Monday, February 7, 2011

Award Season

Fer cereal! The wonderfully stylish and ever-so-put-together* Nikki from Styling You has awarded me the Stylish Blogger award, and I'm excited.

The rules go a little something like this:

1. Say thanks and link back to blogger who passed on the crown. Thanks!
2. Share 7 things about myself.
3. Award 15 bloggers the Stylish Bloggers Award.
4. Contact them and tell them that they, too, are stylish.

As per the rules, Nikki shared seven things about herself - the seven times she found herself not quite so stylish, and I'm going to do the same - the seven times I was decidedly unstylish in the kitchen.


1. The Roasted Vegetable Lasagna. Oh dear. Who makes vegetable lasagna without the vegetables? I do!

2. The Thanksgiving Stuffed Pumpkin.  Once upon a time, there was a girl who wanted to make a vegetarian centrepiece for Thanksgiving. She roasted the pumpkin whole without a top. It got decidedly watery. She kept bailing it out. It never seemed to brown. She spent the whole day prior making her very own veggie stock, and very own cornbread for the stuffing. It all seemed to come together ok, and she stuffed the pumpkin with it. She then roasted the pumpkin some more until it was heated through and golden brown on top. Veggie Boyfriend (at the time) told her he'd invited a few people around for dinner at the last minute. None of whom were vegetarian. They sat down and struggled through a sloppy, watery pumpkin filled with some soggy, tasteless goo in the middle. Experiment 1 = fail. A lot of mashed potato was eaten that night.

3. The Unbearably Hot Fish Curry. In an effort to branch out and use a different type of curry paste in the interests of seeing if there were any better than the one I was currently using, I bought a type I'd never tried before. I used the requisite amount, added all the bits and pieces and everything was smelling rosy. Well, curry-y. Along comes Mother in Law, whom we invite to dinner as there's plenty, and she lives alone. That's when I decided to taste the curry to see how it was coming along.

Ouch.

I put in more coconut cream, more stock, more everything.

Still ouch.

It was devastating - that first split second where everything tastes amazing, and then the eyeball-searing heat that follows and drowns out every single other thing you try to do. It no longer tastes like curry, it only tastes like burning.  We ate tiny bites with gigantic spoonfuls of rice, and I had to give up after about five minutes. MIL soldiered on, adding sour cream to the mix, and managed to eat the whole thing. Respect!

Meanwhile, I now keep an emergency can of coconut cream in the cupboard for just such emergencies.

4. The pea puree. (I know what you're thinking - how can you stuff up a puree?) I had morning sickness. A lot. I didn't want to cook, but you know, husbands need to be fed and all that. I figured the refrigerated ravioli from the supermarket would suffice, but instead of buying a pre-made sauce to go with it, I decided to serve it on a bed of baby pea puree with a lot of parmesan and black pepper over the top. In my mind, it sounded uber-delicious. In reality, it was a soupy mess with green liquid, hard little bits of uncooked pea and not-entirely-cooked-through-in-my-haste-to-stop-cooking-already-and-sit-down pasta. Tasteless. Unappetising. Husband politely said it would be nice if it wasn't soupy. For the first time in my adult life we abandoned my culinary effort and ate something else. Yay being pregnant!

5. The Marshmallow Fluff Incident. Being a fan of American food, I spotted a jar of Marshmallow Fluff in my local supermarket. I bought it and attempted to make a Fluffernutter - a Marshmallow Fluff and peanut butter on white bread sandwich. One bite. Couldn't even swallow. To this day the thought makes me gag.

6. The time I made a cake and forgot the flour.  True story. I was extremely poor, and made a lot of things from scratch in regular rotation. One of these things was a banana cake, in which sometimes I'd add some chopped apple or pear. So this one day, at least the eight or nine-millionth time I'd made this cake, I creamed the butter and the sugar, added the eggs and fruit and popped it in the preheated oven. Twenty minutes later I stared at it stupidly wondering why it wasn't rising. Duh.

7. The homemade ravioli that sorta kinda didn't get cooked before we ate it. Again I hear you ask: "huh?" Let me qualify by saying I was pregnant, and suffering from baby brain in the extreme. I found myself skipping steps in recipes I knew by heart, completely by accident. I would drive around for ages until I realised I was twelve kilometres in the opposite direction. I'd go to the supermarket to get bread and would come home with coffee. I left the hair straightener on twice in one day. Et cetera and so on.

The scary thing is that I'd never get that nagging feeling I was forgetting something, or that something was off. I was blissfully unaware even when on the verge of burning the house down. So it was this day I was making a ravioli. A delicious filling went lovingly into wonton wrappers and sealed prettily. Layered beautifully with cream and garlic and fresh tomato and lemon and parmesan and into the oven it went until bubbling and golden brown.

Sitting down to eat, raving over the flavour and how easy the recipe was. Chewing. Chewing. Wondering why the texture was weird. Wondering why it kind of tasted raw. Wondering how I could possibly forget the entire step of boiling the ravioli first. Isn't that what you DO with pasta? boil it?

I won't miss you, baby brain!


Ok now I'm supposed to give this to 15 other bloggers, but a lot of y'all have this already. So I've decided to give it to a random number of blogs I love that have started up in the last year. I love them all for many and varied reasons - writing I'm jealous of, cooking I want to eat, that sort of thing. So without further ado, here are my recipients:

Martyr-hood

The Ambiguity Report, Maybe

Suburp

Maid in Australia

Keeping up with Lucy

The Recipe Binder


PS please tell me your kitchen disasters so I don't feel quite so bad....

*This is true, as I've gone to her house unnanounced and she looked gorgeous. Truly a style star!

6 comments:

  1. Hahaha #7 is my favourite :)

    I left out entire steps of the cooking process while preggers, however I've conveniently forgotten them :)

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  2. Oh thanks, so much I'm chuffed!
    I'd like to thank my children, for the constant inpiration. I'd like to thank my husband for supporting my nasty internet addiction. But most of all, I'd like to thank you Veggie Mama - for teaching me that food without meat, can be effing delicious!!

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  3. Oh thanks, so much I'm chuffed!
    I'd like to thank my children, for the constant inpiration. I'd like to thank my husband for supporting my nasty internet addiction. But most of all, I'd like to thank you Veggie Mama - for teaching me that food without meat, can be effing delicious!!

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  4. Oh no, you got caught in the Fluffernutter trap! Can't think of anything more sickly sweet...

    I cannot tell you the number of cakes that I have thrown in the bin before they had even cooled on the rack. But my best disaster was when I cooked some steaks on the bbq with the little plastic absorbent packaging pad still under them. It was dark. I was pregnant. It turned me off meat for a long time.

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  5. HAHAHA that's amazing! Honestly though, it sounds like something I would do. Believe it or not, I just threw the flour into the cake mix and it came out ok...

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  6. ok so, now I am even more confused about this award - which I got like a week ago and thought it has to be a FASHION thing? (i posted a big thing about it, oi, do you even read my blog??.. lol just kidding, I feel still very honored) So maybe it's not but since I got it twice now, I will do style failure thing too, but I won't promise when, I am just not that organized :)

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