(Craig’s Cuts is not a food place.)
So, first off, I was given a mission cookbook my first day in Russia. In my mission, missionaries didn’t eat with members very often, so if you wanted to eat good, y’all had to learn to do it yourself. I assume the cookbook was compiled by some senior sisters or the APs because most of the recipes are American, but there is a section of Russian recipes.
On my mission, I decided I would try to make one new recipe a week so that I could try new things and learn how to cook. Well, it’s been nearly four years since the Russia Samara Mission Cookbook and I first met, and I’ve gone from making lots of crappy cooking mistakes to getting as good at cooking as sharks are at having black, soulless eyes.
Anyway, whoever compiled this cookbook (whether it was senior sisters or some lousy APs) didn’t completely realize they were writing it for missionaries in Russia who can’t find many American ingredients a lot of the time (like Worcestshire sauce or cornmeal) and don’t have fancy kitchen appliances (like mixers).
As such, after I make a recipe, I write in the margins any adjustments I would do, like extra ingredients, substitute ingredients, a variation in cooking time, etc. It makes me feel like Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince when I do it, so I’m not planning on stopping any time soon.
One of my first dishes: Hawaiian Chicken with flour substituted for cornstarch, tangerine slices substituted for orange slices, and no pineapple chunks because Elder Olsen don’t like those (in Balakovo, Russia!).
Anywayz, so off to why this week’s recipe didn’t turn out so good.
I was working in the Russian section of the cookbook, making a dessert called “Apples Under Snow.” I’d never heard of it/had it before, butt it was in the cookbook, so I was going to make it! I assume that it was supposed to be a baked apple delight with crust on the bottom, apples in the middle, and white frosting on top. That’s not how it turned out.
First, I was supposed to “peak” egg whites. I’d never separated eggs before and I didn’t know what “peak” meant, so I googled how to do both. Eggs can be separated by cracking an egg in half, then pouring out the white into a bowl while leaving the yolk in the shell (or you can just crack the eggs into a bowl and pull the unbroken yolk out with your hands … I won’t tell you which method I chose).
As for peaking egg whites, apparently you’re just supposed to beat them really hard until they’re white and foamy and stand up a bit when you pull the whisk out. Also, apparently you’re supposed to use an electric mixer to do this, cuz I used a whisk and my muscles, but after a half hour of beating, all I got was half runny egg whites, half foamy (butt nott peaked) egg whites.