My cooking experience before marriage was minimal, at best. I knew how to make mac-n-cheese, cereal and I could heat up a frozen meal with the best of them. But that didn’t keep me from trying to make homemade meals for my husband.
I once made my husband eat a homemade batch of stroganoff. I didn’t have a recipe, but I knew something made it creamy – so I guessed the sour cream part. What I’m not sure is why I thought it needed barbecue sauce for the flavor. I knew something was aloof when it was bright orange when I finished. He laughed so hard at me, and made me take some to his parents to “try”. Needless to say my lack of cooking skills secret was out.
I’ve caught the microwave on fire because I didn’t take the foil wrapper off the stick of butter first (pretty sure I’m the reason they don’t do that anymore.) I’ve burned the bottom of a pan with popcorn seeds because I didn’t realize you needed oil (duh). And I once made a pyrex dish explode while making Ramen noodles on a gas stove (did you know you can’t put glass dishes on direct heat?!?).
Let’s just say cooking doesn’t come naturally to me and it’s taken me years to learn and perfect a few recipes. My collection of know-hows has multiplied since those first days of cooking, but even those can get boring. So every once in awhile I get the urge to try something new.
Sunday I decided to make a prepared salmon. It was fresh, and flavored. All I had to do was stick it in the oven for 36 mins. Simple, right? Well I noticed the phrase do not refreeze (which I made sure not to do), but I did NOT see the print on the front that said KEEP FROZEN. Nor did I see that the cooking time and temp was for a FROZEN fish. So the fish that I kept in the fridge all week to avoid refreezing? It came out of the oven in a black billow of smoke. Oops. My bad.
Yesterday I decided I was going to make chicken shish-ka-bob thingy’s. I bought some fresh chicken, zucchini and pineapple to put on our skewers and a flavor packet from McCormick that tasted wonderful (btw). I thought I would go cheaper with the chicken and try to get all natural (vs rib meat). I figured it couldn’t be that hard to pull off the skin and save myself a few bucks. I never thought about the fact there would be bones inside it or that the skin would hang on for dear life. I threw half of it away, and made a whole whopping two skewers by the time I was done with my FOUR chicken breasts. It wasn’t until I finished the dang skewers that I realized I never put the stupid zucchini on ’em, so I cut those up and made two skewers of just that. Then I decided that I would make something I’ve made a million times, potato strips on the grill. Usually I use a little extra virgin olive oil, and some sort of seasoning. Since the sauce for our meat was based with oil that sounded too “oily” for dinner so I figured I would just melt some fat-free margarine and put it on my potatoes. I started those on low and put them on the grill waiting for my husband to get home to start the chicken. It didn’t cross my mind to check them until then because they were on low and I had made them a million times. Needless to say I was caught a bit off-guard when I went outside to see black smoke pouring out of the grill and the temperature just over 500. I opened the lid to flames much larger than you’d like to see so close to your face with hair-products in your hair, the foil on fire and ashes flying everywhere. Fabulous. So I turned the grill off to cool down for a bit. I figured I could save this meal by making some noodles in the microwave per the recipe on the back to replace the potatoes.
Long story short, the chicken was chewy because it got cooked in a grill that was still too hot, the pineapple burned, the potatoes were ruined, the noodles were hard as a rock and the zucchini skewers that my husband snorted at were shriveled up and inedible. And so goes my life. Folks, this is a normal occurence at my house.
So what did we eat for dinner? Strawberry shortcake. Because how the heck could you screw that up??
What’s the worst meal you’ve ever made? Do you have a go-to recipe that you could make in your sleep? Please share!