Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Don't Quit Your Day Job.

This has been a week of kitchen failures.

Utterly sad, depressing, and very not tasty kitchen failures.

First, there was a recipe from Bon Appetit. Ziti with Skillet-Roasted Root Vegetables. It sounded so delicious, and the picture looked amazing. And while I'd never had a golden beet or a parsnip before, the recipe was from Bon Appetit! It had to be good, right?

I hunted down all the fresh root vegetables in the produce section while Steven watched, shaking his head silently as I grabbed one unusual selection after another. I turned them over contemplatively in my hands at the grocery store a while before placing them lovingly in my cart, thinking to myself, "Yeah. I can totally do this."


(Famous last words.)

I diligently chopped up the vegetables, which made for a colorful array.


I set aside the beet greens for later (I'd never had beet greens either. This will factor in later, as you can probably imagine.)


I cooked the pasta (I had penne, not ziti.)


As I watched the vegetables saute, I had many grand plans for this meal. It would be our new wintry, substantial-yet-healthy go-to dinner dish.


I chopped up the beet greens, and dreamed of making this dish with beet greens from my own garden someday...


And then ... something happened.

The veggies weren't browning like I'd imagined they would. Instead, they were just sort of getting... mushy.


Unwavering and stubborn as ever, I soldiered on, reading and re-reading the directions a thousand times. Yes, saute until browned and then cover and cook until tender.


Alright -- just get it in a dish and onto the pasta -- maybe it will still taste good.

Right? Looks okay....


Presentation: 7
Taste: Negative 700 Billion.


Beets? Seriously? What was I thinking??

Steven and I each suffered through a small serving, and then I threw it all out and we went to Subway.

Not one to be easily deterred, I decided that tonight's meal was going to redeem my kitchen woes. Beef Stroganoff in the crock pot. How could I possibly screw that up?

And yet, somehow I managed. At 8:05 this morning before I left for court, I was throwing ingredients into the crock pot as fast as possible: stew beef, chopped onion, cream of mushroom soup, pepper, cream cheese, and sour cream. I put the lid on the crock pot and glanced back at the recipe one last time before I left the house.

"Just before serving, stir in sour cream and cream cheese."

Oh, crap.

When I got home, I learned why the recipe does not call for cream cheese and sour cream to be cooked for ten hours straight. Again, like a broken record, it was SO. EXTREMELY. GROSS.

(Steven, being the kindhearted and loving husband that he is, still asked for seconds. I promised him I'd make it right next time. I also promised him that we'd go back to the basics. Tomorrow night? Macaroni-and-cheese. Wish me luck.)


Steven said...

Let me also add that the first dish you mentioned did not go well with the cream soda I was drinking.

The Mulvihills said...

You are hilarious! Tonight for dinner I made your parmesan chicken with shells and cheese--a big hit with the boys!

Becky said...

Oh! Beets are so nasty. For the record turnips are, too. Rutabagas are a little better and parsnips are pretty good. I'm sorry your dinners didn't work out. Remind me sometime to tell you about the beef dish I made taste like chai. But with tomatoes in it. Ugh.

Erica said...

Hey, at least you turned the crock pot on this time... baby steps :)

Mom said...

I did the same thing adding sour cream early in a recipe. I had a curdled gunk in my crock pot. Very disappointinting to throw the entire batch away.

I love you for trying these unique veggies. I've been married 33 years and never bought beet greens, or turnips. I just don't know what to do with them.

Jaimy and Bret said...

I feel the necessity of standing up for my friend the beet here. Beets- red or golden- roasted in the oven with olive oil, served with goat cheese and arugula, and tossed in a citrus vinaigrette.... YUM. One of my all-time favorite salads. Actually we just made it at home for the first time the other night! Sorry your first outing went so poorly. But don't write off the beet forever! :)

whatsthedeal said...

I need Beets Anonymous. Jaimy, you should come over and show me how to roast them correctly.

I think Bon Appetit might be above my skill level at this point...

And yes, Mom, that's EXACTLY what it was like in the crock pot. So horrible.

Mom said...

Someone told me the veggies didn't brown in the pan because it was to full. The veggies were cooking in their own liquid instead of browing. I guess.... that makes sense :-)

...Just repeating what I heard...
Love you.