Sunday, November 23, 2008

A housewife's guide to making disaster--- I mean, dinner.

(Sorry this is long. It should be entertaining)

James pulled into port last monday, and I've been trying relatively hard to make sure that we are having regular healthy meals with sides and main dishes and the whole shebang. Well, today was no exception, except for instead of another experiment with spaghetti squash, broccoli and cauliflower, I went back to good ol' meat and potatoes. Our menu consisted of:

BBQ Pork ribs with homemade BBQ sauce
Cheesy garlic mashed potatoes
Green beans
Crescent rolls

And for dessert:
Blackberry turnovers with whipped cream.

Sounds yummy eh? I thought so too.

I had been planning this menu for the past few days, though there were a few additions that I changed tonight. Mainly I found a package of crescent rolls that I had to get rid of, so the rolls and the turnovers were a last minute thing. And the mashed potatoes were supposed to be normal until James requested cheese and garlic, and honestly, who could argue with that?

It was a good morning, I went to church, and led the music in Sacrament meeting (it's my calling) and then went to classes, only remembering halfway through that I completely forgot to pull the ribs out of the freezer! After fretting through another two hours I finally made it home and went into quick defrost mode with the ribs... which didn't seem to like that idea. It's ok... dinner could be later! Snack first!

10 minutes later and it was myself against the ribs round two. turns out that if you continuously run luke-warm water over a package of shrinkwrapped ribs they thaw really quickly! Score for me! With Dinner back on... though about 2 hours later than I was intending everything was going according to plan. The ribs were boiling contently in their pot and I was cleaning the kitchen, only to find out that my sink is broken!

The elbow bend in the sink without the disposal was completely detached. That would explain that mold I found under my cutting board under the sink hmm? Luckily for me the slice still allowed most of the water to travel into the correct pipe, so I was only getting enough water to make everything under the sink damp. Mold anyone? As if Washington needed any more help producing the stuff. After fully detoxing under my sink, I had James make the call to our housing maintenance staff... where I heard him say the dreaded words: "Oh.. it's not really an emergency, we just wont use that sink until you guys get out here." As I frantically wave and tell him it IS an emergency, he politely ignores me and accepts a work number. Estimated time of fixture? 29 days.

That wont do. I'll call maintenance tomorrow and explain the situation in better detail. For now, if you are keeping score I'm down to one sink and contently boiling ribs. Time for the BBQ sauce!

I found a recipe online for St Louis bbq sauce. I actually had all of the ingredients so I was pretty excited about trying it out. The recipe made a ton, so I halved it and followed the directions to a tee. After simmering 20 minutes I take a swipe with my finger for a little taste (it smelled amazing). Bleh! Awful... WAY too sour? sweet? I don't know what was wrong with it.. but it was horrible! I thought so anyway, but I figured it would get a second opinion and took my failed sauce into James and his friend Sonne. Both confirmed that it was bad, but Sonne (bless his heart and everything about him) came in and added a few things here and there until somehow I ended up with some of the best BBQ sauce I've ever had! (I'll put the recipe at the bottom, it was -really- good. Which... James JUST informed me that Sonne has a bachelors degree in culinary arts. Wow... totally never cooking for him again. Heh heh.)

With the BBQ sauce bubbling beside the ribs I turned attention to the crescents, and though they were really old, they seemed well enough so I rolled them up and popped them into the oven as I got the ribs on the broiler pan to braze.

On to the potatoes! Now, I like to consider myself somewhat of an expert when it comes to potatoes. I have mashed potatoes down to a science and peeling and cutting them are a breeze. only this time I peeled my red potatoes only to find that beneath the skin they had tons of little yellow spots. Chicken pocks? on my potatoes? Looked like it! Shave shave shave... still spots! I smelled them... and they SMELLED fine. But I had never seen tiny yellow spots on my potatoes! Sooo, I chucked those out and moved on to another bunch of potatoes.. still spots, but this time they shaved off. Thank goodness! I had James cut them for me so I could pull out rolls that were (of course) burning on the bottom but still doughy on top. Ugh. Whatever, they tasted fine. The ribs were doing well and the potatoes were boiling and I still had extra crescent dough... Turnover time!

I'm lucky enough to have a bazillion wild blackberry bushes around my housing development. So I had stocked up on bags and bags of frozen blackberries. Yum! They would be perfect for turnovers. A little butter on the dough, some cinnamon, sugar, and blackberries and they were rolled up and slid into the oven. Mmmmm.

It was at this point that dinner was pretty much finished and I breathed a sigh of relief and warmed up the greenbeans in the microwave (they were left overs from the night before).

And the food after all was said and done was wonderful. The ribs fell right off the bone, the Cheesy garlic mashed potatoes were some of my best work, and the rolls... though a little odd looking were very buttery and yummy.

I had thought that all my cooking woes were over. But I had forgotten about the turnovers! I pulled them out of the oven, and thank goodness they were done perfectly! Score! they came right out of the pan and sat on paper plates to cool while I cleaned up most of dinner. Filled up the sink to clean the big pots... and remembered that it was broken. *sigh* Out came a bowl to catch the water (though I was seriously tempted to let it spill all over in my cupboard only so that I could call maintenance and claim that it WAS an emergency).

With the water in the sink drained and properly disposed of in the OTHER sink, I loaded my empty dishwasher, since James had just unloaded it (have I mentioned that I love him?). I grabbed all of the pots and pans and loaded them in. Rib pot: Check! Potato pot: Check! Roll pan: Check! Turnover pan: Che---OUCH!!! Still hot. Like... right out of the oven hot. I dropped my glass pan onto the stove, ran to the sink and turned on the cold water so that I could soothe my scalded palm and fingers. Fighting back tears only to notice that I had turned on the water in the broken sink...

Oh well, I have the rest of the night to enjoy with my cute husband. What is a little mishap in the kitchen if not a good story? For the record, my hand is fine, if a bit red around the edges.

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