Recipes/ Writing

Salvaging cooking fail

In case you were wondering:

If you have made an assay at banana frosting, but have managed to use a disproportionate amount of bananas and butter in relation to the amount of powdered sugar in the house, resulting in a texture not remotely similar to frosting, if you:

Add flour, baking soda, and spices of your choice, then

Bake the concoction at three hundred fifty degrees for a half an hour or so

…you will come out with something remarkably close to a banana bread pudding.

And if you are, for the first time, roasting a boneless turkey breast on the theory that it will be easier and less messy than a whole bird, but have managed to miss that the recipe you are allegedly following is in fact only for half a turkey breast, thus rendering details such as the stated cooking time wholly inaccurate, you can:

Roast it for a while longer, basting assiduously

Check it with a meat thermometer and see that it is still nowhere near 165 degrees

Cut it in half and roast the halves further

Realize after having taken them out of the pan and put them on a cutting board to rest that they are still alarmingly pink in parts

Put one half back in the oven

Dice the other half into bite-sized chunks

Sauté them in the gravy you’ve been making from the pan juices

Microwave a package of the extremely convenient Trader Joe’s Organic Brown Rice

Throw the rice in

and call it good.

Probably I should make some analogy to the writing process here. I suppose following a recipe is not unlike following an outline, though I’d like to think I pay more attention to outlines (once I’ve painstakingly constructed them) than I apparently paid to the recipes above. But it is certainly the case that even when I’m following an outline, scenes and characters shift in surprising ways, resulting in a story that in parts bears little resemblance to the initial conception, so maybe it’s a fair comparison after all.

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