Monday, March 10, 2014

What makes me a grumpy reader (and baker)

OK, so baking is kinda my thing (what can I say? Kneading bread is an excellent stress release, especially when your kids or hubby or cats or pups are being PITAs and you really just wanna HIT somebody...).

Anyway, I was reading something the other day (not you, Boss Lady! Promise! I would let you know if it was you before it got that far, presuming it was something I beta-ed!) where one of the protagonists came home at, like, 6:30 and his dinner date was supposed to be getting there at 7 for a home-cooked meal. All well and good, except -- well, his meat (*snerk*) was still in the freezer, and all he had that was more or less ready to go was salad fixings. Anyway, long story short, at 7 on the dot, he was showered, shaved, changed, and had a full meal, including homemade-from-scratch bread, some sort of casserole-y dish, a salad AND a homemade dessert, all on the table ready for his guest.

Does anybody know how he did this? Because seriously? I need to know! I am forever having to feed my kids sandwiches or omelets at least twice a week because homework runs over and this happens and the cat hairballs on the carpet and and and resulting me in having all of 30 min before our regular dinnertime at 6. And dinner can't be late because VelcroBoy has to be in bed by 7:30 or OMG the morning is impossible!

So, if you know a recipe for a yeast bread that goes from "pulling the flour out of the cupboard" to "fragrant rolls in the bread basket on the table" in under 30 minutes, please would you share? Pretty please?

That is one of my hugest pet peeves in reading. I'm not a gourmet chef, by any means (lack money, time, and people who would EAT gourmet if I made it), but I am pretty decent at basic cookery. Yet so often, I'll see something in a book where I just know the author has seriously NO CLUE. Like, they'll make creme fraiche, but it'll be spelled cream fresh. Or the bread will take 20 min to mix, knead, rise, shape, proof and bake. Or they'll cook something in a way in which I have never ever heard of it being cooked (although to be fair, if I'm unsure I'll usually Google it first, just to see if maybe it's a gap in my education, rather than a gap in theirs).

What about you? For the sake of future releases, what drives you batty in a book? How can you tell when the author has no frickin' clue and didn't bother to do research? Let us know!

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