The problem, though, is what happens when my food plans go awry, perhaps best illustrated by this last New Years Eve. Meg and I talked, and we decided we'd try to roll some simple sushi for the party that evening. It sounded easy, in theory - make the sushi rice, spread it on the nori, roll with whatever ingredients. Meg picked up the ingredients we'd need, snagging some beautiful avocados and some great looking smoked salmon (among other things), and we were off. I set the rice to cook in my cooker with the water after a good long soak. While that worked, Meg and I chopped up the avocados, jalapeños, red bell pepper, salmon, some cream cheese, and celery into usable strips.
The rice cooker shut off, and this is where the trouble began. I turned the rice out into a bowl and started cutting the vinegar mixture necessary for sushi into the rice when I noticed the problem. This rice was supposed to be slightly sticky, sure - but what I had was a glutinous mass of white lumpiness. I had used too much water. Nothing we did could coax a good texture out of the rice, and we were out of time. We tried a few rolls anyway to see if it was doable, but the rice just overpowered everything with the feeling of eating glue.
Instead of saying "well, at least I learned that I can roll maki really, really well even with crappy rice", I melted down. I was pissed at myself for an amateur mistake, pissed that I hadn't left enough time to come up with an alternate solution... pissed in general. Meg kept a nice even head while I flipped out and was near tears over it ("i can't serve this! this is an embarrassment! I suck!"), and we worked out an alternate plan - Skyline Chili dip... always a yummy and easy treat.
... of course, it WOULD be yummy and easy... if I hadn't left it in the oven entirely too long, burning the cheese on top and curdling the cream cheese...
Thankfully, the other foodies at the occasion (everyone else) rocked it out. Adam did the fajita meats perfectly, Monica made great drinks, Ian's killer (KILLER) wings hit exactly the spot they had to hit, Brad and Jessica's reuben dip had me smiling... in all, a great food night. I just wish I hadn't completely blown Meg's and my efforts to shreds.
Ah well, here's to a new year of excellent cooking!