Quaint, home-grown Easter Sunday

April 24, 2011 § 12 Comments

“I’m hungry,” I whined to Robert sometime around 9 this morning. “There’s no food in this whole house!” This is an exaggeration, of course, but what I meant to say was that there was no food I wanted to eat for breakfast in this whole house.

So, my loving husband loaded me in the car and off we went to the grocery store for a quick pick-up of a “couple” of items. A “couple” of items turned into “should we make pancakes or biscuits for breakfast this morning?” and “maybe we should have soy-free tacos for dinner this week….” (More on that tomorrow night!)

We shopped for close to an hour, starving along the way, and once home: we baked.

I rolled out Heart Smart Bisquick (it’s soy-free), popped the gooey-delicious disks into the oven while Robert cooked himself bacon and eggs (I can’t seem to eat them in the morning…I feel sick for the rest of the day), and then I set to work on preparing for Monday night’s dinner.

“You know,” I told my starving husband at 10:15. “I think we should go ahead and make the homemade tortilla shells right now, since we’re baking…that way we won’t have to try to do it tomorrow when we’re exhausted from work.”

Robert agreed. And then lived to regret his agreement.

I followed the recipe to the T, mixing my six cups of AP flour, 1 1/4 cups of soy-free shortening (palm oil instead of vegetable oil, thankyouverymuch), single tablespoon of baking powder and single teaspoon of salt with two cups of hot water (gradually added once the dry mixture creates small, crumbly balls). Robert manned our electric skillet while I attempted to roll out something that was reminiscent of a tortilla shell, in shapes that are utterly mind-boggling (the last couple do look a bit circular). And by 11:30, we had made a ton of thin, gorgeous, tasty tortilla shells for our soy-free taco night tomorrow. We froze half of them so that Robert could enjoy delicious breakfast burritos…for the remainder of the year.

Sure, we didn’t have our Easter Sunday breakfast until 11:30 this morning. And sure, our kitchen looked like we’d murdered the Pillsbury Doughboy for a little while.

But we ate semi-homemade biscuits for breakfast. And we made flour tortillas from scratch together.

Home-grown? Yes. Quaint? Cooking as a couple is as quaint as it gets. But a happy Easter? You bet! 🙂

Now, back to work!

P.S. I failed to mention that I burst a blood vessel in my ring finger today. I think it was from the strain of lifting some extremely heavy glass bowls out from under the counter. It doesn’t hurt, but my finger looks a little like it was in a fight.

Lessons “Learned” from the Kitchen Matriarchs

November 22, 2010 § 4 Comments

“Always remember to watch out for steam.”
“Steam is extremely hot, so always be careful around it.”
“Never look directly over a pot when you dump out the water.”
“Be mindful of where your skin is and where the steam is going.”

These are the words that reverberated through my head last night as two of my fingers on my right hand were scalded by a sudden and unexpected blast of steam.

Everything was going fine.   I was making a new-to-us beef stroganoff recipe last night for dinner, and, surprisingly, I had made it all the way to the end of preparation without incident.  The smells were mouth-watering, the sauce actually looked to be the correct consistency and color, and the noodles were as soft as you could possibly want them (without ruining them, of course).  My timer started to beep, so I removed all items from their respective burners, and reset my timer for a couple more minutes to allow the sauce to set properly.  During these couple of minutes, I silently celebrated a successful new meal.  So often when preparing a new-to-me recipe, I bungle it in one major way or another and end up feeling defeated and frustrated.  This time, though, I thought, I have actually succeeded!  Good for me! When my timer for the sauce beeped again, I brought the noodles over to the sink to drain.

The culprit

I had made my noodles in a specially-made pasta pot–one of those pots that has a draining lid so that you don’t have to wash a colander. Everything was going fine. The lid was secure, my face was away from the steam billowing forth, and I was very nearly done. When all of a sudden, a burst of steam issued from the right side. Directly on my fingers.

I probably had a moment when I could have thrown the pot down in the sink to stop from scalding myself. But I didn’t realize exactly what was happening…and I didn’t realize it would keep happening. I did ultimately throw the pot down in the sink, fortunately keeping the noodles safe inside, and immediately doused my fingers in cold running water. I also screeched an obscenity, although I’m not sure which one, and that caught Robert’s attention. Despite my insisting that I was fine, he came running into the kitchen anyway and offered help.

For the rest of the night, my hand rested under a bag of ice and water. When my skin burned from freezing, I removed the bag…only to experience yet again a burning sensation so strong that I could have sworn my fingers were in flames. Robert gave me a couple of pain pills (from when he received second-degree burns at work this summer), and soon I was able to pass out and sleep. I awoke this morning with some tenderness, but I won’t need any more medication or ice.

The worst part of this was the intense feeling of shame and humiliation. All those quotes that began this post? Those are the quotes from my family’s Kitchen Matriarchs–my grandmothers and my mom. They have all, at one time or another in my childhood, told me to watch out for steam. For a little over 29 years, I took heed of their warnings and avoided steam with a kind of caution that can only be described as paranoia. Last night? Last night, I got lazy. And I got burned.

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