The Experiment (Day4)

We are participating in a crazy photoblogging series. Here are all the other people participating in this little meme: Ziva, MikeWJ, Mo, Meleah, John – aka nonamedufus, Bryan – aka Unfinished Person, Mariann, Malisa, Nora, LaughingMom, Tanya, Elizabeth A, Kristen , Cheryl, Katherine, Pam and 00Dozo. Go check them out and let them know that we win. 🙂


Nicky – I like to cook and, at the risk of being immodest, I’m pretty good at it. Especially considering I can’t follow a recipe to save my life. See, I’m a tad rebellious. Just a little bit. So little, I refuse to let a cookbook tell me what to do. See. Barely even worth mentioning, right?

Despite all that, there isn’t much that I won’t cook. Turkey? No problem. Duck? À l’orange, of course. And baking! I make cookies, doughnuts, cakes, bagels, baguettes… Nothing is off limits.

Except soufflé. Soufflé has always intimidated me. Because you have to follow the recipe EXACTLY or you’ll mess it up. And, because if you mess it up, it’s not like you can just scrape off the “too dark” parts if you overcook it, or pop it back in the oven for a few minutes more if it’s undercooked. If you mess it up, it falls down.

cheese souffle

I am pleased to announce that The Experiment was a success. I can follow a recipe. Once.

Mike – I planted a grapefruit seed a few years ago and have watched this little tree flourish in the harshest and most unforgiving of environments: my office cubicle. The question is:

Will it ever bear fruit?

Cubicle Grapefruit plant from seed

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  • Hilarious, though I think you should plant a soufflé tree to solve all your problems.

  • Ooh, this is a close one between you two, but, despite my name, I’m going to go with the finished soufflé over the unfinished grapefruit tree. 🙂

  • Clever entries for the word experiment.  It works.

    Nicky, I, too am a pretty good cook and souffles are an experiment.  I rarely make them and when I do they are of the chocolate variety.  Way too much work with the possibiltiy of failure hanging over it. I applaud your success and your pic.

    Mike:  Are you really trying to grow a tree in your cubicle???? I am thinking this is an experiment in futility. Still because I am WWFCs 30 day groupie/cheerleader,  Yeah, TEAM. Good pic.

  • Ha!  Awesome take on today’s theme guys.  Nicky, I don’t follow recipes either and ones that require close adherance scare me too.  Mike, if it does bear fruit in your office cubicle do you WANT to eat it?

  • Recipes are like instructions: Meant to be ignored!   I did follow a recipe long ago, when I made a Chinese meal, but used pork in place of chicken and chicken in place of the pork – just because.

    I once planted pine cone seeds (I got from Spain) in a window box in the cold UK. They all grew into tiny little pine needle shoots and then it snowed!

  • I’ve never made one of those. I’m glad you tried your own thing 🙂

  • That’s kind of asking a gerbil to give birth to a guinea pig, isn’t it?

  • You are a braver man than I to even try souffle and man, I hope it’s not another 10 years before you see a grapefruit. Maybe it has to go through puberty first. The tree, not the souffle.

  • That souffle looks perfect.  I’ve never made one.  (But I’ve tried.)  Neither Darling Nicky nor I can follow directions.  I find it leads us some interesting places.

    I think Mike need to plant his little plantling in the the ground, somewhere where it will get some sun.  Does your part of Canada ever get sun?  Citrus needs sun I think.

    These are awesome photos and you win.  Both of you win.

  • Nicky – please cook for me! You can have full run of my kitchen – and it needs some love.
    Mike – Maybe you need to pollinate your tree, well maybe YOU shouldn’t pollinate it, but you get the idea.

  • Nicky, sometimes you astound me. That souffle looks amazing. And I’m not just egging you on. Can I be the 5th guy you live with?

    Mike, I don’t know what to say. But I think you’ve got the germ of an idea there.

  • Nicky, I adore you, pretty please follow the recipe one more time and make me a soufflé?

    I hate grapefruit. I hope that thing never brings more grapefruit into the world. But it’s a lovely experiment. 😉 Maybe next time try lemon?

  • Nicky, Great souffle.  Did you really make that? It does look perfect. Mike… I’m sorry dude. That grapefruit tree is pretty much destined to be the “control” forever.

  • Nicky – I bow to your cooking skills. And I am hysterical laughing because I also used a “cooking” photo for this theme.

    Mike – Impressive. I can’t take care of any plants. They’d be dead in a week. 

  • Mikewj

    Nicky — I’ve never eaten soufflé, but now I want to. How do you feel about American houseguests, and would Sunday be too soon?

