Cooking Challenge Day 1 - From the Beginning with Kadence Marie Blog at - 315011

From the Beginning with Kadence Marie

Cooking Challenge Day 1 
Nov. 13, 2013 12:13 am 
Updated: Nov. 14, 2013 7:03 pm
So, I've decided to take upon myself a cooking challenge. You've learned from the previous entry that the first challenge is the egg. My first task in this challenge is to learn to make a great scrambled egg. For this I found two different methods by Julia Childs and Jacques Pepin. Today I set out to attempt Childs' method.
There are no differences in ingredients between the scrambled eggs, however, the cooking techniques are slightly varied that produce distinct texture, appearance and even taste. 

Child writes, "Eggs scrambled by my method ought to resemble a soft, broken custard: lumpy, moist and glossy. You must cook the eggs very slowly, over low heat, always scraping the pan with a spatula, just until they are thickened, but still visibly soft."

The ingredients call for:
2 or 3 large eggs
Salt and pepper
1 T or more unsalted butter
Heavy cream (optional)
Using a non-stick frying pan, 10 inches top diameter; a straight-edged wooden spoon or rubber spatula.

So, following the directions from the cookbook Cooking at Home by Jacques Pepin and Julia Childs, I set out on the first challenge.  I cracked the eggs into a bowl, added in my salt and pepper and beat with a fork, just to blend. This went smooth (I have made scrambled eggs before :)
I melted a tablespoon of butter in the frying pan, enough to film the bottom and sides, and then poured in all but 2 T of the eggs. 
According to Julia, the eggs are supposed to begin to coagulate after a minute or two. Throughout this entire process she says to keep scraping the bottom clear to draw in the uncooked eggs. After another 2 minutes or so they should be almost entirely thickened into "soft, custardy lumps", at which point she says to remove from heat and fold in the reserved 2 T of eggs. Then fold in another teaspoon or two of soft butter, or a dash of cream.
I was very hesitant about reserving some of the egg and pouring it in over no heat. I am very skeptical of raw eggs, maybe because my mom would always caution about salmonella poisoning when my sister or I would eat uncooked cookie batter.
I followed the directions but it took longer than I expected. The eggs did not seem to have any fluff. However, I stayed true to the timing of how Julia described, rather than the product. I plated up the eggs after what seemed a very long time (longer than described, but yet not the consistency that seemed appropriate). However, they looked custard-like, and definitely soft. Maybe I should have used a more medium low heat, because after plating and looking at my eggs, they looked dark yellow, ugly, and gooey. The first bite was even less pleasant than the look...My cousin and roommate, Luke, came to witness the finished product, took one look and said, 'those aren't even cooked.'  I hung my head in shame! Why didn't I trust my intuition, I thought they seemed undone. How could I have messed this up so badly? This definitely was not a good start. 
Needless to say, I ate them anyway, and let me just say, the texture was ummm, well, like slime.    
Day 1: FAILURE! I should know better! I can't believe how I let this happen. I'm still not feeling the greatest after ingesting that stuff.
Going into this challenge, I had really high hopes...only to have them crash right away. I feel I've insulted the cooking Gods. I'm sure if Julia had seen how I desecrated her eggs, she would spit me a new one and tell me that maybe I should pursue a different hobby!

How am I supposed to go on from this? Was my heat too low? Did I scrape too much?

Well, tomorrow, or when I'm recovered from this and ready to try again, I will have to at least cook them through! Ugh! This challenge has started out on the wrong foot! Oh well, join me next time when I once again attempt Julia's scramble eggs.
Nov. 13, 2013 6:18 am
No need to be so hard on yourself, they are only eggs. It sure sounds like the heat was too low. I would have tossed them back into the pan and cooked them longer after the initial taste test. Better luck with recipe number two.
Nov. 13, 2013 7:07 am
awwwww Good Luck on your next try! (And I agree with Marie - no more eating under cooked eggs! haha)
Nov. 13, 2013 12:35 pm
I always find controling the heat my biggest challenge. It also interesting how even the simplest things can have such a degree of complexity... eggs... who would have thought...
K Garza 
Nov. 14, 2013 5:09 am
You should follow the cooking method of Test Kitchens of America as reported in the mag Cooking Illustrated. Those were some amazing eggs! I also enjoy reading about their scientific approach to cooking issues and they report the failures also! Through them I have learned how to cook the most amazing ham for the holidays that is so moist!! Bc of them, I will never cook a ham the other ways again.
Nov. 14, 2013 6:06 am
KM, I think your problem was not having a visual of the proper stages of the cooking. Your idea of what you read was obviously different than what was supposed to happen. AR has videos of just about every subject, I bet Google/You Tube does, too. Once you SEE what your eggs are supposed to look like, I'm sure you'll be able to replicate them. I'm glad you aren't discouraged from trying, but don't feel like you have to eat failures! We don't want you sick over this! I hope you will seek videos of everything you try, because while eggs are a fairly inexpensive ingredient, you will want to move up to steaks, etc. which could be costly to ruin. Please don't give up! Making good food is something we are all aspiring to, or we wouldn't be here on AR. I'm sure you'll "catch on" quickly - you're obviously smart, or you wouldn't be cooking as a hobby! Please try again, and keep us posted - I'm really looking forward to your blogs. If it turns out that you "hate" cooking, I think you may have a future as an author! Good luck!
Nov. 14, 2013 6:13 am
PS - you DO know about "thebuzz", right? AMAZING info from cooks there! You'll shave years off of experimenting, as you use the posted hints, tips & recipes! (Sheesh! My comments are longer than your blog..Sorry! I'll let you get back to your stove now...)
Nov. 14, 2013 7:03 pm
Honey, if you've ever read a biography of Julia child's, she made plenty of disasters, but the mighty Julia kept at it until she got it right. So give those eggs another shot or two or three :) and you'll make Julia proud!
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Kadence Marie

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Sebeka, Minnesota, USA
Living In
Coon Rapids, Minnesota, USA

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Feb. 2007

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Baking, Grilling & BBQ, Frying, Stir Frying, Slow Cooking, Asian, Mexican, Indian, Italian, Southern, Healthy, Dessert, Quick & Easy, Gourmet

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About Me
I am 28 years old, from Minnesota. I currently work as an x-ray tech. I recently purchased my first house and am getting to enjoy my own garden, learning some home improvements, and now have decided to teach myself to become a better cook.
My favorite things to cook
Within my limited scope of cooking, my favorite things are soups because I feel a sense of creativity and confidence with them. I tend to be a "physicist" type cook and am hoping through my cooking journey I learn to use a recipe as a general guide.
My favorite family cooking traditions
I currently have been cooking food every NFL Sunday and whatever team the Vikings (MN) play, I cook a meal inspired by that opposing city or state. This has really challenged my cooking over the last two years. I also love coming up with a good dessert for Thanksgiving.
My cooking triumphs
My latest triumphs have been learning to master the egg (which details can be found in my blog), a great beef brisket, best chili ever, and creating this upcoming cooking challenge for myself. (More about this on my blog).
My cooking tragedies
My 1st two attempts at homemade Pizza from scratch were a bit dismal. They both tasted great, but too much dough and the whole procedure and using a pizza stone where a bit messy work. I really need to refine this. And my first attempt at Julia Child's scrambled egg was embarrassingly terrible.
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