Sunday, November 08, 2009

Never Again (In My Kitchen)

I have a few things I am addicted to -besides nicotine, that is. One would be knitting and crochet pattern books. The other -cookbooks!

I've got a pretty healthy supply of cookbooks, in addition to subscribing to a couple websites, each of which list beaucoup recipes.

It's not that I cook all kinds of stuff -fancy or plain -all the time, but I do love to look through cookbooks, especially, and dream of whipping up some of the really yummy looking stuff shown in them. Same applies to the websites too.

I especially like to pick up the little specialty cooking booklets -put out by a major publisher of several cooking monthly magazines. After church today when Kurtis and I went up to the local store to get the Sunday paper, I spied a new one of these pretty little cookbook booklets. I leafed through it and a recipe in there looked really appealing to me so, after looking over the ingredients, I decided what the heck -toss the booklet in the cart and take it home to study it further.

All the recipes in this booklet were supposedly geared towards "Comfort Food." I liked that idea. Liked the thought of comfort food being something yummy but also without tons and tons of preparation too.

After perusing the whole booklet at home, that same recipe I'd briefly scanned at the store was still beckoning me, calling my name. Yessiree, it surely was doing that to me.

I had picked up a nice-sized piece of London Broil and had the idea in mind of cooking that up in the crockpot with a package of onion soup mix and another packet of brown gravy mix, all stirred together with two cups of hot water and poured over the meat to let that simmer a couple of hours so it would have a nice dark brown gravy with good meat as well as onion flavoring to it.

And, I decided to try the recipe I'd spied in this new cookbook booklet too!

The recipe consisted of shredded potatoes, carrots with a little bit of shredded onion in the mix and it was to be cooked in a white sauce with a "hint" of cheddar cheese melted into the white sauce. I don't know why, but it sounded "interesting" and the picture of the dish looked VERY inviting to me too.

Not knowing if anyone would be here to have supper with us, I decided that the initial recipe appeared too small, so I doubled it. That was my first mistake here!

I should know by now not to double a new recipe unless I have at least some idea of how the end result is going to taste -like maybe I have sampled a bit of the dish someplace else. Which, in this case, of course, you know I'd never heard of this dish before today much less ever sampled a bit of it too.

Well, let me tell you -the first comment about the potato-carrot-onion casserole came from Mandy. "Pretty bland," says she.

Yeah -had to agree with that assessment, I did.

But, considering Bill tends to regard my cooking as a bit heavy on the spices and way too spicy quite often for his taste buds, I thought maybe i might be something he would like.


What's more, as I dug into it, I discovered I didn't care for this item at all! Not even on itty-bitty little bit!

Before setting the food on the table, I had told Mandy I wasn't sure how this casserole was going to go over tonight as it was a bit of an experiment. After she took a look at it, she grabbed the camera and took a picture of it. (No, I have no downloaded that photo to my computer as yet plus she intends to use it first on her Facebook.

Wonderful! Let the whole freaking world in on the supper disaster at our house -complete with pictures at 11 p.m. Sure. I love that idea. NOT!

What really gets me is the description of this item in the cookbook -is that the lady who submitted it says that she has been relying on this for more than 30 years and states that is most certainly a strong testimony then for the scrumpdeliciousness of this casserole.

And to that I say, Lady, you need your tastebuds examined!

Thank goodness the meat was just right -done to a nice juicy tenderness, gravy really flavorful and all that. Plus I had a beautiful loaf of "Swedish Kaka" bread my neighbor had made and donated to the Fall Bazaar at our church yesterday to soothe my tormented tastebuds from this yucky casserole.

That, plus I also have a couple pieces left of the really tasty "Creamsicle" fudge-like candy I had purchased at the Bazaar yesterday too.

Oh well, what the heck you gonna do when a food experiment that looks to be so good goes awry?

While trying to eat this concoction, Mandy asked if it was a lot of work to fix and I said yes, and that only added more insult to my injured cooking spirit today.

That will be the last time I ever shred potatoes and carrots and cook them in a special white sauce with a hint of cheese in it too!