    Mike — I not only admire your botanical skills, but I like your artistic arrangement of tree and fruit. Also, that there’s fucking cat in the picture. Finally.

  • Mike, I feel the same way about American houseguests as I do about Canadian houseguests. Take that any way you want. Sunday is fine. We’ll be gone all day. 🙂
    You really should try a cheese soufflé. It’s awesome.

  • Thanks Meleah! And your ‘cooking’ photo cracked me up!

  • Thanks Kristen! Yes, I really did make it. It tasted even better than it looked 🙂

  • But, Lemmikki, it has cheese in it! I’ll try again but make it with chocolate next time. 🙂

  • Why, thank you, Pickles. And what’s one more guy in the house, right? I’m curious, though. Did you plan on bringing Mrs. Dufus? 🙂

  • LM, it would be a pleasure! Tell you what, when we finish this little photo challenge how about all of us getting together at your place for dinner? I’ll cook up a storm. Where is your place, btw?

  • Well, I suppose I could. She can cook, too. Do you have enough room?

  • It was perfect, hon! I think I might actually try a chocolate soufflé next. Because I love chocolate more than I hate following instructions 🙂

    And don’t worry, it won’t hurt Mike’s feelings if you tell the truth and say I win.

  • The soufflé’s voice was decidely low-key, so I think it’s already gone through puberty. Maybe I should have introduced it to the grapefruit.

  • Exactly. You have such a way with words Tatty!

  • You should give it a shot Pam. It really wasn’t as complicated as I thought and it tasted amazing!

  • I admit, Babs, I did substitute some sharp cheddar for the Swiss cheese the recipe called for. But I don’t consider that much of a deviation, so it still counts as the only recipe I’ve ever followed! 🙂

  •  Nicky, Darling, with me, you always win!

  • Thank you Nora! I don’t know that I’ll make a habit of following recipes, but this one was definitely worth the effort!

  • I was actually torn between whether to make a cheese soufflé or a chocolate one. In the end, I went with cheese since it is what we work for! This was actually not as difficult as I thought it would be, and while I won’t be making a habit of following recipes, I think I will give it one more shot and try the chocolate version.

  • Unfinished, you are a man of impeccable taste 🙂

  • Mo, that is brilliant. I think that should be on a t-shirt:

    Plant a soufflé tree to solve all your problems.

    I love it! 🙂

  • Nicky:  Congratulations on such a successful experiment!  It looks delicious!  A seriously mouthwatering photo, too. Frankly, with all those men in your house, I’m surprised your souffle didn’t fall from the nearest fart.


    CheesyMike:  I’m so jealous you were able to grow that from a seed!  I suck at gardening of any sort.  If you plant it in a much larger pot it might bear fruit – the only problem is bringing inside during the winter.   Oh, and nice photo.


  • Nicky, I’m completely impressed by this food and I don’t even like real food. Following recipes is for those who lack imagination and a sense of adventure.

    Mike, wha? Where’s the cat? 

  • Thanks Mike, in fact, looking at the rest of this photo challenge, there’s not one single theme left where I think I can work the cat in. I don’t think you need to worry anymore.

  • If I plant this thing in the ground, it’ll die there within a week. We get sun, just not that California growing type sun.

  • I try!

  • Oh my HEAVENS! That looks AMAZING!!!!!!!  Your experiment looks better than MY experiment!  Hmmmm and the grapefruit?  Hmmmmm……. ummmm…. you SURE that came off that plant? 😉 LOL!

  • Just a little drive south from you, say, to Virginia…but hey, you could stop and pick up Meleah on the way! Oh and there’s a Cheeburger just 10 minutes away!

  • This is why I love you so much. This, and the awkward banana.

  •  Maybe we should go into business together. Sloganing t-shirts.

  • Mikewj

    Thanks for making me feel right welcome, Nicky. Now don’t be alarmed if you and the boys get home Sunday night and find me sittin’ in Jepeto’s Barcolounger wearing my silk jacket and skivvies smokin’ cigars and drinkin’ gin while I watch Cathouse on HBO. I’ll tighten that robe up right quick so as not to offend anybody with my prodigious talents.

  •  Thanks Katherine! It tasted as good as it looked 🙂

  •  You don’t like real food?! Oh, Cheryl… you are making me sad!

  •  That was actually my biggest fear, Dozo! Not the farts, I’ve become quite accustomed to those! But I always had the impression that loud noises or excessive movements would cause it to fall and it’s not like my house is EVER a calm and quiet environment!

  •  My pleasure Mike. 🙂 I look forward to seeing you and your prodigious talents. Jepeto, on the other hand, says to keep your talents off his chair!


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