Friday, July 20, 2012

Pinterest, how I love you! (Pinterest, how I hate you!)

As a recent, reluctant Pinterest joiner, I have a love-hate relationship with the newest, hottest social media site. I stayed away as long as I could for two main reasons: 1) Because it seemed like yet ANOTHER huge online time suck that would keep me from getting off the couch and going out into the world to make it a better place, and 2) it seemed like the next step in the degeneration of reading and actual conversation (from long-form blogging, to Facebook, to 140 character tweets, and finally, to online picture books like those that amuse toddlers!).
But eventually, I cracked under the peer pressure and checked it out. And I must say, it has been the source of much inspiration, especially in the kitchen. However, what I need to remember is that, unlike Facebook, where I am mainly interacting with my peers and people who know me, like me, and like stuff that I like, Pinterest has you interact mostly with strangers--people who may have tastes that are very dissimilar to yours--so you may end up making some unappealing things that many other pinners rave about.

Another love-hate thing about Pinterest is, even though I haven't posted any of my own recipes there yet, I was shocked and delighted to find that others had posted stuff from this blog. Imagine scrolling through the pins and thinking, "Hey! I took that picture! Wait a minute, that's the Chili's chicken enchilada soup copycat that I created!" Fun, right? That is, until strangers feel comfortable saying harshly critical things to you about your recipe. I don't care for that. Of course, I anticipate some blowback when I put myself out there publicly, but repinning and repinning something creates more distance and anonymity from the original author, and that seems to give people license to be mean. Boo hiss. Ok, climbing down off of my soapbox now...

My point is, and I do have one, sometimes the recipes that I pin to try and then subsequently make turn out fantastic, and some are just...meh. For one example, I recently made something called Meatball Bubble Bread. It's basically a prefab meatball and a cube of cheese wrapped in a canned biscuit, sprinkled with herbs and cheese, and baked. Then you dunk them in marinara sauce. Sounds easy and yummy, right? Easy, yes. Yummy?'s not that they tasted bad or anything. They tasted like a prefab meatball baked in a biscuit. My roomie's review: "Ehh. It is what is is." That pretty much hit the nail on the proverbial head. Maybe kids with undeveloped palates would dig it. Also, I had to bake them much longer than the recipe called for until they were no longer doughy, so they got too dark on the top. If you make these--and I don't recommend it--you might want to cover the pan with foil once the bread is golden

Another recipe along these lines was something cheerfully called Funeral Sandwiches, or perhaps Ham and Cheese Sliders would be better. I guess people take them to funerals because they're easy and makes a whole pan full of little sammies all at once. So you slice a package of King's Hawaiian rolls in half (leaving them all connected), then layer on Swiss cheese and ham slices, then put the top layer on, then mix up this sauce made of butter, onions, Worcestershire sauce, and dijon mustard. Your pour the stuff over the sandwiches (alternately, put half of the sauce inside the sandwiches and the other half on top), cover, and bake for 20 minutes until the sauce gets absorbed and the cheese melts. Then you cut them up into little sliders. Again, sounds easy and fun. Again, underwhelming result. The sauce didn't absorb all the way, so the sandwiches were a little soggy. The flavor was okay, though, and it certainly fed us quickly when I got home late on a work night. But I wouldn't take them to events to share with others...unless, once again, those others were kids who might find the little sandwiches fun to eat.

The last Pinterest disappointment was a little more successful, but I still don't think make it again as is. I have a sweet friend, Kym, who recently gave me a big box full of zucchini and summer squash, so I wanted to return the gift with something made from the bounty of her garden. Kym is multi-talented, and she is doing a short run of performances in the hilarious musical, "Nunsense" as a scholarship fundraiser at a local vineyard. So for opening night tonight, instead of taking her flowers, I took a loaf of lemon blueberry zucchini bread! I hope she thought it was a nice gesture, although my glaze turned out too runny to set up properly, and the texture of the cake itself was too heavy and wet, almost (cellulose) spongey. The flavor was very good, though. It probably just needed more flour or something. Damn you, Pinterest (she screams, shaking her fist at the sky)!


Randi said...

I saw those slider sandwiches and while I love the King's bread, I dont like ham so I passed. Glad to know they sucked. I notice there are a lot of quick type meals on pinterest. The most pins I ever had was on a recipe I pinned from Taste of Home( a taco salad).

Joy Bugaloo said...

I wouldn't say they SUCKED. Too strong a word. Just nothing exciting. I'd make them again on a night where t was just me and my roomie, and I didn't feel like really cooking.

Joy Bugaloo said...

I wouldn't say they SUCKED. Too strong a word. Just nothing exciting. I'd make them again on a night where t was just me and my roomie, and I didn't feel like really cooking.