Tuesday, January 17, 2012

It's NOT for Dinner

One of the New Year's resolutions made in this household is to not eat out as often. We are doing it for all the normal reasons: to save money and cut calories -- in addition to the fact that restaurants currently seem to turn Meg into a Tasmanian devil type creature bent on destruction and visiting the bathroom at least a half dozen times.

Things have been going pretty well. We only ate out once in the past seven days, and that was with my parents, so among the four of us we each only had to take Meg to the bathroom twice. I had this week planned out perfectly too. Not only had I bought all of the food for (some of it with coupons!) but I had made a menu plan using items we already had in the freezer and the pantry.

It all went to shit tonight.

I had made Cholent before. Barley, beans, brisket -- beautiful and basic. Of course, before I had just let it cook on high in the crock pot for four hours. Today I had a meeting so I thought it would be okay to leave it on low for nine.

When I got home there really was no sign there was anything wrong. The house was still standing, and there was a lovely smell of beef and garlic in the air.

And that's when I looked in the crock pot.

What I found can best be described as cremains. Cremains covered in beef fat. All of the liquid was gone. The beans and barley had formed a crust around the pot that I am still trying to soak off four hours later. The beef was more than jerkified. I took a bite, thinking maybe it just looked bad, only to find it tasted worse.

All of that work. All of that planning. All of that not admitting I hate cooking at home, and smilingly making grocery lists and menu plans. All of it was now laughing at me, and filling my nose with the smell of ruined dinner.

I almost threw the damned thing through the plate glass window.

Ryan walked in during the middle of all of this and saw what was going on. With few words he scooped Meg up and took her to eat and see the bathroom at the burrito place down the block. I took the crock pot to the garbage outside and emptied the sludge, then went inside to make some pasta. Then I called my Mom and ugly cried about the whole thing.

And now?

Now I am just hoping the crock pot is clean by tomorrow so I can make chicken and noodles.

After all, a resolution is not a resolution if it only lasts until January 17th.


Riot Kitty said...

I hate it when you put so much time into cooking and it all goes to shit. I would have gone to the burrito place!

Miss Yvonne said...

We're trying to eat out (heh heh) less this year too. So far at work I've cut it down to two lunches out a week. Any less than that and I want to throw my frozen dinner at my boss's head.

LL Cool Joe said...

Maybe someones telling you something? To eat out more often? :D

Sam said...

Cholent? That's the food of MY people. ;) I think you should take a moment to acknowledge yourself for cooking up the damn thing in the first place. I'm impressed, at any rate. You tried!

And I'm with you on the this one. We eat out WAY too much. Too bad I didn't think to make a resolution about it...

Ells (aka Serialmono) said...

I feel like my crock pot goes into overdrive sometimes for no good reason. My mom used to run hers for what seemed like days! But now, it's super-overdone super-fast. It sounds like a conspiracy to me.

Or some stupid government regulation due to food safety.


Lisa said...

Cholent?!?! I love cholent. Haven't had it since my grandmother was alive. You know, 28 years ago.

How did my grandmother leave it in her oven for 24 hours and your crockpot turned it into cremains in 9? Not fair.

Kelly said...

This sounds like something that would happen to me.

Good intentions count too.

PS, your blog hates my guts.

jamieinflag said...

I'm such a procrastinator that my resolutions don't start until Chineese New Year :) You have until January 23rd to get back on track! I suggest scrapping the cooking and ordering in every night until Monday!

The Twisted Tine said...

These temporary setbacks are okay, though... especially when taking on something as daunting as home-cooking.

I applaud the effort, feel your pain, and think it'll go better next time. I tend to have a failure rate of about 30% when it comes to my meals...