Browsing Archives for Kitchen Tragedies

A Fabulous Fall Salad

October 29th, 2010

My garden, she still grows.

I’ve got broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, spinach and a variety of lettuces going strong.

We hosted a med. staff party last weekend, so I harvested a large bowl of salad fixins to accompany the party boofay.

Here are the properly washed greens.

I threw a few nasturtiums in for color.

A few handfuls of dried cranberries…

Toasted pecans.

Feta.

A splash or two of apple cider vinegar…

And olive oil that has been warmed on the stove.

I adjusted the seasoning to taste adding sugar, salt and pepper, and then a bit more of everything until it came out right.

This is a wilted salad – thus the warmed oil.

Don’t you just feel healthier by looking at it?

You can find the recipe that inspired it here.

The Haunted Oven

September 15th, 2010

On Friday night, I decided to make some homemade pizza with some fabulous fresh produce from my garden. I gathered some sweet red bell peppers, some tomatoes, one of the last remaining onions from own onion patch and a fist full of fresh herbs. I was totally pumped to use my own frozen tomato sauce from last year. I even had fresh mozzarella on hand! This was going to be a great pizza!


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I poured some olive oil in a pan and sauteed some onion, herbs and garlic.  I chopped up tomatoes, olives, and peppers.  I fried some sausage and got out a bag of pepperonis.

The boys gathered around the stove like hungry birds snatching at pepperonis and black olives, but I shooed them away and added the tomato sauce to my sauteed herbs and a bit of honey as I like a slightly sweet pizza sauce.

Then I started on the pizza dough. I mixed up a simple batch from a store bought package and set it in a warm spot to raise a little and then I turned on my oven.

The oven heated for a few minutes and then it turned itself off.

I turned it back on and it heated for a few minutes and then turned itself back off.

I turned it back on.

It turned itself back off.

I went downstairs and flipped the breaker and turned the oven back on.

It heated for about three minutes and then turned itself back off.

I tried using the ‘rapid pre-heat’ button.

Turned itself off.

I tried using the convect button.

Turned itself off.

I tried standing on my head, doing cartwheels, muttering curses, shaking my fist.

Turned itself off.

I looked at my bubbling pizza sauce perking away on the gas burner, the rising dough on the counter top, the garden fresh ingredients all chopped and ready to be sprinkled on top and then I slowly and very morosely put it all away.

And we had sandwiches for dinner.

Blech!

The next day I tried the oven again.

It worked beautifully.

I made my pizza and it was AWESOME!

Even better with a day for that sauce to meld and the dough to rise.

As soon as I was done using the oven, the interior light started flashing on and off for I am not kidding you – TWENTY MINUTES!

The oven light blinked on and off, on and off, on and off.

On and off, on and off, on and off…

On and off, on and off, on and off…

The boys gathered around the stove and we all just stared at my oven as it flashed over and over again, beeping each time it blinked off or on.

Then it stopped.

And now it is back to only heating up for a few minutes and then turning itself off again.

I called a repairman.

Him – What is wrong with your oven?

Me – It’s haunted.

Him – What?

Me – My oven is haunted.

Him – Can you describe the problem?

Me – It turns itself off after heating for only a few minutes.  Lights flash when no one is touching the buttons.  Sometimes it works just fine and other times it is clearly trying to scare the hell out of me.

He can’t fix it until Monday.  Until then I am stuck with a ghost in my oven.

A roast ghost.

On a piece of toast.

That’s how I like my ghost the most.

Sorry about that rhyme, but it seemed like a good way to end this horror story.

The Freaky Fruit Fest

December 17th, 2008

It’s cold.
Really cold.
And nothing says cold like standing around the kitchen sampling bizarre tropical fruit with the kiddos.  
Let’s try some together!

This is my baby holding a baby pineapple.  

The baby pineapple was delicious and tasted just like a regular pineapple.
The only difference was that it was cuter and could fit in the palm of your hand.


Next, we slaughtered an innocent pomegranate.


To mixed reviews.


We moved on to the mango.


Drew did not much like the mango.


Persimmon


Very orange with a surprising star on the interior.


Jack slurped down that persimmon and begged for more.  

The rest of us were not so sure about it.  
It is very sweet in a kind of carroty way… with an extra dash of slime.


No this is not an alien egg, it is a kiwana.


Oh please no.


My two middle sons loved the kiwana!

It tastes like a green banana… but extra, extra, extra slimy with a pumpkin seed chaser.


Jack did not care for the kiwana.

At all.


And Calder… my oldest… while sampling the kiwana… well he just looked at me the way he always looks at me these days.  

Moving on… the pepino melon.


Which tastes like the cross between a watermelon rind and a very green cantaloupe.


Ethan liked the pepino.

Are you having fun?
Are you enjoying our little freaky fruit fest?
I have a feeling it is going to be a very long winter.


Then we tried the feijoa – an egg shaped tropical fruit that grows in Australia and South America.    

The feijoa met mixed reviews tasting somewhat like a kiwi gone wrong, but it does have a nice fragrance.  
It might have a future in candles.

Papaya


Stranger than it might seem. 


Again, reminiscent of other orange fleshed edibles like carrots and sweet potatoes but muskier and not so great.


The cactus pear


Kind of watermelony in texture, and bland in taste.

Hummingbirds are always pictured drinking from the Cactus Pear in the desert, but then… what choice do they have?


And lastly, the quince.

Yes this is the last fruit.
This post is not going to go on forever and ever.
It might kind of seem like it already has, but it is not.  
I promise.


Leathery in texture, the quince tastes like a dried, spiced apple.

We all liked the quince.  


Here are the taste results of our freaky fruit fest.

You can see that the first fruit, the baby pineapple and the last fruit, the quince got the most positive ratings.  
The feijoa and the kiwana got the most negative ratings.  
It was a fun activity, but I don’t think we will be adding any of these fruits to our normal diet.  
Still, in the course of normal conversation, the next time someone asks one of us what we think about the pepino melon… or the cactus pear… or the feijoa or the kiwana, we can say… musky with a hint of impending doom… or serious slime, with echoes of banana… or dry as dirt, sprinkled generously with sweet pepper.
And that is at least worth something.