Monday, October 20, 2008

The Eclairs Are Finished

The eclairs are finished, or as the French like to say, "Les éclairs sont finis." This was one of those projects that none of us will soon forget. It seemed like a simple enough project. All Scribbles had to do, was make 30 eclairs to share with her French Class. This was the follow up to the video she made last week. But as often happens in the Pohick House, simple projects take on a life of their own. Scribble's friend Caramelina volunteered to help her with the project. Jake didn't pay much attention to what was going on at first. Actually, he hid out in his man cave since the girls certainly didn't need his help preparing a few pastries. His first hint that something was amiss occurred about an hour into the project. He detected a hint of smoke in the air. Hmmm.... he wondered. "I guess they left a batch in a little too long." A short while later, Scribbles knocked on the door of the man cave. "Yes?", Jake said. Scribbles then requested that Jake go to the grocery store to purchase more supplies for eclair making. This didn't seem right to Jake. He had purchased eclair making supplies just that morning, and he was pretty sure that he hadn't forgetten anything. His shopping list had included 3 dozen eggs, a sack of flour, 4 boxes of butter. What could he have forgotten? So he asked Scribbles, "What did I forget to buy?" Scribbles stated, "You didn't forget anything, we need more eggs, flour and butter." "What?", Jake said. "I bought enough stuff to make a hundred eclairs." Scribbles then stated, "We've had a few set backs." "What?", Jake said again. "How many eclairs have you made so far?" Scribbles said, "Well, we haven't actually had a batch turn out yet. The eclairs just won't rise."

Jake went into the kitchen and witnessed a scene reminiscent of Omaha Beach. Every pot, pan, cooking sheet, bowl, and spoon in the house was covered in a thick coating of eclair batter. The kitchen counter was overflowing with what could only generously be described as hockey pucks. A nice thick layer of smoke was eminating from the stove which was giving a very fair portrayal of an old fashioned franklin stove. Scribbles stated that maybe if she left the eclairs in long enough, they might rise a little. "No", Jake replied. "I'm pretty sure that once they get that nice charcoal briquette look, they aren't going to rise any more." Jake gave the girls instructions to clean up the kitchen and headed off to the grocery store for another round of supplies. Jake ended up with the same cashier he had earlier in the day as he paid for another 3 dozen eggs and various other supplies. "Did you run out of eggs already?", she asked him. Everybody is a comedian.

So here is what we learned from the experience:
1. Follow the recipe exactly. (Expecially when you are cooking fancy french food. If it says add the eggs one at a time, that is pretty much what you have to do.)
2. If what you are doing doesn't work, doing it over and over is not going to have a different result. (If you always do what you always did, you will always get what you always got. Unless you actually need 100 eclair shaped charcoal briquettes.)
3. Never underestimate the time and materials for a project (ie., 30 eclairs = 6 dozen eggs, 2 bags of flour, 8 boxes of butter, and 7 hours of prep time)
4. French is harder than Spanish (All the kids in spanish class had to do was whip together a bowl of guacamole dip which took about 10 minutes)

1 comment:

Angi said...

It was pretty fun making them though :p