This is what it is like to be me, in a kitchen:
Last night I decided to make a cheesecake. I don't actually like cheesecake but I have recipe for an amazing Autumn cheesecake and it's so good it doesn't even taste like cheesecake. And it's Autumn, and we're going to a friend's house for lunch and they like cheesecake and I don't watch Grey's Anatomy anymore so I decided to make the cheesecake.
I bought the ingredients. Only, I didn't check to see if I had all the ingredients, I just sort of did a mental scan of the kitchen in my head before going to the grocery store:
Graham cracker crumb box? Check.
Brown sugar container? Check.
Turns out, just because you have the box or the container in the cupboard, doesn't mean you actually have enough ingredients INSIDE it. Hmm.
I started with the crust. I needed 1 cup of graham cracker crumbs. I had 3/4 cup. So I added more sugar and cinnamon. After all, who doesn't like sugar and cinnamon? And I added extra pecans that I chopped up so super finely it's like my knife was its own little Cuisinart. I thought perhaps if I made the pecans into crumbs, it would just be like having enough graham cracker crumbs. It wasn't quite enough. So I added coconut. Why not!?
Then I made the filling. Then I poured it on top. It looked very low. I shrugged. Moved on. I coated the apples with cinnamon sugar and placed them on top in a pretty circular pattern. Then I put some pecans on top of that and stuck it in the oven. It didn't look quite right. I had this vague memory that even though I placed the apples in a pretty pattern on top it never ended up mattering because you couldn't really see the apple pattern in the end, but I couldn't figure out WHY you wouldn't be able to see the pattern. Did I usually put something else on top of the apples? I couldn't remember.
While the cake was baking, I decided to read the online reviews to make sure the time was right on the recipe because I wanted to go to bed. Which is when I read that it took longer than the assigned time to bake. Which is a sucky thing to read when you're hoping it's going to take less time because you're tired. So I decided to keep reading the reviews. Which is when I read, OVER and OVER again how you should double the crust.
Which I didn't do.
And double the filling.
Which I also didn't do.
And put a layer of the apples in the middle of the cheesecake. After you microwave the apples so they're not rubbery when they bake.
And make a water bath.
Okay, I can do that, I thought, because I definitely had enough water in the tap.
Then, I read a review that reminded us Marthas to make a crumb topping and I thought, hmm... that seems a little familiar. And then I thought, if I make the crumb topping then maybe it will protect the apples (that I forgot to microwave) from becoming rubbery.
So I went to the cupboard. Only I didn't have any brown sugar. Just the container that said "Brown Sugar." It was empty.
So I made the topping with white sugar, cinnamon, flour and butter and sprinkled it on top.
Then, I thought: You know, there were a lot of things I didn't do with this cheesecake that will potentially cause it to be a disaster and I will have to start from scratch again tomorrow. Maybe I should make some notes on the recipe so that next time I won't have to read the reviews, I can just read my notes and start baking to success! Brilliant!, I thought. So I clicked on the little button that said "Add a note to your recipe" and a little window popped up. And what was in that little window?
A note. Written by me. That went like this:
Double the crust. Double the filling. Microwave apples for 2 minutes. Add half of filling, then layer of apples, then rest of apples and top with sugar/flour/cinnamon/butter topping. Bake longer than recipe calls for.
I made this note in May 2007. MAY! Six months ago and I couldn't remember a) how to make the recipe and b) that I'd even made NOTES about it?
I mean, if my brain is going to decide to go all grandma on me, then why can't I BAKE like a grandma?