September 24, 2014

That Time I Failed At The Easiest Thing

I am not a chef by any sense of the word. I am not particularly gifted in the food preparation department and sometimes I'm grateful for this because people rarely ask me to cook for them. This leaves lots of time for other important things on my to-do list, like Criminal Mind marathons for instance. 

There are occasions when I enjoy cooking, like Thanksgiving, where somehow I magically become capable of timing all the items perfectly so that everything finishes in epic mealtime harmony. But with the exception of holidays and planned get-togethers, cooking tends to be something I loathe the thought of and nightly dinners are the bane of my existence.

I blame this on my lack of creativity in the kitchen and a very picky eater who shall remain nameless. Matt

Lately, we've been trying to eat a little bit healthier - swapping protein shakes for big dinners and choosing chicken over tacos and cheese (sometimes) - and last week we had challenged ourselves to go mostly grain free. Matt doesn't eat vegetables, at least not the ones I cook, and that makes this even more of a evening-time debacle. If you can't have pasta, rice or bread - all staples of his diet - what do you serve with your chicken? More chicken? Ugh.

One night last week, I pulled out a seasoned pork loin which thankfully, requires no effort on my part. I decided that while we were technically going "grain free" we weren't necessarily going "carb free" and some sour cream mashed potatoes had been on my mind lately. Matt did the dinner prep, preheating the over for the loin and cutting the potatoes up for my mashed delights. I had him turn the water on the potatoes down to low so that they would simmer for the full term of the loin's cooking time (around 45-55 minutes). And then... I walked away.

Let me preface this next part by stating something very important that you should know: I have never ever, in all my years of cooking things, messed up mashed potatoes.

However, on this night, I did the unthinkable - something I actually did not know could be done. I messed up the mashed potatoes. I MESSED THEM UP. THE POTATOES. THE THINGS THAT YOU CANNOT MESS UP.

This is worse than the chicken incident.

Because the thing is: all you have to do is boil them! And even though I turned up the temperature on the burner for the last ten minutes of cooking, I somehow misinterpreted the signs of the potatoes' level of done-ness and drained them too early. And before really checking them out, I added (all of) my sour cream to the batch. It wasn't until I started using my beater on them that I realized the catastrophe of my mashed-potato-inspired-hubris.

TLDR ("Too Long, Didn't Read") for those of you that are tired of my ramblings: I messed up the easiest thing you can cook from scratch and ruined an entire batch of potatoes while simultaneously using up all of my sour cream so that I could not have a second go at them. I don't know that I've ever been so embarrassed. Not even more humiliated than the time I tried to be cute by doing Matt's laundry, accidentally bleaching his blue sheets back when we first started dating. Or more than the time I burnt the pancakes AND the bacon. Both were pretty high up on the scale, but this? This tops them all. 

So what did I have with my pork loin you ask? More pork loin. Ugh.

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