I’d call myself an OK cook. I never took classes in school or cooked too much with my mom when I was little but I can sure follow directions (for the most part) and can make a mean Hamburger Helper. It wasn’t until a few years ago I learned that spinach was not just dark green snot out of a can but an actual lettuce type leaf that I really like! I had no idea that what slid out of that can and into the bowl to be microwaved was actually nothing like how the vegetable started. So I’ve been trying to cook more, be domestic and use more natural foods and less boxed things. So my mother in law made this dish quite a while ago that I loved and got the recipe. I’ve purchased the ingredients 4 times now, the first 3 times I let them rot in the fridge without preparing the meal. (bad girl!) But tonight, I finally decided to make it figuring it would be a great dinner with leftovers for lunches this week. Of course there has to be a point to this story or I wouldn’t be writing about my experience cooking this meal. Below is the recipe as written in my cookbook and below that is where it gets interesting. What I actually did. Apparently I’m a bit sidetracked, absent minded, not focusing, whatever but wow, I surprise myself! Here’s the recipe:
1/2 head cabbage chopped
1/2 onion chopped
several carrots chopped
4 stalks celery chopped
2 1/2 cups rice (cooked)
2 lbs hamburger
Cook rice. Sautee veggies & set aside. Fry hamburger w/ lid on to retain moisture, remove meat from pan. Add flour to meat drippings until absorbed. Season with garlic powder, salt & pepper. Slowly add milk maintaining simmer making gravy. Mix everything together & put in 9×13 pan. Prepare rice and layer on top. Prepare pie crust and place on top. Bake 350 for 1 hour.
And here’s what I did:
Forgot about the rice. Cooked 1 lb hamburger with no lid, check the recipe and see that was supposed to be 2 lbs WITH a lid, oops. Remembered that I forgot the rice and got it out of the cupboard. Fried my chopped onion, carrots & cabbage (thought I had celery but I didn’t so that was entirely omitted from the recipe) because I was using my simmer pan that has a lid for the meat and my large fry pan does not have a lid and 1 only have 1 simmer pan. Had to add water because they were turning brown and shriveled. Meat, done – Check! Veggies, done – Check. Rice? Still in the bag on the counter. Check the recipe, remember rice but instead of starting that, spoon out a large pile of veggies on top that hadn’t been mixed in/cooked yet to put in my salad later this week since I don’t need that many now that I’m apparently 1/2’ing my recipe because of the error with the meat. Remember again that I forgot the rice. Check recipe, go to add flour to the meat drippings …. but there are none, I didn’t put the lid on the pan when i cooked the meat. oops. So decide to throw some butter in the pan (same as meat drippings right!!?!) and go from there. melt some butter, grab the milk, open it up and stuff comes SCREAMING out at me… it’s pretty bad, who knows when it expired but it was screaming when i opened the lid. Poured the gelatinous ooze down the drain and ran the disposal for a while. Butter has now evaporated or cooked out so I need to add more butter to the dry pan cooking on the stove. Find a can of evaporated milk in the cupboard – Perfect! use the whole can, some flour & butter, add a bunch of seasonings and call it gravy! Check the recipe again and remember again that I still have forgot to cook the rice. Get the baking dish out, mix all ingredients (except uncooked rice I still haven’t started yet) in the big simmer pan and turn it off while I decide to start the rice. Cook rice, layer it on the bottom of the pan, cover the rice with the meat/veggie mixture, check the recipe, notice that it was backwards,the rice was supposed to be on top. “prepare” the pie crust by pulling it out of the freezer and unrolling it, hopefully that was all I was supposed to do, throw it on top and shove it in the oven. We’ll see how it turns out in about 50 minutes!
It smelled and tasted pretty good when i tried a bite though we’re missing celery, the rice was a bit mushy and all the other errors I made.
Now it’s officially NAP TIME!!!!!!!