or, How Not to Feed Your Family and Impress Your Friends
In theory, I’m an amazing cook. I used to bake my own bread and make tortillas by hand. (Okay, so that was 20 years ago. In college. But! I produced feasts from scratch). I have a fabulous cookbook collection–some even signed by the authors–and apparently write a vegan food blog. (Yep–this blog you’re reading.) Last weekend, I went to the big vegan bloggers’ conference, Vida Vegan Con, and joked around with my food
heroes idols Isa Chandra and Terry Hope Romero. I met my bloggy friend at Luminous Vegans (happy squeal!). Dreena Burton and I showed each other pics of our kids on our phones! It was my brush with fame.
My sad little brush with fame.
Because…sometimes my cooking isn’t so great in practice.
A case in point… this is the
delightful disastrous family meal we procured tonight. It’s not entirely my fault. We were out of the chickpeas necessary to make chickpea cutlets. My hubby had used them to make hummus last Sunday and didn’t realize I needed them to make the cutlets, which he’d requested, for one of the few nights we had all our kids together. At dinner time. In the same house. It was supposed to be a special meal.
Everybody loves the cutlets. Sad face.
Instead, we had to implement Plan B.
There was no Plan B.
There was just… this:
1. Field Roast Sausages–extra dry: The label CLEARLY says not to overcook them. Did I obey? No. I also made exactly one and a half veggie dogs for the two year old. He has really loved them lately, and even requests them for breakfast. Tonight, they ended up on the floor.
2. Gluten-free Pasta 3.0: this is the third night in a row our dinner has featured this rotini pasta, which is a blend of rice, quinoa, and amaranth or something. It’s from Costco. Don’t buy it. It has gotten successively stiffer each evening. Drenching it with the last of the Vegenaise and calling it ‘pasta salad’ fooled nobody. Tomorrow, I will eat version 3.1.
3. Tempeh… just… tempeh: Only three of us like tempeh. When I made the non-likers try a bite, one of them screamed and tried to shove it back at me. The other silently ate it, then drank lots of water. The 14-year old ate some, but he’s 14. He eats everything.
4. Fried rice, salted three ways: We had left-over rice pilaf, which had been salted with lemon-garlic salt and veggie broth. I’d served it the night before with doomed tofu. What is doomed tofu? It’s the kind that tastes off when you sample it right out of the package but cook anyway because it cost $3 and hope the seasoning will disguise the off taste. It didn’t. Why did I store it with last night’s broccoli and rice all in the same dish? I AM FRUGAL. And optimistic. When my hubby saw it tonight, he said, “Oh, that tastes bad. I should’ve told you not to save it.” This from the man who eats avocado that has moldy parts, and milky coffee that has been left out all day.
Back to the rice. I added some soy sauce and peas, fried it in canola oil, and called it “fried rice.” Some of it got eaten. I think there’s more. I better be hungry tomorrow, because there is also the following to contend with:
5. Drunken Spinach: Hubby makes an amazing Italian-style spinach with sauteed onions, tomatoes, and nutmeg. Unfortunately, the tomato product we had on hand was ‘strained.’ Strained does not mean chunks. Therefore, the spinach was sodden. Plastered. Shit-faced. Hammered.
But, you know, we needed a sauce for the dry sausage, tempeh, and…
6. Mashed Parched Potatoes: How the heck did these mashed potatoes get so dry? I blame it on the new “perfect masher” we just used for the first time. Mashed potatoes should’t be so… arid.
Have you choked that all down yet?
As we told the kids, “It’s like a buffet!” (Have some water.)
We made them hot chocolate to make up for it.