Sunday, June 5, 2011

Team Popover: A Recipe Swap Defeat

Coach's Lecture to Team Popover after the Recipe Swap Defeat:

Potato Popovers, Coach "MiniBar" Tequila.
Ladies, listen up. Every month for six months now, we do this. You knew this recipe swap was coming, and you knew I devoted an entire weekend to coach you to a win. Yet here we are. Not a single one of you made it to the Popover goal line. Where I come from, if you fall down, you get right back up and keep on going. How else are you going to get to the championships in someone's belly?

There are some great teams out there who do this Recipe Swap every month and make it to the finish line. This month, we used an old Potato Donuts recipe for inspiration with Dennis, Toni, Sabrina, Lora and Lindsay, and newer teams Mari, Mary, Jennifer, Crissy and Lauren, Pola, Jamie, Claire, Shari, Joy, Monique, Linda, Nicolle, Tricia and Priya. We've got some brand new teams launching this month, too, Rachel, Merry-Jennifer, Alli and Katy. This is the Pac-10 of recipe swapping, ladies, and I want you to think about that every night until you bring your A-game back to this kitchen, like these fine men and women do every time.

Before you go, we need to hash this mess out, armchair-quarterback style, so this doesn't happen again.

The first team, I'll call you Team Burnt. You rose, then deflated, then burned in the oven in two minutes' time between checking in on you.  That's way too fast. The quarterback has to slow down to receive the pass, you know what I'm saying? If you're gonna turn the jets on, you need to give me some warning. Try smelling done before you smell like a dark, nutty burn. Otherwise, you come out looking like you do now, which is a spray-tanned hockey puck. You need to go out strong, stay consistent, and don't burn. It's a sign of weakness.

Team two. Team Almost With You. Great effort out of the gate. You rose strong, had great color, and then you just lost steam. Literally. I saw no steam from you at the finish line. To become really awesome popovers, you gotta keep rising, and then fall over on yourself from that excitement, but hold that steam in! You keep it inside, like a secret, and then when you're tapped, poof! you can't wait to let it out. Where'd it go, ladies? It wasn't on this plate. Apparently, I have to send you back to the field for up-and-over drills. You gotta want to be here. You have to feel it deep inside.


Team three. Team Not Paying Attention. What did we learn from Team Burnt and Team Almost With You? We learned not to burn, and about the fire in your belly to rise up to become fantastic popovers. You've got the right ingredients, that's why you're here. But that list only gets you so far. When you're in play, you gotta own your power, you know what I'm saying? Get it in your head that you're gonna win, and nothing can stop you. Tonight, it was like you didn't read the playbook. Do I need to quiz you on this? You really want to sit on the sidelines and read a playbook? Or do you want to play?


Let's everyone hit the showers, then go home and think about this recipe fail tonight. And I want you to ask yourselves, do you want to be warm, buttery Popovers taking a victory lap around the table, or do you want to be dessicated into Popover Croutons that get plated in the back kitchen and covered with dressing to hide your shame?

Recipe For Popover Failure
Burwell General Store

Serves: 0

The right amount of flour
1/2 cup mashed potato
the right amount of salt
1 Tbsp melted butter
3 eggs
The wrong amount of milk, repeatedly
1/2 teaspoon spice

Whisk all ingredients together and pour into greased small cupcake tins. Set the oven to the wrong temperature, and leave popovers in oven either too long, or not long enough. Consider that potato may be too heavy for three eggs to leaven. Open bottle of wine, and step away from the kitchen.


  1. This is amazing CM... I almost like them better as losers :)

  2. You are hysterical. I would have loved to join you with that bottle of wine and the losing popovers. :)

  3. I am glad your popovers were losers and you were able to share this excellent post with us - some times, the recipe just doesn't go to plan, what what an outstanding post to derive from the defeat!

    I'm taking my bloggers/readers on a little bit of a journey with this month's recipe swap - let's just hope they make it to the destination :)

  4. You're hilarious. I love love love your 'recipe'. I was too chicken to admit on my blog that I attempted Sweet Potato and Ricotta Beignets...and they were a total and utter failure. So much so, that I didn't even want to talk about it, ha. So I completely switched directions with my recipe for the swap/

    Anyway, thanks for being willing to share your failure!

  5. Love this post! I think I am most disappointed at team burnt: how do they dare getting ready without smelling like they are?? That was a really bad move on their part!

  6. This was hilarious! Thanks so much. Loved it!!! :> I too think I liked it better as a *failure* post. Nicolle

  7. I have to admit I was feeling pretty emotional on behalf of Team Popover by the time I got to your 'Losers' caption of the photos and am feeling a bit defensive on their noble attempt! They look good; maybe since I'm at altitude and our popovers aren't as popp'y as yours at sea level. A great post nonetheless!

  8. you are too funny, I love your post and your popovers were probably still delicious!
    Thanks for taking one for the team!

  9. Wonderful post, but then I expect nothing less from you. Part of playing the game is making sure you have fun while you're at it. And based on what I just read, it sounds like someone was having fun!

  10. Oh my goodness, I tried. I spent most of a full day last week trying a convoluted recipe for a dessert gnocchi. I even bought basil for an infused whipped cream that would garnish. But the gnocchi were terrible -- even after multiple incarnations of the recipe, they just tasted like sugary french fries.

    By the end, I was so disgusted I couldn't even blog it.

    So it was a fail for me, but not for a lack of effort! All that to say, I'm up for another round -- here's hoping I can at some point cross my own finish line, by simply showing up with a post.

  11. Love the really looks like they are gathered around listening to him!

  12. i am dying! such a great post!

    sorry i wasnt able to make it this time... cant wait for next months!

  13. That's what I call a Dusty Recipe! As mine was, this month. I'm blaming it on the full moon and allergies and Saturn returning and humidity and it having been a bad potato season (was it?!).

    Great post! Love the needed sense of humor in the kitchen!

  14. I'm laughing so much that I'm actually falling off :)) Absolutely hilarious. By the by, why does Coach look sort of.... Empty?


Thank you for sharing your thoughts. Stay positive!