measuring cup instead of digging the measuring cup down into the flour container? You get a more accurate measurement. Also, did you know some measuring cups are specifically for liquids and some are for dry ingredients? I’m 40 – seems like I should have known these things…

(This might be one of those admissions that Sean questions. He’s still concerned I showed a picture of my very full ironing cabinet.)

Anyway, she taught us the process of making the dessert and even threw in a few science lessons (as she was talking I was thinking we should just cancel all our science classes and take up cooking). She was exceedingly patient as we each took turns stirring (and stirring and stirring) and didn’t freak out when the girls didn’t form the dough exactly right or fill the cooked shell like she did or frost the finished product to Gourmet Magazine standards.
Showing how to pipe the pastry dough onto the pan

When we finished we could barely wait to taste our creations. People, they were delicious. De – li – cious. I am so sad you didn’t get a bite.  And they were gone before I got a picture of the finished product.

So Megan has the skills to go home and make ├ęclairs for her Dad’s birthday. I’ve given him some fairly generic presents in the past; pretty sure this one’s going to make up for the rest.


Kristin is working on a cookbook. I cannot wait for it to be published - I’ll keep you posted!