Thursday, September 15, 2011

I've lost my mojo, Baby.

No really, I'm stuck in a rut, and it's kinda freaking me out.  More than kinda.  I started this blog with all kinds of crazy awesome ideas and they're still floating around in my head.  Between school starting and trying to fit in regular workouts and a social life, eating from scratch has kind of turned into eating monotonous. Seriously.  I eat a slice of bread in the morning (challah this week), a cup of coffee the size of my face on the way in to school, the same salad for lunch every day, and one of two dinners, it would seem.  All my meals are very healthy (I'm counting calories in a big way right now) but things are getting kind of boring.  I need to spice it up. Even my lunch box is getting bored, and it doesn't have tastebuds.  It is, however, rather tasteful.

And then we come to the mojo issue. I'm a good baker. I'm confident in that. Lately though, the pastries I've tried to make have come out wrong.  I have a killer recipe for a fig cake i was making to mail my sister.  It turned out deflated and bitter.  Some carrot muffins I made turned out like hockey pucks, despite the correct amount of baking soda (I'm neurotic about that).  My trash can has been eating more homemade pastries than anyone else in my life.   The only thing that seems to consistently turn out right is bread, which is strange. Most bakers I know struggle with bread above all else. I can make bread with my eyes closed. 

I'm going to spend some time this weekend baking and trying to get my mojo back.  I'm not entirely sure what to bake. Do I go for something totally foolproof like chocolate chip cookies? Do I go for something intensely delicious but complicated? If I mess up chocolate chip cookies, that's gonna be a way bigger blow to my unstable ego than messing up something that's actually difficult.  But I don't know if I have the time to make something supremely difficult. Perhaps I'll go for pie. I'm good at pie.  Or I was. . .

I've got a few posts in the pipeline that are way less angsty than this one.  There's one  about the challah i've been eating this week, one about the messed up fig cake, and a few more about dinners that were so exciting  I've forgotten about them. 

Now tell me, cooking friends --- how do you get out of a culinary rut?


  1. One of my best cures for the cooking doldrums is a trip to the grocery store without a list. I am a grocery-list shopper. I know what I want/need, I get it, I get out.

    But when I get stuck in a bit of a rut, I'll go to HyVee (my local chain) and just wander the aisles. The best time to do this is around 2 a.m., so if you have a 24-hour grocery store, take advantage (also, going at 2 a.m. means the shelves are always stocked and the produce is super-fresh).

    Anyway, my wandering usually results in a lot of, "Ooooh. That would be awesome. I should make that." Might be worth a shot.

  2. Oddly enough, I'm not a list shopper. But you're right, Bill. Sometimes a good wander of a well stocked store does wonders. Maybe after class today I'll go to the really giant, really fancy Whole Foods and see what's what.

  3. My recent veganism stint has been surprisingly inspirational in the kitchen. I've been making fun new dish things to make-up for offlimit favorites. Maybe try a vegan day (or even meal)! PS sorry for the fig cake woes