I am sick to death of all the meals that I serve at home. And by all, I mean the three things that it seems like we eat on a never ending rotation: spaghetti, pork chops, and spanish rice with hamburger.
Okay, I MAY be exaggerating a little bit, but it really doesn't seem like it.
In almost 15 years of marriage, I think I have found 2 recipes that the WHOLE family likes. My heaven on earth would be an evening where my quiet, well-behaved children (if you're going to dream, dream big I always say) ask me what's for dinner. After I tell them, there would be a total absence of gagging noises, declarations of "I'm not eating," or a mad dash for the milk and cereal. When I'm really daydreaming, these angelic children even voluntarily clean the table and do the dishes without being forced, shortly before heading off to a quiet evening in their rooms, doing their homework.
Anyhoo, back to reality!
Because I'm so bored with everything we eat, and because I'm always on the lookout for some magic recipe that will be universally loved by all, I have been on a "new recipe" binge. When the hubby or the children ask me "what's for dinner?" my slight hesitation always lets them know that mom's at it again. Anguished cries are sent heavenward, but I figure that's what they get for not giving me any ideas when I make up the weekly grocery list. Bwaahahahaa...
Last week I tried a recipe for turkey steaks and potato stroganoff. The recipe came on the turkey steak package, and it sounded wonderful. I'm an Idaho girl through-and-through, so anything with potatoes wins me over. I bought all the ingredients and rushed home to make my newest masterpiece. I thinly sliced oodles of potates, diced onions, and chopped mushrooms, mixed it with the cream of mushroom soup and sour cream and spread it in my cake pan, just like the recipe instructed. I added the turkey steaks, and poured the remaining soup mix over the top. It didn't fit quite as nicely in my pan as it probably did in their test kitchen, but no matter! I wrapped it sturdily in aluminum foil and shoved it in the oven for 1-hour of baking. Dinner would be delicious and, best yet, ON TIME!
An hour later I came back, peeled off the aluminum foil, and speared a potato slice. Hmmmm... they didn't taste very done, so I put it back in, checking on it every 10 minutes. After 40. More. Minutes. (now after 9:00 p.m.), I tried another potato. Still not as tender as I'd have liked, but at least it was edible. In addition, the soup mixture had boiled over the sides and made two very large, lovely pools of gooey mess on the bottom. It had to be done, right?
I proceeded to dish Tom's plate, but when I tried to snag a turkey steak, it broke apart into a gooey, red mess. It was NOT done at all. At that point I had a small mommy melt-down, and we all ate cereal for dinner. After finally calming myself down, I dumped the whole shebang into the crockpot, figuring that I could cook it in that the following day, which is what I did, for many, many hours. The turkey was done but the potatoes STILL weren't. I threw the recipe away, and started looking for my next "must try."
Fast forward to last night. I was making my easy chicken parmesan, which has to be cooked at a fairly high temperature. I had the oven pre-heating while I sat at the table, engrossed in a book (damn that Twilight series!). Evan wandered in, asking what all the smoke was from.
"Huh?" I said. "What smoke?"
Around that same time, I glanced at the oven to see quite a large fire, burning away... In my panicked state, I couldn't remember how to put out the flames other than smothering it with salt. I couldn't find the large container of salt, so I was frantically shaking the little 99-cent salt shaker at it, which, no surprise, wasn't worth a pinch of salt ;-). Luckily, Evan was a little brighter than his mom, and beat it out with his t-shirt. Guess I'd forgotten to clean up the turkey-gravy mess that had spilled, one of a zillion chores I had planned for last weekend.
Tom knew better than to even ask when he got home; he just made some comment about the house being awfully smelly (this after a freezing hour-and-a-half with the windows and doors open).
"Hush, and eat your charcoal!"