Aug 20, 2012

Baking Barriers

A friend brought over fresh picked blueberries from a recent trip the other day and as soon as I saw their beautiful, juicy blue-ness, I knew I had to make something using them as the main ingredient.

“Ah, the options!” you might say. You might say that because you’re not me and you don’t know how many times friends and family have told me to get out of the kitchen. Don’t believe it could be that bad? Okay, I’ll share a story then.

A couple years ago, some friends came over and cooked me dinner for my birthday. Aw, what sweeties. At one point I entered the kitchen, observed what Corey was doing and asked her, “What type of onion is that?” Her immediate response was to yell, “Ferg! Are you serious?! This is not an onion! This is garlic! Get out of the kitchen. Ohmygod. Get out of the kitchen!”  As somewhat of a disclaimer, I’ve improved in my cooking and baking abilities since then (and even Corey has said so), but I’m still no ace in the kitchen.

Thus, for me, the options were pretty limited, but the first thought that popped into my head was to do a blueberry cheesecake. Easy enough, right?

Wrong. Why? Because when I look at recipes, I tend to look at American recipes or at least those that are written in English. Many times, I find a recipe that I’m really excited to make, take a look at the ingredients and then realize I won’t be able to find all of them in a typical Italian food store. For example, Italians don’t use baking soda or sour cream. In fact, they look at me like I’m crazy when I try to explain such things. In cases like this, I either have to attempt to find a comparable ingredient or search for another recipe altogether. My hunt for the perfect blueberry cheesecake warranted the latter. So I searched Italian recipes instead and came across this one.

Fortunately, I was successful in finding all the necessary pieces to my puzzle of a recipe. I got them home ready to get started, took a look at the measurements and was stopped in my tracks by the next obstacle. Ah, America and it’s aspiration to be unique in all areas…including the measurement system. While we measure in cups and ounces, Italians measure mostly by weight, rather than volume, so the majority of the recipe is quantified in grams. As I didn’t have the appropriate tools of measurement in the first place, I had to do some conversions. (Thank goodness for conversion calculators on the computer). Oh, and then I had to work on translating (FYI, Google Translate is no one’s best friend).  

 After more time than should ever be necessary, I was finally able to get a move on and I was very happy with the result. If you’d like to try out this cheesecake for yourself, but don’t want the difficulties I had, here is a very similar recipe that doesn’t include translation or conversion in the list of ingredients.

Have you ever had an experience like this when all you want to do is create something delicious?

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