Wednesday, April 14, 2010

I'm No Cook; It's that Simple

Before we get to my reason for posting, I need to ramble.

I just had a bit of Mexican food for lunch (bad for me) and decided to have 8 red seedless grapes for dessert (bad to me).  They weren't sweet at all so to get that tart taste out of my mouth, I ate a Little Debbie brand oatmeal cream pie (really bad for me).  And then I popped in a piece of sugarless gum  to "brush my teeth".  Now I'm blonde which explains all this, but I could've just brushed my teeth after the taco and been done with it.  Of course it didn't occur to me til I was eating the cream pie.

As long as I'm rambling about food, I wanted to give you an update.  After that major renovation, mostly to the kitchen, I was still getting the jokes about not cooking.  So I've been visiting several websites, printing recipes, and went shopping over the weekend.  Ca Ching!!!  Who knew they even made stone ground mustard and rice vinegar???  (I found the vinegar with the Asian food items.  Found the jar of mustard after much searching and then found ground mustard in spice form.  No idea which the recipe called for, so I stuck with the jar.)  And I found chili powder for $1.48 in the Mexican section of the store, and in the spice section for $3.68.  What's up with that???

So my first dinner was to be pork with a Carolina Rub, cole slaw and roasted red potatoes.  I mixed the 7 spices in a bowl, cubed the pork tenderloins into 1"-2" cubes, tossed them around in the spices and then popped them onto skewers with red, yellow & green peppers plus onion slices. 

Unfortunately I got ahead of myself on the potato recipe.  I was just so excited to finally have a use for my Pampered Chef zester, that I did the lemon zest in my bowl first, then chopped my parsley leaves and dumped then in.  Bought myself a pepper corn grinder thing from Costco as well as one filled with sea salt.  The receipe called for both, so there I was, griding away over my parsley & lemon zest, which I stirred.  Then I referred back to the recipe.  Have mercy.

I was supposed to put the potatoes in a bowl, then add salt & pepper.  Too bad.  The potatoes were still on the cutting board.  I'd heated the garlic and olive oil for 2 minutes and then dumped that in the bowl...which didn't go in the bowl at all according to that blasted recipe.  Sort of like the potatoes that still weren't in the bowl...

So I had the ingredients.  I just didn't use them per the instructions.  No way I was gonna dump that expensive parsley so then I dumped in the potatoes, added the lemon juice and a few other things that escape me now, and put it all on the cookie sheet and into the oven.

Now at this point I should tell you that the recipe was very clear:  I was to heat the garlic with the oil, but then remove the garlic.  Turns out it was to be added to the potatoes AFTER they baked, along with most of the other ingredients.  Instead I baked it all.  It's been 2 days and my house still has that nasty burnt garlic smell.  I've used the Febreeze.  I've used the air freshener.  I've emptied the trash, put orange peels down the disposal, run the dishwasher, and I still smell it.

But wait...if you're thinking that was the worst problem with my dinner, you're SO WRONG!  Let's talk about the slaw.  Now I'm a very picky eater and my slaw has to be very sweet and very dry.  Ask a dozen people how they make slaw and you get a dozen answers.  So again, I went to the web and printed 2 recipes.  Both were questionable but contained sugar, so those were my 2 contenders.  One called for lemon juice and one called for sour cream.  I went with the lemon juice recipe, adding only half the mayo it called for, and when I did my taste test, it was DREADFUL.  Period.  Too much mayo; it was all I could taste.  So I added more cabbage.  Didn't help.  Added more sugar.  Didn't help.  Called my mother.  Called my sister.  Didn't find their laughter one bit amusing.  Took my mother's advice and splashed in a bit of vinegar.  Took my sister's advice and added some mustard.

It was terrible, horrible, no-good, very bad slaw.  We soldiered on with the finished meal.  98% of the slaw went down the disposal.  I had to take an acid reducer because those 7 spices and that garlic very nearly did me in.  The potatoes had no discernible flavor whatsoever and were covered with charred black bits of parsley & garlic, but they were the best part of the meal.

That stack of printed menus still sits on my fabulous granite countertop.  My fridge is filled with bacon & cubed chicken, celery stalks & carrots, red (tart) grapes and parsley, lemons, limes & oranges.  My new walk-in pantry has bowtie pasta and fettucine, olive oil and extra virgin olive oil, lots of new spices and a honkin' 10 bag of those little red potatoes and a 5 lb bag of russet potatoes.

Last night we had burgers, baked beans and leftover potatoes.  I'm telling you, they looked a sight but were really good.

Tonight my plan was chicken salad with red grapes, walnuts and something else mixed with bowtie pasta.  Or maybe fettucine alfredo with bacon, or even fettucine alfredo with shrimp & bacon.  But I think I've lost my nerve.  A grocery tab of $280 later and I'm afraid of my kitchen.  That just won't do.

So if you're coming over tomorrow night for stamp club, expect lots of scented candles to be burning, trying to hide that burnt garlic smell.  And unless I volunteer to tell you what I cooked for dinner, don't ask.


  1. Linda
    Too bad I live so far away. I love to cook and could become your personal chef. Your story is too funny. Sorry I am not laughing at you, but I can just picture all this going on.

    See you soon

  2. Happy Weekend,
    everyone taking a spring break of sorts and
    taking in the nice weather, and catching up
    on family, friends, and maybe a project or two,
    Happy Sprin, after two years of posts you
    deserve a break...M. Taylor


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