It has been longer than usual since my last post. I wish I could say that was because I was on an exotic tropical vacation. I wish my excuse was a long visit from an old friend. I wish that an unexpected windfall had sent me reeling into a state of euphoria that left no time for blog posting. Alas, the truth is… there has been nothing interesting happening in my kitchen of late.

I usually can’t stand complaints about the weather in the midwest but even I am a bit rattled this winter. The repeated bundling, unending car scraping, an exhausting fear and tension of wiping out on the omnipresent ice and lack of sunshine have drained a bit of my spirit. Add a few additional mishaps (most recently losing my wallet), and I find myself turning repeatedly to the comfort of donuts. Multiple donuts. Three donuts yesterday did take the doldrums away…. temporarily… but then delivered a massive stomach ache. You see the ugly cycle…winter drearies, comfort foods leading to stomach aches and no grocery shopping have led to many quick pasta meals, bowls of cereal and take out food.

There have been a few attempts at new recipes but nothing overly successful. When other food bloggers have recipe disasters or foods that didn’t turn out perfectly, I love reading about them. Perhaps because it reminds me that a shadow is cast over all kitchens at one time or another. So, I share with you my humble attempt at Collard Greens with Cornmeal Dumplings, found in Gourmet a month or two ago. It was a real dog.

I really want to like collard greens. I live for grits, drool for a good Southern style BBQ, adore Red Velvet Cake and dream of the day the Waffle House restaurants move to the Chicago area. Adding collard greens to my list of favorites seemed like a natural. Well, it didn’t happen. I think it was a mixture of my not really having a knack for cooking greens along with a general dislike for them. Not wanting to waste good food, my husband and I tried to dive into the above, unappetizing looking bowl. He aborted the mission after one bite. Determined to like it, I took a number of tastes only to find my brow taught with concentration as I worked hard to swallow it down.

So, I dedicate this post to all of our recipe disasters, the weeks when the ideas aren’t flowing, the foods we just can’t bring ourselves to like and the temporary shadows that darken each kitchen now and then.