“You can’t mess it up” isn’t a challenge.

31 10 2008

It’s been a while since I really messed up something in the kitchen.  I was getting overconfident I suppose, so when I saw this recipe for zeppole I knew I could do it.  

Zeppole are little Italian donuts that look like donut holes, and they looked great.  What’s better, they looked easy.  Giada made the batter – start to finish – in front of the camera so I knew I could do it.  She actually said “It’s one of the simplest doughs to make and you can’t really mess it up.”  Yeah, they said the Titanic was unsinkable too.

Most of the comments online talked about how easy it was to make.  You add some stuff to the pot, bring it to a boil, add flour, and stir.  Except mine never really firmed up.  It thickened a little, but that’s it.  I added some more flour, but that didn’t work either.  When I took it off the heat and added the eggs it looked like pancake batter.

This is not really something you can drop into oil with an ice cream scoop.  In the end we decided to try making them funnel-cake style.  They had some very interesting shapes.

I wouldn’t say they were good.  But if you add a cinnamon and sugar topping to just about anything it will taste good.  I suppose there’s a very important fundamental concept that I’m missing, so I’m going to try these again.  I’m sure that post will be just as entertaining.

It was an educational trip

27 10 2008

Last year in October I took Isaac to see the Steelers pound on play the Seattle Seahawks, and we had a great time.  We didn’t, however, watch a lot of football.  It was 95 degrees out there and we didn’t spend a lot of time in our seats.  This time around the weather was much more favorable and the teams much more evenly matched.  Plus, Isaac is a year older now, and more educated in the ways of the Burgh.

Just like last year we parked across the river and took the boat over.  It saves a lot of walking and I’m a big believer in it.  Isaac asked to get his face painted again.

We got to our seats before the opening kickoff (Shocking, isn’t it?), and Isaac performed well.  He sang along with the Steelers cheer when the music played (“Here we go Steelers, Here we go!” Clap Clap), and he even stood up and waved his Terrible Towel when everybody else did, even though he couldn’t see what was happening because everybody was standing up.  He did ask in the fourth quarter “Daddy, why are we yelling so the other team can’t hear?”  When he asks it like THAT it does sound a bit unsportsmanlike, but then life isn’t really fair, is it?

I made Isaac sit through  We sat in our seats through the first quarter.  I could tell Isaac was bored with sitting still that long so we went for a walk to – where else – the gift shop.  We also went through the Great Hall again and while we were there he found the one place in the stadium where a boy of eight can play video games.

Midway through the third quarter Isaac said “Let’s go back to our seats.” so we did.  And we got to watch the terror that was the fourth quarter.  

That was when things got interesting.  In the stands, that is.  When the Steelers snapped that punt through the back of the end zone for a safety, one Giants fan in a hard hat got into a War of Words with about 200 people in our section.  There were all sorts of words. “F” words, “S” words, “A” words, “M-F” words, “G-D” words, “D” and “H” words to name a few.  It was quite the vocabulary lesson for Isaac.  And when the Giants scored that touchdown I learned a lesson.  When it’s time for somebody to leave, security will most likely remove the fan supporting the visiting team.

As we were walking back to our car I thanked Isaac for coming with me.  My favorite thing in the world is doing cool things with my kids.  I’m sure that had I watched this game at home on TV I’d have been all angry about it, but not on this day.  Isaac was there with me, so the score didn’t matter.  The Steelers lost but I won.