Tuesday, October 21, 2008

When Cowboy Boots cook...

This last week I was feeling homey (not to be confused with homely) and decided to make apple crisp with some apples that weren't being eaten. I would impress my fellow employees and bring an award winning treat to work.

I grabbed my grandma's trusty ol' recipe book and after careful studying began to make the delightful dish.
As I was reading the recipe there was something that didn't seem quite right to me but it was grandmas recipe so it had to be right...it's always be right before um...except for the first time I made meat loaf for Natey-poo...

We had been married for over a year when Nate broke down and told me that I made the best chicken in the world "Sesame chicken, BBQ chicken, chicken fingers, chicken and stuffing, grilled chicken, fried chicken, baked chicken, chicken sandwiches, chicken soup...but baby," he told me "I don't really like chicken." Oh, I see...don't cry, don't cry, I had to tell myself but I cried. I was just trying to save money and cook something somewhat healthy since his diet consisted of and average of 1 Mt. Dew and 3 candy bars a day.

Fine, you don't like chicken? Well mister, you're going to regret saying that. No more chicken pot pie, no more chicken salad, no more chicken...(sorry, I just started crying again). And so, I buoyed my spirits and decided to turn our lives around and make...MEATLOAF.

I hadn't made meatloaf for years, and yes, I know you seasoned cooks are laughing in your aprons, but I wanted to look at a recipe just to make sure I hadn't forgotten anything too important to make the perfect meatloaf. I went for the most well known recipe book on my shelf, grandma's recipe book with the recipe for delicious meatloaf. As I prepared the ingredients, I felt comfortable knowing that Nate wouldn't have to suffer eating chicken tenders, chicken wings, chicken...(tear, sorry).

I went to preheat the oven but stopped short when I read and reread the cooking instructions: Cook at 150 degrees for 2 hours
"That's weird," I thought. Even with my limited cooking experience, I was pretty sure you shouldn't cook meat at 150, I would have thought 350 but it was grandmas recipe and grandma knows what she's doing.

I threw the meatloaf in the oven and went to take a nap, sure that the smell of perfectly cooked meatloaf would wake me when the time came near to take it out.

Two and a half hours later I woke up, hungry wanting meatloaf. I looked in the oven but to my dismay I saw right way that the meat was still raw. So I put the pan back in the oven and began doing something productive. As I continued to check the oven over time, I began to feel a little nervous. 6 hours is way too long to cook meatloaf. Chicken Parmesan would have been finished way sooner, you know?

Finally, with Nate crawling on the floor from being faint from hunger, I said a long, long prayer and started dishing up the perfect meatloaf. Nate took one look at the pearl pink meat with ribbons of red still glistening in the grooves and told me in his sweet way "There's no way in hell I'm eating this." I lamely said "But I followed the recipe" (plus an extra 4 hours to cook).

We dumped grandmas perfect meatloaf in the garbage and I happily threw a couple chicken breasts in our ever faithful George Foreman grill.
Later when I told grandma what had happened, she was mortified. "YOU COOKED MEATLOAF AT 150 DEGREES? YOU NEVER COOK MEATLOAF THAT LOW, IT SHOULD BE AT 350." Yes, grandma, thank you. I KNOW NOW!!!
Apparently whomever typed up grandmas recipe book made a pretty fatal typo....Marshall...was that you?

Back to the present, so I followed the directions in grandmas recipe book. And to my delight, I pulled out a sweet, crisp, delicious smelling apple crisp. It was beautiful. I almost wanted to tuck it away in a safe until the state fair came along next September.

I decided to take a little bite just to make sure the flavors were cooked together in culinary perfection. As I grabbed one of the cheap metal forks that we own, I called to Nate to come try some (even though he not really a crisp or pie person). He sweetly declined "I don't want any of that nasty stuff."

I'll never be able to taste that little crisp from heaven. For though it was beautiful, the top crisp was too hard to break through. My fork bent. I ran next door to see if the neighbors had a mini-concrete breaker, drill thingy. No luck, every moment passing meant that the crisp was getting harder and harder. It was not to be, I sadly packed my blue ribbon apple crisp in a pretty basket and towel and sent it where it would be put to good use. As a wrecking ball.

I think it's safe to say that my apple crisp days have ended, I can't face the pain of losing another apple crisp the way that I lost this one.


Amanda said...

I always have a tough time cooking meatloaf, too. It seems to NEVER get done in the center no matter how long it's in there. I remember the first thing I cooked for Josh was scrambled eggs and I didn't wash the brand new skillet before I made them. He spit them out and said they tasted metallic. Point is, I'm pretty good now, just hang in there.

gigi said...

You know every cook has these same experiences. Sorry about that. Nate is so picky don't give up on him though maybe in 30 years he'll admit he really loves your cooking. I posted a recipe for apple crisp on my blog last week. It was pretty good and it's the first time I'd ever tried that recipe. Keep on keepin on!

The Cinderella Life said...

Nate is a picky eater, I know. Now is your chance to dazzle him with another meatloaf.It can't be worse than the first one. You know to cook it at 350 degrees you can't go wrong!!!

Jocelyn said...

Haley, I'm with you. I cry every time a recipe goes wrong, even just the littlest bit. Grant is a trooper, though. "When I cook him dinner and I burn it black, he says, 'mmmm, I like it like that'" I'll have to send you some easy hamburger recipes.