After the post yesterday about a dish I made the night before that my family absolutely loves (Baked Frank’s Red Hot Buffalo Wings), I felt it was only appropriate to post today about the total and complete dinner fail from last night. Because as you know, this is real life, and sometimes things don’t turn out the way we planned!
First I have to state that we recently went gluten-free after discovering that gluten was the root of the majority of my gastrointestinal issues. And cooking with gluten-free ingredients is WAY different than cooking with gluten laden ones. Flours are different and have to be used in combinations, and pasta has a completely different texture and can become overdone in a matter of seconds.
After a looooong snow day with all of the kids at home, cooped up, and trying to work from home, I was ready for a quick and easy meal. So I figured that my go to pasta dish would be perfect. I had all of the ingredients on hand. Since we have gone gluten-free, I have only made this dish once. And on top of using different pasta, I began attempting to substitute the canned tomato soup that I used to use with a homemade recipe that I found on Pinterest. Being that I am substituting what I was used to using, I am still trying to figure out the amount of the homemade soup that I need to use.
Well, you have an idea of the setting. I was in the middle of trying to cook the dish when the doorbell rang. Seriously. Who could it be? No one is EVER at our door. So I answered it to find my daughter’s basketball coach dropping off her new uniform. Great, thanks! Okay, back to cooking. Well, not so much. He walked right in (tracking snow and salt all over the floor that I had just mopped) and wanted to have a lengthy conversation. I hollered to my daughter to watch the meat that was cooking, thinking that he would get the hint. By the time he headed out the door and I got back to the kitchen, the ground turkey was a little overcooked and starting to get dry. Ugh. Oh well. The soup in the dish will moisten it up, right?!
I cooked the pasta, made the soup, combined all of the ingredients and popped the dish in the oven. Great! Dinner is almost there, just 30 minutes to cook in the oven. Now back to trying to finish playing the very long game of Monopoly that I started earlier with the older kids.
The timer went off and I pulled the dish out of the oven. Hmmmm. It definitely doesn’t look the way it normally does. VERY dry looking. Apparently it needed a lot more soup that I added. I seriously wish I had taken a picture of the horrendous dish. Well, I’m sure it’s just the top and the rest will be fine. I plated the pasta and steamed broccoli and we sat down to eat.
The first bite I took I knew this wasn’t going to be a hit. Parts of the pasta were crunchy, and parts of it were chewy. My husband took one look at it and decided that it needed more sauce. So he grabbed the jar of pasta sauce that I keep on hand for when I’m in a pinch. (I usually make my own homemade spaghetti sauce.) He asked the kids if they wanted more sauce and they both responded with a resounding “Yes!”. I opted to not add sauce to my dish because to be honest, I had already calculated the calories I was eating and entered them in My Fitness Pal, and I didn’t want to have to measure it out. Pure laziness.
We began to eat. I could tell that no one was impressed. Bless my family, they all tried to be nice about it. My 9-year-old daughter said that it wasn’t that bad, but I could tell by the look on their faces that they certainly weren’t enjoying it, and neither was I. My 12-year-old son referred to the pasta as “pasta chips”. After a bit of them all trying to make me feel better about the meal I told them that they didn’t have to be nice about it, the meal was terrible and they weren’t going to hurt my feelings. At that point it all let loose and there was no turning back. I wish this morning I could recall all of the comments that were made because we were all cracking up. At one point Lydia said that her drink was her favorite part of the meal, and then recanted and said “It’s really not that bad mom.” Nice try honey! I told them they didn’t have to eat it, they wouldn’t hurt my feelings. The kids were discussing what they could grab quickly when my daughter said “You can’t have chips for dinner Garrett”. He responded that if he wanted chips he would just eat the pasta! Gotta love my family and their honesty! But in all seriousness, the meal was terrible. And a total waste of calorie intake. Thank goodness I had gotten a good work out in! At the end of the meal my husband said something that at the time was hilarious, but for the life of me I cannot remember it this morning. When I asked him later if he recalled exactly what he said he responded that we are getting old and he can’t remember everything anymore. Great, another reality slap in the face! Neither one of us could remember.
So there you have it. Other people make the same mistakes that you do. It’s real life! Not every project or every meal turns out the way you want, especially in the midst of chaos. So what should we take away from this experience? That even though the dinner I fixed was a total disappointment, I didn’t take it personally, and we ALL got a good laugh out of it. I have to admit, sometimes I have a hard time doing that, but last night it was all pretty funny, especially after a very long day. And it would sound even funnier today if only I could remember the things my husband said. As you will come to know him, he is never serious about anything. He jokes around so much that the kids don’t believe anything he says anymore. I often say to him “Can we just have a serious conversation for once!” So next time he says something hilarious, I am going to grab some paper and make a note, because clearly I am getting too old to rely on my memory. Or his for that matter!
Welcome to real life. Dinner failures, reality slaps in the face, and all of it!