It looked about like a baked casserole of coleslaw and even that I think would have tasted a whole hell of a lot better than this dish did!

Considering all these recipes have supposedly been tried and tested for accuracy, flavor, ease of preparation and all that by the food editors of this little cooking booklet, I think maybe they all need to have their taste buds checked out too cause mine sure don't agree with this as being a wonderful entry in the world of wonderful "Comfort Foods."

Nope. NOPE! Never again will this item be fixed -by me -and served to anyone in my family!

They can rest assured in that!


Mary said...


I'm sorry about the casserole not turning out. I'm thinking that it needed some spices to liven it up. I don't blame you for not making it again.

We all experiment and sometimes it doesn't turn out. If you want something that is delicious and great comfort food, shred potatoes, carrots and onions, add a dab of butter, wrap them in tinfoil and BBQ. Mmm!

Wishing you a great week.

Dr Jenn said...

Jeni - Winter is setting in and so is my urge to cook and craft. LOL. I cooked for 3 days for the church social (home coming) and all that went all gone was the baked chicken and the fudge. LOL.

Tell your daughter to add me to her facebook so I can view the pictures!

I like to make crockpot dishes and I also buy them yummy booklets all the time.

As far as the pattern books for crochet and knitting... I just don't know how to read a pattern for them! I think they look neat and would love to learn to read them but for now, it is scarves and blankets! LOL. Straight line and the only pattern is if I use multi-colored yarn!


Dr Jenn said...


I do the potato with onion (chunked not shredded)in either tinfoil or a tin pan on the grill. I flavor with Mrs. Dash and butter and YUMMMMMMMy

terri said...

It is SO disappointing when a new recipe is nothing like you'd imagined it to be. As you described it initially, it sounded really good to me too. I'll take your word for it that it wasn't.

Now the London Broil... that DOES sound good. I love anything I can put in the crock pot, and also commonly add Lipton soup mixes, or canned soup and packaged gravies too.

Sandee said...

I'm sorry it turn out horrible. You are right about doubling a recipe that you've not cooked before. That usually spells disaster. You poor thing. You just never know. The meat and that bread sounded really good though.

Have a terrific day. Big hug. :)

fermicat said...

So disappointing to try a new recipe and not like it. Most of the time, we can think of a few tweaks to make something better, but sometimes we decide NEVER AGAIN! We're eying a few soup recipes from this past week's Food section of the paper. Hope they pan out.

Berni said...

Shame after all your effort that it didn't turn out. I have had a few of those disasters, unfortunately they seem to happen when we have someone over, and not necessarily to a new recipe. It is uncanny if we invite someone, it burns, it doesn't get cooked properly, or what have you, and I am not a bad cook just a bit adventurous.

Linda said...

Hmm, sounds like it may have needed some extra cheese as well as a few spices here and there to liven it up. I take it you weren't able to help it out of its bland state with a little bit of gravy poured on?

I've got to think there's nothing much more disappointing than following a recipe to a T and having it come out wrong.

Better luck with your next new recipe!

Maggie May said...

Oh dear..... that was a great pity. Maybe to make it really comforting it would need LOTS of cheese & not just a HINT of cheese!

I am still cracking up over that remark about the turkey foot! (My place!) LOL

Nuts in May

....Petty Witter said...

You are obviously talented in more than one way. I also have a large collection of cookbooks, people keep on giving/buying me them - I can't think why when I'm a complete disaster in the kitchen, maybe they are trying to tell me something. Something like - learn to cook. Come to that, I'd also love to be able to knit like my mam or crochet like my nana. Oh well, I suppose I'll just have to stick to reading books, cookbooks included.

Paula said...

Well your London Broil sounds wonderful anyway, so dinner wasn't a complete disaster at all. I'm constantly experimenting with new recipe's and sometimes they just don't turn out. At least you tried!

TechnoBabe said...

I think you can doctor that casserole and make it into a success.

Travis said...

My mom has a healthy supply of cookbooks, including several that she got from her mom. She loves to experiment with new recipes.