Tuesday, October 10, 2006

The sad, sorry tale of the potholders

(in which I tease Todd mercilessly and publicly)

I have a hot and cold relationship with Martha's recipes. When Everyday Food was first published, I tried several of the entrees and was consistently disappointed. Each recipe just seemed to be missing some crucial flavoring, but I'm not very gifted in the area of cuisine and couldn't establish just what was wrong. I haven't bothered to try the magazine again as a result, but I should probably give it another chance.

On the other hand, that Rustic Three-Cherry Tart in the August issue of MSL was fantastic. We made it with my in-laws while we were visiting them this past summer. That would be the same visit in which "we" (I use the term loosely) decided to grill a black bean pizza. I will say, in my defense, that I participated in the endeavor only insofar as making the dough and assembling the pizza itself. I kept a respectable distance from the grill until I witnessed the attempted removal of said pizza from the grate. It took two grown men, innumerable tools, and a good deal of grunting and juggling to actually pry that pizza from the spot where it had effectively glued itself to the metal while remaining quite pliable and very hot. Dinner that evening was a sort of re-assembling of bits. Very tasty, but somewhat less attractive than usual. And a bit charred (or do we say "blackened"?) in places as well. Unfortunately, there were other casualties as well. "We" destroyed a spatula and two potholders in the process.

Anyway, yesterday Kiddo and I tried out another Martha recipe: Yeasted Coffee Cake with Poppy Seeds. The process was similar to basic bread-making (you know: yeast, kneading, etc. Which I love.), but also involved rolling, sprinkling, folding, rolling some more and, ultimately, cutting, stretching, and twisting. The result? Good, but it would be better without the poppy seeds, I say. In my opinion, poppy seeds serve only one purpose: to get stuck between your teeth and make you look like a fool in public. Otherwise it's a tasty recipe but perhaps not worth all the effort.

And what's underneath the plate in the photo, you ask? Why, that would be fabric from my quilt, which has been assembled into potholders that are being shipped to my gracious in-laws, who not only ate that grilled pizza with pleasure last summer, but didn't seem terribly upset about the grill, the spatula, or the potholders.

The replacement potholders were surprisingly simple to make. I used two layers of cotton batting and one layer of Insul-Bright, which I had never tried before. Now I'm getting all sorts of ideas for using it. Maybe a little insulated lunch box (or sippy-cup holder) for the kiddo. It could be lined with iron-on vinyl to protect the fabric.

I like the simplicity of this one from egiggle,

but something like this might be fun to re-interpret as well.

Maybe next summer I'll make a giant insulated cozy for Todd's parents' cottage. Just in case "we" decide to do any more grilling.


  1. heh heh - that would be the prettiest insulated cozied cottage EVER!

  2. Those are great potholders! I bought both insul-bright and iron-on vinyl at the store on Monday. I am so excited about all the possibilities!

  3. Oh. I am liking that iron on vinyl. Your potholders are adorable.

  4. The secret to grilling pizza according to Cooks Illustrated/America's Test Kitchen is lots of oil in the dough and not a lot of wet toppings. Maybe another attempt is in order.

  5. patty bolgiano3:25 PM

    Have you tried either a pizza stone or the pizza plates with holes in them? I have the pizza plate with the holes in them and they are rather nice... try it on a grill I doubt you will lose any cooking implements and the pot holders could be used...just thinking and offering a suggestion

  6. Anonymous3:50 PM

    I really like the potholdesr. They're so colorful!