Matilda- Is life always this hard, or just when you're a kid?
Leon- Always this hard.
-An exchange from Luc Besson's awesome 1994 thriller, Leon.
Whoever said “Hard work pays off” has clearly never attempted to make a cheese soufflé. Yesterday, my hard work did not pay off. I've finally made a start on the recipes in my Classics cookbook. And guess what? I fucked it up. I followed the instructions word for word, but I still encountered a problem. Nobody- author Keda Black included- told me that “separate the eggs” meant “take the yolks out”. I didn't acknowlede this until I realised I had to whisk the whites- which I'd already stirred into the just-cooled bechamel sauce.
But anyway, I continued and cooked it for the required time. The dish contents didn't raise like I thought it would- this due to the flour being three months out of date, unbeknown to me. But it still looked about right, and tasted pretty good.
The main drawback to this dish- and any other dish more complex than a stir fry- is that the effort put in always far outweighs the pay-off. It wasn't an amazing meal, and I felt pretty robbed afterwards. Having spent about an hour preparing and cooking it, I wolfed it down in about ten minutes. Such is life.
The question is now- do I attempt this meal again, and get it right, or move on to another dish?