Over the last 6 months or so I really haven’t done much cooking. Cam and I made a plan that involved him taking care of dinner most nights to free me up some time to do language as well as school. Now that I’ve taken a bit of a break from language study, I’m back in the kitchen and it’s not going well.
Monday night, in a desperate attempt to combine a school activity with dinner, I decided to make stuffed potatoes with Tilly. I should have known it was a bad plan when all I couldn’t even think of anything to stuff them with. Again, in desperation, I asked Jack – “What can I do with mince to go in a stuffed potato?” He replied, we should have taco mince and that was it – Mexican stuffed potatoes it was!!! So I got super organized and prepared all the toppings early in the afternoon, even cooked the mince. Unfortunately, I decided to take a short cut and used a fajita packet mix that I found out in Casa de Wagin when Sally left (almost 12 months ago). Not my best move… It was disgusting. But that wasn’t the only problem. I left microwaving the potatoes til just before hand but EDM (Western Power) had other plans. Thwarted by the lack of power (Cam did offer to put on the generator but that is just way too indulgent to bear), I decided instead to cook rice on the stove. Which maybe I just forgot, but I totally suck at! I’m pretty sure I’ve tried every “no fail” rice to water ratio, absorption method technique thingy I can and I still can’t get it right. So Monday night I served up gluggy rice, icky mince, a pitiful amount of mediocre guacamole and some “sour cream.” It’s in inverted commas because we can’t get sour cream here… We make it with a can of dessert cream and some vinegar. Sometimes it works out ok but Monday just wasn’t my night.
Tuesday night, at Cam’s request, I decided to make chicken and mushroom risotto (I’m sure anyone who knows how to make risotto properly would be mortified at my version… It’s more just me making gluggy rice work for me). But it was going ok… Mushrooms (granted they were from a tin), garlic, onions, chicken, homemade chicken stock, parmesan – I thought on was on a winner. Until I decided right toward the end that it needed a bit more salt. I was trying to grind some rock salt in when the lid fell off and about 1/8 of the bottle fell into the pan. I made an embarrassingly half hearted effort to pick the biggest chunks out and then stirred it all together… hoping it would still be edible. It kind of was, but not really. Like as in we ate it but I don’t know that anyone really enjoyed it… Cam must have hit a rock salt hotspot – thought he’d broken a tooth at one stage and we went through a fair few bottles of water. Turns out Tuesday wasn’t my night either.
Wednesday night was ok… I defrosted mince, made a tomato sauce (no bottled pasta sauce here) and had everything ready to chuck together at the last minute as we had a meeting that afternoon. I ended up going out between the meeting and dinner so Cam put it all together. It was quite nice but seeing as I didn’t actually make it and I don’t think anyone should get points for being able to make Spaghetti Bolognaise – I’m not giving myself much credit there… Wednesday, not my night.
So we’re up to Thursday… After having been awake since 230am, dragging myself through the morning then falling asleep as soon as Sydney was down for her nap, dinner was not high on my list of priorities. I decided I would make “Apricot Chicken.” Bit of a misnomer as there we’re no actual apricots involved. But last year in attempt to be like super homemakerish I picked, peeled, cooked, bottled and froze peaches off our tree. It wasn’t really anything like apricot nectar though. At best, I would give the meal 3/10. Thank goodness the power was on and I could do the rice in the rice cooker. In what I though would be a stroke of genius but has backfired terribly, I made a double batch. Yay – now we have to eat this uninviting grey slop again… Did I mention I found plastic in mine? Part of the lid of the butter container that I was playing with at lunch time made its way into my meal?!? Definitely not my night tonight.
So over this delicacy, we were talking about my form slump and in a bid to encourage me, Cam was trying to list some of the things that I do cook well. Lasagne was all we could come up with. One dish. I usually do really good pumpkin scones but the last time I made them I decided I’d put them all close together on the tray and they turned out soggy. I usually do pretty good banana bread but the last time I made that I went way overboard on the bananas and it turned out soggy.
Maybe Friday night will be my night?
Don’t worry Jenn and Nath – still over two weeks til you arrive – I’ll get it together by then!