Monday, August 16, 2010

pulling the plug

I thought I had it way easy tonight.  Mom picked dinner, dad picked dessert and mr was in charge of the family activity.  All I had to do was make it.  Want to see what we ate?
Look at that chicken!  Delicious, right?  Looks professional, right?
So I’ll bet you want my secret to perfect breaded and fried chicken, don’t you?
Well, because I’m nice like that, I’ll tell you.
Go to the grocery store, and buy it from the deli.  Because that’s what I had to do tonight when I totally botched the meal I was supposed to be making.
mom picked pulled pork sandwiches that I believe she got from Martha’s everyday living magazine.  I ended up only finding a pork butt shoulder roast (I had no idea pig’s had such strange anatomy...) that was a bit larger than the recipe called for.  This meant that I played around a bit with the spices for the rub.  It also meant that the roast wouldn’t fit nicely in my crockpot.  My crockpot that I’ve used a grand total of two times in 4 years.  Needless to say, I’m still figuring it out... 
It all started out just fine.  I was a little frantic to get it in the crockpot in time for it to cook for four hours, but it all worked out.  It smelled amazing at it cooked, and even though I wasn’t thrilled about the fact that I had to massage a huge chunk of animal carcass before cooking it, I started to feel like it was all worth it.
About halfway through, I took a look and decided I should flip the meat since it was so huge it was poking up out of the juices.  So, using a tongs, two spoons, an oven mitt and a lot of elbow grease I flipped the pudgy guy.  But once it was flipped, I couldn’t make the lid fit back on.  So I got innovative.  I pulled this out:
The good old bungee cord that lived in my car.  Worked like a charm.  I continued on with preparations.
I turned my attention to the pineapple upside down cake my dad had picked.  This was a recipe my parents had on hand from ages ago that we’d never made.  It was supposed to be a “lighter and healthier” version of the favorite.  After looking it over, I made a few modifications based on my taste, but went with the overall idea.  
When it was done cooking, I had my doubts.  I didn’t really think it was much to look at.  But it was pretty good.  The problem was that I’m used to my mom’s absolutely incredible pineapple upside down cake, so nothing could compare.  Everyone liked it though, so for something with a conservative amount of fat and calories (168 calories and 1 gram of of fat) I’d say it was a success.
Pineapple Upside Down Cake 
3 Tblsp brown sugar
1 1/2 Tblsp butter, melted
6 pineapple rings
1/3 C. pineapple juice
1/2 C. Applesauce
3/4 C.  sugar
3 eggs
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 C. flour
2 Tblsp baking powder
1/8 tsp salt
In a 9 inch cake pan, mix the brown sugar and the melted butter.  Add 2 Tblsp pineapple juice and mix well until it is syrupy and smooth.  Lay the pineapple rings down in a single layer on the brown sugar mixture.  Place a maraschino cherry in the middle of each ring.  In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking powder and salt and mix well.  In a seperate bowl, Combine the applesauce and sugar.  Add the eggs and vanilla and mix well.  Add the applesauce mixture to the flour mixture and beat well.  Pour this into the cake pan and bake at 350 for about 35 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.  Invert on a serving plate and serve with whipped cream.
So, after I was done baking the cake, I started on the side dish.  No one had picked one, so I chose at random a recipe I got off of a Betty Crocker Cookbook App on my phone.  (really useful when you’re in the grocery store and need a recipe!)  It was called Scalloped Corn, and after skimming through it I thought it was worth a shot.
When I started making it, I realized it was basically fancy creamed corn.  Now I will take just a brief moment to describe to you the uselessness - nay, disgustingness - of creamed corn.  It’s gross.  I’ve never liked it.  It reminds my of something that came from someone’s throat with a lot of really horrible sounds.  
So then I was considering skipping it, but I didn’t have anything else to make.  I forged ahead.  I doubled the recipe below to make enough for 5 of us. The end result was surprising.  Yes, I still maintain that it’s really only fancy creamed corn.  But it was much better than the canned version.  It reminded me of some kind of southern comfort food (though I’m not southern, so maybe I’m dead wrong).  Everyone had seconds (bug had thirds!) and the only thing I’d change is to add a little less salt.
Scalloped Corn
1 Tblsp butter
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 green pepper, finely chopped
1 Tblsp flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground mustard
dash of pepper
2/3 cup milk
1 can whole kernel corn, drained
1 cup corn flakes
2 Tblsp butter, melted
1/4 cup parmesan cheese
Heat oven to 350.  In an oven safe skillet, melt 1 Tblsp butter over medium heat.  Cook the onion and bell pepper in butter for about 5 minutes, until tender but still crispy.  Stir in the flour, salt, mustard and pepper.  Cook 1-2 minutes, stirring constantly until well mixed.  Remove from heat.  Stir in the milk.  Heat to boiling, stirring constantly.  Boil and stir for 1 minute.  In a small bowl, mix the cornflakes and the melted butter.  Sprinkle over corn.  Bake, uncovered, for 10-15 minutes or until bubbly and browned on top.  Sprinkle cheese and serve.
When I finished the corn, my parents were here and the meat had only 12 minutes to go.  I asked if they thought it would be cooked yet.  When my dad went to test it, he announced:  “it’s not done.  And it’s cold.”  What???  Yes, when I was wrestling with the bungee cord and the lid, I had inadvertently and ignorantly pulled the plug slightly from the wall.  Which meant it still needed about 2 hours or more.  
Mom and I went to the store for chicken.
(We’re going to try the pork tomorrow, and I’ll let you know how that goes!)  



alicia said...

Yummy dinner. I made a pineapple upside down cake only once. It was at a camp in a cast iron thingy. And it actually turned out really good. I never thought to try it at home. haha. Thanks so much for sharing these great ideas and linkin up to tasty tuesdays.

Natasha in Oz said...

What a funny story-you poor thing! That chicken did look pretty good, for store bought deli chicken that is!

Hope everything is OK now!

Best wishes,

Unknown said...

BUMMER! What a mess!

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