I consider myself a good cook, not spectacular, not superior by any means, but definitely good. My family puts me in the fabulous spectrum, but for all intense purposes, they don’t count because they are way too biased. But honestly, I don’t think that I’ve ever cooked anything that people didn’t like. I’ve been told repeatedly that I need to open a restaurant. I’ve been praised enough to know that I am at least “good” at this. So tonight was a massive disillusioning disappointment to me! Triple fail…OY!
It all started out with the best of intentions. I was going to make Chicken Marsala. Now I made this years ago, but couldn’t quite remember how it went so I looked up a recipe by the ultimate, the fabulous, the BAM of all chefs, the guru, my hero, Emeril. I had everything here except for this Marsala wine which of course was paramount to the recipe. I had to go to Walmart anyway (go figure) so I figured I’d pick up a cheap bottle since I was only cooking with it anyway. Well, that’s where it all started. I couldn’t find anything that said Marsala and I had no clue if this was white or red (you see, I am not a wine drinker at all so this stuff is foreign to me). I called my mom and she and my sister concluded that his was a red wine but that was as far as we got. I asked a lady who had purchased a buggy-full of wine and she was quick to tell me that Marsala is a little more expensive and I could find it at the liquor store OR I could just buy a bottle of red wine here, she suggested sweet as she personally did not care for dry wine. I took her advice. $3 bottle of sweet red wine and I was good to go. I made the rest of my purchases and headed home. So far so good!
I started by preparing the homemade mozzarella sticks so I could put them in the freezer and get them ready for deep-frying later. I had this one down so this was not a problem. B was exercising and the kids were playing along so I had time. I cut the chicken as instructed, dredged them in the necessary flour and essence mix and started frying them in the preheated oil and butter. Things were going fabulously! They looked great!
After the required fry time, all browning (but not complete cooking) done, I took them out and set them aside, just as the recipe called for! This was going fabulously, and B was just about to head out for his evening run so dinner would surely be complete and perfect when he got home! Well that was the plan. I went to the next step and started frying the mushrooms in the way-too-much butter (no salt variety of course). The house smelled spectacular and I was sure this would be my masterpiece! Then all hell broke loose!
I added the wine and began the sauce process. After the wine boiled in half (what a hard thing to determine… although I am not a wine drinker, I contemplated drinking half of it so I wouldn’t have to fret over this step, but I didn’t). I watched, I waited, and when I figured half-ish was gone, I added the needed chicken stock. Hmmm…what’s that smell? Ewwaahh…well it is foul after all and I am a vegetarian so this must be normal! But not only was the smell bad, something about my dish just didn’t even look right at this point! I let the boiling continue…despite the smell. Then, in walks B. “What is that smell…OMG did something die?”. Really, oh no, he smelled it too! I hear “Christy, something is really wrong, it smells sour, were you going to feed me this shit?”. Yup, something was definitely wrong! So I look at my chicken broth and oops…it was supposed to be refrigerated so guess what, this foul WAS foul! Ruined! Damn! Oh well, I can still salvage the chicken! I pour my poisonous mixture down the disposal, realize I have used all of the mushrooms, but I can proceed with making the sauce again. So here I go (and by the way, I am no longer taking pictures at this point because I am pissed but giggling and spraying Fabreeze to the sound of an exhaust fan)! I add the wine (again), I add water this time (no stock left thank God) and hope for the best. After boiling it down for a bit, I add the chicken and start cooking, fingers crossed! I cook some noodles, I deep fry the cheese sticks, and I complete the chicken that was supposed to be my masterpiece!
Well as far as this went, all turned out well. The chicken (so they tell me) was really good (without the mushrooms of course). The noodles were a good side dish, and as usual, the cheese sticks were great, better than ever actually because I changed up a bit! Ok, so it was an initial fail, with a save! Whew!
But dumbass me decided to go back into the kitchen…what was I thinking? B had asked me to pick up cookie dough when I went to the store. To us, that generally means a box because it’s quick and easy and yummy! Well, true to form for our Walmart, they were out of the “boxed mix” so I bought those prefab tube things. How hard could this be right? So while B took his shower, I went in for the kill. Apparently, I made the “balls” too big. Instead of the required 9 minutes, mine took more like 20 and they were still gooey. My family laughed as they ate the cookies. Ok, fail two, but we’re still laughing!
Then, as B was getting ready for bed, I was preparing his lunch for tomorrow. This always starts with me cooking him a rather large sausage patty that he can heat in the morning, put in some bread, and eat on the go rather than stop for fast food. I patty it up, put it in the pan, just like every other evening. He heads to bed and I go to “tuck him in” as usual, knowing that the patty will be almost complete when I come out. Well, I tucked him in, got the babies out of our room, emerged to check the patty only to find that I never even turned the damned stove on! Seriously? WTH? Thank God my night in the kitchen is over.
This might only be one night and it’s never happened before, and hopefully it will never happen again, but seriously, this one TRIPLE FAIL night has me rethinking my culinary skills all together! I’m sure I’ll go at it again tomorrow night, but this time, I’m asking that you all say a little prayer! If I have another night like tonight, my family may be eating McDonald’s from now on! Emeril would be ashamed!