When I was about 10 years old, my childhood BFF and I almost burnt our kitchen down. From there, it didn't get much better. Between being at boarding school [where opportunities to cook/bake were limited and I very nearly failed Homed Economics] and not having the kind of family that gets together to even eat a meal, let alone cook it together, the domestic gene was never really developed in me. But every now and then I get this urge to prove once again how useless I am in the kitchen, and last week I decided to try make tomato and basil bread.
Tomato and basil are two of my favourite things, so when I found this recipe on Jamie Who's amazing blog on Aficianado, I had to try it. And I did. It seemed pretty simple.
You will need:
- 15 cherry tomatoes, halved
- 120g flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 3 free range eggs
- Half a cup milk
- 125g basil pesto
- 165g parmesan, grated
I got all of my ingredients from Woolworths, including a delicious organic basil pesto. I used about half the amount of parmesan and added a fistful of mozzarella, but that's just me. And so I began.
Step 1: Set oven to 140 degrees Celsius. Season the halved tomatoes with salt and pepper, drizzle with olive oil and roast for two hours. Simple enough, no?
Ready to go!
Oh. Merde! I am no culinary expert, but I am 99% sure that this is NOT what they are supposed to look like.So, there you have it. I cannot even roast tomatoes successfully. I spent the rest of that night munching chocolate-covered crunchies [obviously NOT made by me], feeling like a spectacular failure.
But then I decided to try one more time [probably only because I had bought a mountain of rosa tomatoes and would otherwise have nothing to do with them].
Looking good [note: tomatoes are not teeny tiny coals].
We have made it to the oven. This, however, is usually where it all goes wrong. [Prays furiously to the gods of food-making].
But no. It did not go wrong. In fact, besides for the fact that the bread was quite flat [I convinced myself, however, that this was die to the wrong size of bread pan], it was perfect. I put a bit of mozzarella on top and popped it back in the over for another 5 minutes, and voila!Perfect. Yes, by my standards, this is perfect. And yes, I danced around my kitchen for a good ten minutes, BBM'ing pictures of my success to all of my friends.
So, my advice to you is don't give up. Keep trying, and stay positive, and you might be pleasantly surprised by success. That said, do stop trying at the point where you might hurt yourself, or burn down the kitchen. Rather try a new hobby then. Also, do read Jamie Who's blog, try one of his amazing recipes and note how awesome the Aficianado team looks on the latest NoMU poster here, with make-up and hair done by the lovely Lady Kaye [not me. The other one].