Sunday, December 28, 2008

Duct-taping Christmas Eve dinner

These pictures are not in order because I don't want to spend the time to put them in order.
Here's a picture of one of the many spills that occurred while trying to make dinner.  And here's some left over sticky stuff on my crockpot courtesy of John trying to duct tape the lid closed.  

The paint spill happened right after the flour spill.

Who needs utensils when you've got fingers?

Those are Roman's fingers in the pink mashed potatoes, not mine.
Here, let me do it.  (Um, no.)
My solution.  (Worked).
John's solution.  (Didn't work).

Much like Thanksgiving dinner, we sat down with Bella and talked about what we were going to have for dinner to make sure we were all happy with the menu.  No sense in making dinner if nobody eats it right? She suggested having the potatoes she likes this time.  Easy enough.  We agreed to roast, mashed potatoes, gravy, rolls, red jello, orange jello salad, and corn.  Totally doable.  My FIL gave us a roast the day before.  I didn't even have to go shopping as we had everything we need for this dinner.  At least, I hope we do.  I don't care enough to check.  It's snowing and I'm staying indoors.

Wednesday morning John calls from work and asks me if I started the roast yet.  Um,  I just got out of bed and you expect me to be thinking about a roast?  So around 10:30 I put the roast in the crock pot and start worrying that it's not going to be ready by 6:00.  So I worry and worry and worry about it.  Then I start worrying that it might not taste good.  John's the one who always makes the roast whenever we have one.  I don't know what spices he uses.  Then I remember someone telling me they put in a package of dry onion soup mix when they make a roast.  Someone gave us a box the other day so I know I have that.  I mix two packages with a cup of water as suggested on the box.  I pour it over the roast.  

That's when the trouble begins.  Because I added the cup of water, now the crock pot lid won't stay down all the way.  The roast is so freakin huge that it's lifting up the lid.  My worries that the roast won't be ready just skyrocketed.  I push and push and push on the lid but it won't stay down.  Great.  What are my options?  I could somehow pour the water out but that's going to be really messy.  I could try and scoop out some of the water.  "Honey," I call, (he's home from work now), "the roast is too big and I can't get the lid to stay down."  He comes over and inspects.  "Should I just pour out the water?" I ask.  
"We need something to hold it down."  He starts looking for something.  "Do we have any tape?"
"I don't think the tape will stay,"  I say.  "What should we do? Should I just pour the water out?"
"Where's the tape?"  he says again and looks around the kitchen.
"Honey, you just fix it okay."  My stress levels becomes uncomfortable.  "I'm putting you in charge."  I hate decisions and trying to solve problems.  Like I really hate decisions/stress/dinner crisises. 

Then he has it in his hands.  I'm completely surprised.  I think it's the first time he's found something without me either telling him where it is or me getting it for him.  He starts duck taping the crock pot lid.  I almost laugh out loud but cover my mouth as I realize a blog post coming on.  I reach for my camera and start snapping pictures.  I manage to get one picture before he realizes what I'm doing.  He goes for the camera and we start dodging each other as he protests and I insist.  We are both laughing hysterically.  "This is going to be so funny on the blog" I say as I'm taking pictures of him trying to get the camera away from me.  Unfortunately, the camera is too slow to get the picture of him flipping me off.  

He gives up and goes back to ripping off pieces of duct tape with his teeth and putting them on the lid of the crock pot.  It doesn't work of course.  

I find something that does.  It's a $30 platter I bought from Target a couple of years ago.  We've never used it.  I bought it as an accessory when I was staging our spec house.  I tried to sell it at our moving sale but nobody bought it.  It also didn't sell at our garage sale this summer.  But now it has a purpose.  The very heavy platter is going to sit on the crock pot lid and keep it closed.    

I make the orange jello salad and remember to put the mandarin oranges in it this time.   With only four ingredients you wouldn't think that I wouldn't forget the main one, but I did last time I made it.  No wonders it tasted different.  I ask John to go out in the garage and find the potatoes someone  gave us.  He brings them inside and peels them and I chop them up.  They are red.  I've seen potatoes that are red on the outside but these ones are red on the inside.  I start worrying that they aren't going to taste good.  Oh well.  I chop em up and cook em and mash em.  They are pretty lumpy so I grab the whipping cream that's in the fridge and pour some in.  Whoops.  That was too much.  Uh oh.  Now they're too runny.  I can't really peel, chop, and cook more potatoes.  Well, I guess I could but that would really suck.  So I get this really good idea and I make instant potatoes and put some aside for Bella since she wanted them anyway, and then I add the rest to the real potatoes.  Runny potato problem solved.  I smile at myself.  What's next?  The rolls.  Easy enough.  I grab the bag from the freezer and put them on the cookie sheet.  Then I open a can of corn.  It's kind of shameless how easy this Christmas Eve dinner is to make.  Oh wait.  I haven't made the gravy yet.  I don't know how to make gravy but I'm not in the mood to call my sister, so I try this one on my own.  I get out this new utensil I bought at the store that sucks stuff up, I have no idea what it's called, and I start sucking up the juice from the roast and dropping it into a pan on the stove.  As I do this I make a huge mess as I have no problem sucking up the juice but a huge problem transporting that juice to the pan. With the roast juice in the pan on the stove, I try and think of what I should do next.  Flour?  I think people put flour in.  So I say to John, "Do you think I should put flour in the gravy?"  
"Here, I'll do it," he says.

