Low heat is no heat at all

15 Feb

Yesterday morning, once the kids  were off to school, I settled into the kitchen to make Polenta.  Having heard its praises sung over and over again on Food Network, I decided what-the-hey…I can do that.  […and this is where the stove top whispers, “No, you can’t.”]  I had an hour before I had to leave for work.  Surely…SURELY I could boil some water+milk and stir my Polenta into creamy submission within an hour.  Oh.  It was not to be so.

The problem was in the recipe.  Oh, it was a fine recipe.  It even had Mascarpone cheese, which is a miracle unto itself because it basically tastes like butter.  No the problem with the recipe was the first line of instruction.  [ahem]  “Bring water, milk, salt, bay & cayenne to a boil over low heat.”  Well, that seems a bit overly cautious, but you’re the boss, Food Network.  The minutes ticked by and steam began to rise out of my pot and I had an “Ah-ha!” moment.  There.  You see?  It’ll be boiling away any minute now.  Then twenty minutes passed.  Then ten more.  And then another twenty.  What the frak, Battlestar?!  What’s the dill, pickle?  I know I’ve had liquids bubbling away on low before.

Well, my hour to cook came and passed without so much as a simmer.  My bay leaf was kicked back and relaxed in the bubble-less jacuzzi and all of my cayenne had gathered around the edges in an attempt to escape the pot all together.  Oh and the little bit of milk that was in the pot was hard at work at creating was appeared to be pudding skin.  [sigh]  How sad is that?  I basically could not get water to boil.  [hanging head in shame]  So I poured out my pathetic concoction and stomped off to work.

The other problem with the meal that I wanted to cook last evening came in the form of wine.  I needed some white wine for the sauce that will grace the top of the Polenta come supper time.  I inadvertently plucked a bottle of Merlot out of what was supposed to be a rack of Chardonnay at the wine store.  Because I’m a genius and apparently didn’t notice the color of the glass bottle.  Freakers.  Paul Giamatti would have been proud.  I quoted “Sideways” perfectly.  Although, I most confess that I did end up drinking the “effing” Merlot later that evening.  And it was delicious.  [wink]

After all this, I once again sidled up to the stove top last night for Round Two of boiling water.  This time I cranked it up to Medium High and did it my way.  And it worked.  And my Polenta ended up creamy and freakin’ delicious.  Because I cooked the shat out of that stove top.  Ha!  Who’s your daddy?  Er…Momma.  Right.  :]

The only thing left to do now is squeeze in another trip to the wine store.  And you know how much I love that.  [Hint: A lot!]

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