To say I was a little afraid to try a soufflé is an understatement. I had visions of pulling a deflated disaster out of my oven, but to my surprise my fears were unfounded. The recipe I choose was a basic gruyere cheese soufflé from my Food and Wine magazine (http://www.foodandwine.com/recipes/gruyere-cheese-souffle). But, first things first, I didn’t have a vessel that even remotely looked like a soufflé dish. And, I’m sure I have mentioned this before, I live in a small town so I also knew the local “mart” would not have an actual soufflé but I needed to find a 1 quart dish that would suffice. I scored a ceramic oval dish and headed back to my house full of hope. Don’t laugh, but I bought two dozen eggs because I was so sure I would fail at this endeavor that I wanted to be prepared to try again. I read and reread the recipe at least 10 times. It was if I felt like I needed to commit it to memory because once I started the roux for the base of the soufflé there was no turning back - the next steps needed to happen fairly quickly. As the recipe called for, I buttered my dish and dusted it with Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese and put it in the fridge. I’m not sure what this step does, but I have a feeling, if it’s not done, your soufflé may not rise up as much. I prepped all the ingredients in small bowls and they were at the ready. I also whipped the egg whites to firm peaks before starting the base. Time to rock and roll…butter melted, flour whisked in and (cold) milk added…the sauce was looking promising as it thickened…I remove the béchamel from the heat and added the eggs…still looking good…now for the egg whites…whisk in one third and fold in the rest. I poured the mixture into the chilled dish and put it into a preheated 400º oven. I felt like an expectant mother. I kept checking on the baking progress through the window of my oven. To my delight, it began to rise above the rim of the dish and brown on top! After 25 minutes I pulled a beautiful soufflé from the oven. I was so excited I was doing a happy dance in my kitchen (as my husband laughed at me, but in a good way, he was very happy for me). I thought when I scooped out the first piece, it would deflate, but it didn’t. The word ethereal actually came out of my mouth after I took my first bite. The soufflé had a wonderful gruyere flavor. What the heck was I afraid of! I will definitely be trying other soufflé recipes.