You also never know when you'll wind up with some . . . let's just say, less than spectacular results.
The last couple weeks have been bulging with mediocre results.
See if you can spot which of the following dishes was my favorite, the one I'll be making again.
I'll give you a minute to think.
La la la la la.
Do you have your answer?
Give you a minute more. La la la.
OK. Time's up.
The dried apricot/rosemary bread was definitely interesting. But the rosemary overpowered the apricots, and I couldn't figure out whether to eat it for breakfast or with dinner. Dried apricots in bread is a wonderful idea, but I won't be pairing them with rosemary next time. Pass.
Shortbread -- I've never tasted a shortbread I didn't love. Until now. The cornmeal in this made it dry as dust. The bulk of these, sadly, ended up in the garbage.
On to the retro casserole. I had high hopes for this one, onion soup mix being one of my favorite dip ingredients. Also in its favor, the recipe came from a cute little booklet put out by the Republican Congressional committee eons ago, which even included a recipe for "General Eisenhower's Beef Stew." Alas, my California representative from way back when let me down. It needed the extra zip of teriyaki glaze just to give it enough flavor to be edible. Sorry, Mr. Congressman.
How about these lemon custard cups? While these were mighty tasty, I couldn't be sure I cooked them all the way as great-great grandma Hattie didn't give very explicit instructions on that front. They were souffle-like on top, pudding-like on the bottom -- more like a pudding cake than custard. With some tweaking, I bet they'd be good. But as is, I was a little nervous that perhaps I was eating raw eggs. Yikes.
Cranberry scones -- more like cake than like scones. Not that there's anything wrong with cake. I just wanted scones. Sigh.
So have you guessed yet? The very best recipe I've made in the last two weeks, the one I'll be making again? It's Peachy Carrots, from The Four Ingredient Cookbook. Who'd have thought such a simple little recipe would surpass the others? Here's the recipe, and I will save you all that time-consuming experimenting.
1 lb. package of carrots (the authors recommend you slice and cook them; I simply took a 12-oz. bag of petite carrots and used them whole, without pre-cooking)
1/3 c. peach preserves (I used peach pit jelly I had made over the summer)
1 T. butter
In small skillet or saucepan, combine all ingredients and cook over medium heat until heated through. That's it. Sweet and yummy and pretty darned simple.