He starts to put some flour in the gravy, loses patience and ends up dumping tons of flour into the gravy,  spilling it on the stove and the floor.  Thanks.  I'll take over from here.  So I take some of that crap out and add more roast-juice spilling even more juice onto the counter. We are both idiots in the kitchen if you haven't noticed by now.  (The gravy doesn't end up turning out that good even though I fix the flour consistency problem.  It tastes too much like dry onion soup mix.)

This is when we find that Roman has gotten into the paint that Gregg and Allen gave Bella earlier in the day when they came over to exchange presents.  I pick up the bottles of paint, wash Roman's hands, snap a picture, and walk away from the paint in the carpet.  Yes, I just walk away.

I dig out the Christmas dishes that I have somewhere.  Oh yeah.  Top shelf of the pantry.  Glad I didn't forget to use them as that would kind of defeat the point of having special Christmas dishes.  I also get out the special red goblets that Bella loves.

We set the table and then sit down to eat.  Roman eats the red jello.  He spits out everything else.  Bella eats a roll, red jello, orange jello salad, corn, and some of her instant potatoes. She's mad the gravy tastes gross.  John eats the roast.  I eat a roll.  Capri eats it all.  We have leftovers out the ying yang.  
Amanda is craving a knock your socks off /smack your fanny chinese chicken salad.  

Monday, December 22, 2008

Tonight's dinner was dinner charity thanks to a good friend.  She made us chicken noodle soup and breadsticks.  Thanks Michelle!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Spaghetti--the old stand by

As some of you know, John has been sick lately so I haven't had to cook a lot.  Not because he makes me cook, just because there's really no point to making dinner if he doesn't eat it. Nobody else really cares.  But he started feeling better and I was feeling okay on Friday so I decided that afternoon to make dinner.  

First I had to decide what to make.  We had some leftover chicken from Thursday night so I thought I would make chicken noodle soup.  I call up my sister and ask her how to make it. (Are you laughing at me already?)  Then I start searching for all the ingredients.  Noodles.  Where are the noodles?  Check.  Chicken.  Check.  Bouillon cubes.  Bouillon cubes.  Ummmm.  Bouillon cubes.  Come on.  I have to have bouillon cubes.  I can't believe I don't have any bouillon cubes.  I used to have some.  Oh yeah, I threw them away before we moved because I never used them and they had expired.  Crap.  So I guess I won't be making chicken noodle soup.  Dang, that kind of sounded good.  Ok.  Now what am I going to make for dinner?  I could make hawaiian haystacks.  I know we're kind of sick of those but it would use up the chicken and Bella really likes em.  

I wash out the rice cooker.  (Are you laughing again?)  Then I reach into the pantry for the rice and where's the rice.  Dang it all to heck.  We're out of rice aren't we?  Yep, I used the last of it last time.  We might have some in the garage in the boxes of food storage.  I don't know if I can find anything out there.  I go looking but I give up after I've said about 5 swear words in my head.  You can't have hawaiian haystacks without rice so now I have to figure out what else to make.  We could have spaghetti.  That's what it's got to be.  Spaghetti, the old stand by.  We have it ALL the time.  And there's a reason we have it all them time.  Well, four reasons actually.

1.  We've had too much McDonald's.
2.  We've had too much Papa John's.
3.  There is nothing else to have.
4.  I can't think of anything else.

So reasons 1-4 applied this time so we were having spaghetti.  I make two kinds.  With meat and without.  I'm sure you know who likes the meat one.

What did you make for dinner?  Spaghetti.
Did everyone eat it?  No. I didn't.  (I was feeling sick again by this point and didn't eat anything and Roman had maybe one bite.)
Did Capri eat it?  She loved it.  
Did it make John sick?  No.
Did Bella put too much Parmesan cheese on? Probably.  I choose not to watch her put it on anymore.  
What about John?  Did he put too much Parmesan cheese on?  Yes.
Why do you care if John puts too much parmesan cheese on but you don't care if Bella puts too much on?  Shut up.
Was it easy to make?  What do you think?  
Will you make this again?  Oh you know I will.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Is it bad to feed your kids McDonald's for lunch and for dinner?  On the same day?

Does it help that lunch was a Cheeseburger Happy Meal and dinner was a Chicken Nugget Happy Meal?

Go ahead and pass it over.  Bad Mom Award.