I pride myself on my cooking. But it wasn’t always that way. I learned most of what I know from trial and error. Mostly error. All of the early cooking and kitchenesque type skills I learned from the Home Ec Ninja at my high school. For graduation, she gave me one of these:
It was nice, I guess but I’m pretty sure it was years before I even took it out of the plastic. Then, a few years later, I got not one, but TWO of these for a wedding gift:
What’s the deal? Are you people trying to tell me something? Maybe the fact that I managed to burn off my bangs AND my eyebrows a week before my wedding in my losing battle with a moody gas range was a sign that I should either stay out of the kitchen altogether, or learn my way around one.
When your kids are little, and your husband works a long day, the food doesn’t have to be very creative. Usually, if they know what’s good for them, they will eat whatever you shove in their face, or they starve. Napping, watching your stories, smoking cigarettes and drinking coffee with the neighbor all afternoon can still be done daily, all while whipping up a tremendous prepackaged box dinner sure to impress! It’s the parsley garnish that says “Homemade Goodness”
As they get older, they all want to bring their little friends home for dinner. Barf! What now? Looks like its time to step up your game. I got really good at bullshitting my way through a dinner that appeared from nowhere. A can of this, a box of that, say the magic words, throw in some hamburger and you turn every sniveling neighborhood dork into Eddie Haskell.
But every now and then, despite best laid plans and stupid blind trust, things can and do go wrong. Terribly wrong. But dammit! Don’t they have labs where they test those recipes before they print those cookbooks? Aren’t they supposed to be idiot proof?
And now, without further ado, my own personal epic kitchen fail
Sure, I had put some underwhelming and less than tasty meals on the plates of my loved ones before, but nothing had ever prepared my family…or me..for this type of culinary shame. Julia Child says never to admit your mistakes or acknowledge your faux pas at the table, but there was no denying this one.
I don’t remember what it was called, but the name should have been Recipe For Disaster. In a very literal way. What started as a heavenly smelling chicken Tetrazzini type of thing ended up being a gelatinous goo that had to be scooped out of a crock pot. All before the gleefully evil eyes of three teen aged boys who clamored to get the first picture with their cell phone to text to their unbelieving friends.–The story is still alive and well, being one of the first things my kids told their shiny new step-father the first time they met him.
If you learn one thing from my blog, today or ever, this should be it. Even if a cookbook tells you to do it, don’t ever, ever EVER put pasta in a crock pot. Especially when they tell you to COOK IT FIRST!!! What sadist wrote this book???? I can just hear the boozy snickering in the test kitchen now.
(Ironically, as humiliated as I was over those pictures, not one of my beloved children could produce one for this writing. But Middle Son, bless his heart, scoured all of his old, cast off cell phones looking. He was the one by the way who dubbed this epicurean nightmare “Chicken Glue” )