from my Kitchen to Yours

When Size Matters – A Tale of New Years

when size matters - a tale of new years

When size matters – A Tale of New Years…

Let’s start at the beginning.

My eldest son Chris and granddaughter Kailey decided to visit us the week after Christmas. The plan, stay and celebrate the new year in Northern California, visit Oma and hang. This is such a treat, I cannot even tell you. It’s been a couple of years since Kailey has been up here, it gets tougher every year as they grow and develop their own interests and lives, and Chris was last here for Trevor’s 21st Birthday Bash.

I am so excited.

I make plans for all to enjoy.


When Size Matters - wine tasting


A little wine tasting at a winery of some note, Chateau Montelena. How does it feel to hold the wine that won the Paris Tasting in 1976 giving California, and the world, recognition that they could make wine not only as well, but perhaps better, then the French? (We know someone on the inside wink wink).


When Size Matters - Safari West


A little safari at our Sonoma County hidden gem,  Safari West. Getting up close with the animals on our WWII vehicle. Cold, but fun. But it is December.


When Size Matters - Food Tour


A walking food and history tour of our favorite city.

San Francisco skyline


And of course, a visit to my mom, Oma, up north for a traditional family fondue


When Size Matters


Oh, sorry, I meant to say, Oma, Joann, and Sparky…


Sparky the dog


One of the things I thought would be most fun would be to cook together on New Year’s Eve. And this is where the real story of, When Size Matters – A Tale of New Years, really begins.

As a recipe developer/writer, I try to be as concise and clear as I can be so you, the reader, do not have to guess at things. That, I think overall, I do pretty well. But it’s really not until others cook your recipes that you realize, maybe you missed something. A small instruction. A detail.

Chris was starting the dinner by making the opening salad. He had a recipe for a Roasted Pecan Vinaigrette that the chef from Gumbo Shop in New Orleans gave him. Trevor was taking care of the vegetable – as a now trained chef as a part of his culinary training at Cal Poly, he had no recipe. Just made a delightful dish of steamed green beans that he sautéed in rendered bacon fat, with caramelized onions and chopped crisp bacon. Yum! Kailey made dessert, some Fudgy Chocolate Brownies from this site; I was taking care of the Prime Rib and Brian was charged with the Yorkshire Pudding.

This is where the problem began.


Ramekin muffin pan empty


My recipe for Easy Yorkshire Pudding uses ramekins.

First fail. I don’t tell you which size I use and obviously, there are different sizes of them. And because I didn’t have five of the same size, we decided to use a muffin tin instead. As you can plainly see, muffin tins are smaller than even the smallest ramekin. Just do you know…I use the 1/2 cup ramekin.

So it stands to reason, that the required 1 tablespoon of oil in the recipe, would fill the muffin tin a bit more than it would the ramekin…right? Well, it stands to reason to me, but if you are cooking from a recipe and that recipe fails to tell you this, the result is…a kitchen full of smoke.


{There used to be a video here, it was really funny, but the link is broken.}


So, let’s just say, lesson learned. I have revised my recipe. And I promise to be more careful in the future. I also learned, through research, that BB was correct in that salt will help quell the smoke from the burning oil. But, it’s not as easy to clean up as they make it out to be. As a matter of fact, it’s a royal pain in the ass.

Never the less, once the smoke cleared, a spontaneous party broke out.


When Size Matters - A Tale of New Years


So here’s to wishing you all the happiest of 2015. And I’m not just blowing smoke in your eyes!

PS: The Yorkshire Puddings, as well as the rest of the meal, turned out just fine.



Chateau Montelena Winery 

1429 Tubbs Lane, Calistoga, CA 94515
(707) 942-5105

Safari West

3115 Porter Creek Road, Santa Rosa, CA 95405

(707) 579-2551

Tastebud Tours of North Beach

2 Responses

  1. It looks like fun that you all are cooking together. I see what you mean about not having the exact instructions. We try to be as accurate on measurement and instructions as possible but we don’t realize that information is missing until the recipe is published or until you have someone else try it.

    1. I call it the Nana rule…you know, ask Nana her “secret” recipe and she gives it to you but leaves out that one step, or ingredient, so her’s is always the best … haha…not really, but I always cook my recipes again to test, and most of the time I’m good to go. Just forgot that size thing 🙂 Cheers ~ Lindy

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