If you don't succeed at first, bake, bake again
While I sometimes enjoy cooking, I've had more than my fair share of fails in the kitchen.
One of my problems is that too often my ADD kicks in and I don't plan properly. Nine times out of 10 I get ready to prepare something and I'm missing a key ingredient. Like this past weekend when I wanted to make chili and I didn't have chili powder. Or baking a cake and I'm out of flour. You'd think by now I would have learned, but that would be what you'd get for thinking.
My most epic fail happened 35 years ago, when I was frying catfish and noticed the oil was bubbling strangely. I pushed on because it didn't look too bad and the fish was getting brown and crispy. Then I realized I was frying with Karo syrup, not cooking oil.
The funny thing was we ate it anyway and it wasn't too bad.
Over the Christmas break, I wanted to treat my kids to something different for breakfast for a change, so I whipped together a batch of blueberry muffins from a box in the pantry. They smelled a little different and looked a little strange as I pulled them out of the oven. Despite my reservations, I opted to take one for the team and bravely tried one. And it tasted nasty.
I looked on the box and saw that it had been expired since November 2012.
Dang. Time to clean out the pantry. Time to cook more than once a quarter, too, I reckon.
We had friends over for the Super Bowl and I thought I'd make a pot of black-eyed peas, since I didn't get any on New Year's Day. Now, I have ALWAYS had BEP's on New Year's for luck, and I've been a little anxious about missing out, though frankly, I'm not sure how that luck thing's been working for me.
That's a whole other column. I suppose worse luck is always possible.
Anyway, I had a ham hock in the freezer left over from Christmas, and that was the big plan, to use it in my peas. And then I forgot to put it in.
That's just how I roll.
My oldest girl recalls when I attempted a turkey spaghetti made from holiday leftovers that was terrible. I myself have no recollection of it, but I know it doesn't sound good.
Over the years I've made lots of dishes from celebrity chefs. While I adore Pioneer Woman and sort of wish I could be more like her, her recipes haven't always worked out for me. Neither have Trisha Yearwood's or Paula Deen's. The celebrity chef I've had the most luck with has been the Barefoot Contessa; her recipes are simple and healthy.
That Fast Metabolism Diet we tried last year was chock full of nasty recipes, many of which I gave the old Trooper Try, but wasn't happy about it. I'm vaguely remembering a soup with ground turkey, kale, butternut squash and black beans, all of which theoretically sounds OK, but we all know it wouldn't be our first pick if we were on death row.
In my defense, I'm much better at baking than I am at meal preparation. While that has its merits, it won't earn the Mother of the Year Award.
But I keep on trying, because, after all, what's the alternative? One cannot live on Mexican food alone. Someday though, when life slows down, maybe I'll attempt to become a better cook. In the meantime ... thank goodness for PB&J!