Why don't we say, for the sake of hypothetical entertainment purposes, that you've carefully laid out plans for the next 3 days that include a list so long that thoughts of running away intermittently crossed your mind? Or going back to bed and hoping it passes. Why don't we also say that you happen to be of the disposition that handles instances of high stress through denial and procrastination? What would you do?
Well why don't I take a stab at it and tell you what I think you would do? I think that if you had just completed this newly-revised Master List on a Friday afternoon that followed a long and productive week in which sometimes your day began at 5:45am and ended after midnight, you would complete the making of that list, check off two or three tasks, then jump on down to the end where you wrote the "if you seem to be making exceptional amounts of progress, you get to do this later" item. The item tucked away at the end of the list so as not to draw too much attention to itself. Of course you wouldn't find scrolling to the end of that list a detriment whatsoever, and so you would get started on that item the second it crosses your mind as a spiffing idea!
Which is to say, you would stop your less compelling activities to make a batch of cheese straws from scratch! Naturally!!!
Now I'm not saying that's happened to anybody we know, or anything. Remember, I'm writing a novel these days. Maybe I'm just exercising my creative writing muscles. Yea - that's convincing... right?
SO. Let me give you a little example of why I not only don't make my living as a chef, but why I also never became a food blogger, even though I love to cook and blog. Although I can't recall the last time I prepared anything in the kitchen that required the strict following of a recipe, I respect the recollections of my past free-flying experiences with food prepartion enough to know that if it's a recipe I haven't prepared very often, it's best to try and stick to the instructions.
Fine. I'll play along with the rules. A decision which, I am thrilled to report, was greatly enhanced by the allrecipes.com Dinner Spinner iPhone app. I located a handy recipe there nights ago when I started craving cheese straws in the first place. After which time I decided it sounded like a whole lotta work, so I saved the recipe to the convenient "favorites" list (list of one!) for later on. Today felt like later enough.
The first deviation from the rules came when I got bored slicing the dough into uniform straws. I know, shut up. But seriously. Enough with the repetitive long strips, already! Then those strips got all, y'know, weak and bendy and sometimes they even broke off as I was putting them onto the cookie sheet for baking. Which doesn't bother me at all, of course. I'm all about diversity. Why must all my food items look the same as their friends? Pshaw!
But then those uneven little broken-in-half strips of cheese straw dough gave me the idea of shaking it up a little:
- So I started making them shorter and wider, then cutting those strips in half. Now I had a little batch not unlike crackers. And who doesn't like cheese crackers? (Okay, Ethan, who is afraid of cheese. But surely not anybody else in the free world we can think of.)
- After that I started enjoying myself even more and found it highly entertaining to roll them into skinny long snakes (the kind we make when my nephew and I are playing with Play Doh, if that helps with the visuals,) before cutting them into little pieces.
- Then I rolled a few into balls thinking little poofy cheesy pillows might be nice.
Turns out there's a lot of fun to be had in seeking out creative new shapes into which you can cut and form your cheese straws! Kind of reminded me of my jewelry design years when I made pendants like the still-drying ones in this photo. (Pause a moment to let the wistfulness brought on my recollections of hands in clay pass. Sigh. Okay. Back to the cooking.)
So yea, I didn't exactly follow the rules when it came to the cutting of the cheese straws, but nobody cares. They're intended for family and friends. And me! Me sure don't care.
Ohhh! I almost forgot to mention that I actually didn't follow the recipe to the letter, either. Ooops. In case this matters to you: I thought it would more tasty if I replaced some of the sharp cheddar with parmesean and also a bit of this white six cheese blend I have. No, I'm sorry. I can't tell you the proportions. I'm not being me. I just have no idea. The end result was still 2 cups, but that's all I got.
The other thing I feel compelled to mention is that in this particular oven it took quite a bit longer than 5 minutes for the finished product to be ready. It would be lovely if I could tell you how much longer, and believe me, I'd be more than happy to accommodate. But no. Better go see your Real Food Blogger about that. I only know that I added two minutes then three minutes then two more then some more. One time I moved on to something else, in another room, then realized that I did, in fact, have something baking in the oven, which led to the discovery that I'd forgot to actually hit "save" on my iPhone alarm. And yes, I know most of you just use kitchen timers like normal people, and I'm not going to judge you for that. But for my money, having the ability to actually add a little note to my alarm? Priceless! Seeing as how during a particularly aggressive appearances of the ADD Monster, I am likely to move on to something else - or several something elses - and when the timer goes off, I'll then find myself standing in the middle of the room wondering what's that pretty chiming sound and where is it coming from!? So I now have the ability to do a little mini time-travel forward and tell the curious me of "only a few minutes from now" exactly what it is I'm reminding myself of. Ta da! But you have to hit "save." Remember that. You could burn something if you forget. (I didn't, but I have other stories...)
This seems like a perfect time to mention: I am so fortunate and grateful to have found a career path that I love so much that I just don't get bored. My job is great and the variety never ends!
In conclusion, my conscience won't let me get by without telling you that as I was putting a tray of cheese straws back into the oven One More Time, I noticed that the temperature dial was set to 350° instead of the 400° this recipe calls for. However I feel compelled to further tell you - No. Insist - to you, that I am 100% certain that I set the oven to 400° during the preheating phase. I did! so either I bumped it during one of the many open and close sessions (which is actually possible; this oven is not digital and it's easy enough to bump a dial so that it turns, right?) or it was one of my friend's cats playing tricks on me. We're parting ways, these felines and I, in just a few days, and maybe they wanted to just mess with me one more time...
- Click here for THE Cheese Straws recipe on allrecipes.com.
- Remember my title-included an indication that there might have been an Episode 1 to the whole Cooking with ADD Chick experience? It was another chick, too, but no less indicative of the thrilling, seemingly-simple process that cooking with this particular disorder can present. You can read that one over here.
- Yes. They taste very, very good, thank you for asking. Maybe I'll even have some left to share!