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Apr 12, 2009 09:15 AM

Post-holiday debrief: what was your biggest piece of PITA prepwork this weekend?

Now that we've shared our meal plans and are in the midst of either finalizing or enjoying the fruits of our labors (or may have already done so)...what was the single biggest PITA thing you had to do to prep for your meal?!

I have key lime cheesecakes in the oven. They promise to be megadelicious as the whisk and bowls tasted even better this time than last time...because I squeezed almost an entire 1-pound bag of key limes with a wooden reamer. The things we do to make our dishes special!

How about youuuuuuuuuuu?

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  1. The Ina Garten's recipe for lemon curd - total PITA. Not only does it require a food processor, a mixer, AND a saucepan (all to be washed later, of course), but it took forever to come to temp! And, to be honest, it wasn't as tangy as say, Alton Brown's recipe.

    Let's just say I won't be using that recipe again.

    3 Replies
    1. re: jazzy77

      Oh, bummer! At least I felt the PITA factor was worth the payoff after the first bite--I will definitely make this again sometime after my memory clears the time it took to squeeze all those tiny little limes!

      1. re: kattyeyes

        I did a key-lime ice cream with the same effort and same frustration, as above...PITA=NWI in my book. (Translation: Not Worth It).

        On the other hand, the effort involved in the Zuni Cafe Mock Porchetta (chopping herbs, mashing garlic, lemon zesting, stuffing, tying) was PITA but SO worth it!

      2. re: jazzy77

        that's too bad, I've made her recipie a couple of times and was amazed that I could make curd so easily...but now I am in a serious baking / cooking slump so I should knock wood....I'll have to look at AB's.

      3. I made Gumbo z'Herbes for Good Friday and remembered again why I only make this wonderful gumbo once or twice a year.
        Yikes! In addition to costing so much, it takes forever and dirties half the pots in the kitchen.

        I bought a butt half ham on sale to bake for the haitch bone to make the stock and deglazed the pan to add to the stock pot. The rest of the ham had to be portioned, wrapped, and put into the freezer for future pots of beans.
        Made a roux and added chopped onions, herbs and spices, some from my garden.
        Added the stock and started on the rest of the work.
        Gumbo z'Herbes needs at least five, preferably seven, different greens and the superstition is that you will make a new friend for each.
        I had to wash and strip four of the greens which had to be cooked separately, then chopped fine before they were added to the gumbo with the pot likker from each of the separate greens.
        The three other greens were added raw but had to be picked from their stems and chopped fine.

        Once everything was in the pot, I looked at my kitchen and wanted to leave the house. It looked like a compost pit had exploded. What a wreck!
        I still had to make rice to serve with the gumbo...
        The gumbo turned out great. The kitchen got cleaned. All is well. Happy Easter.

        1. I made braised artichokes from a Marcella Hazan recipe. Sounded fantastic. A lot of work prepping (peeling, de-choking, etc) the artichokes. The end result: they were good but not knock-your-socks off amazing. Not sure whether I'd make them again.

          1. mine sounds easy in comparison. I made (sicilian) MIL's recipe for baked eggplant and had to salt and then saute the eggplant slices. used an entire roll of paper towels.

            1 Reply
            1. re: laliz

              i know how annoying that can be! so i tried skipping the salting and it came out IMHO great still ;-)

            2. mini pita...14 eggwhites for the Gourmet cookbook angel food cake recipe. It calls for 1 3/4 cups eggwhites. Also, sifting the cake flour and sugar 3 times. Really good if you like angel food cake, though. Moist and meringue-y.

              2 Replies
              1. re: bear

                Holy egg whites! And my hand aches for you with all the sifting. I think I would be numb!

                Here is a lazy confession: when I bake brownies and am supposed to sift, I have saved an empty canister of Ghirardelli cocoa just for this--I put what I'm supposed to sift into the can and just shake it. :) I loathe sifting.

                1. re: kattyeyes

                  Hey, kattyeyes. Great tip! A shaker can would have the same effect. I sometimes skip the sifting and just stir and lightly spoon the flour, but feel a little like a slacker. This would let me be lazy and actually follow the recipe.