I did a post some time ago about some of my favorite cookbooks. Eddie had recently given me a signed copy of "The Pioneer Woman Cooks". What a fabulous cookbook! I have spent many hours, thumbing through the pages and dreaming of creating such yummalicious meals as she does.
And now she has a terrific new show on The Food Network! Have you caught it on Saturday mornings yet?
A few weeks back, she made macaroni & cheese for her son's birthday celebration. Oh, my Lord...it looked so tasty!!! I pulled out the cookbook, found the recipe and decided to give it a try.
Now, I could tell from the ingredient list that this recipe was going to make roughly a ton of mac & cheese (you need four cups of raw macaroni elbows - that's a lot for us empty-nesters). But, that was okay....
We love mac & cheese.
We will enjoy this for days!!!
So, I proceeded to put together all the ingredients and give it a whirl.
Right away, I encountered a problem. The recipe calls for plain ol' flour - all I had was some whole wheat flour. But, I figured since I use it a lot in cooking, this shouldn't be a big deal.
As I started simmering and stirring the rue, I realized that both the color and texture of whole wheat flour were going to change the appearance of the dish drastically. Maybe I'm just so accustomed to seeing that neon-glow-in-the-dark-orange tint that you get with the box of Kraft mac & cheese. In comparison, this just looked so.....
The cooking progressed and I grew more and more dismayed that my mac & cheese wasn't going to look like her's. I got so upset about it that I completely forgot to stir all the seasonings into the rue before I started adding cheese. In fact, I forgot all about them until I spotted the small bowl of pre-measured seasonings sitting there by the stove when I shut the oven door to start baking the prepared dish!!!!
I immediately grabbed the large skillet filled with about 20 pounds of yucky, tan-toned mac & cheese out of the oven and stirred in the seasonings. At this point, I was just about in tears....which, for some reason, seemed to annoy Eddie Dale immensely. So, I slammed the dish back into the oven, shut the door and began to clean up the mess in the kitchen. (I might insert here that I was already a little PMS'y this day...)
Let me point out that my selection of the oversized oven-proof skillet in which to bake the dish was not optimal, either! After the required cooking time, I pulled out the finished product and started serving it up. Unfortunately, the crust was truly a "crust" - thick, dark brown and overcooked, downright crunchy. So, I realized we would just have to scoop out the inside and avoid the vast burnt expanse of the edges. Ugh...
All I can say is that it was an "experience". Not a pleasant one, necessarily....nor a tasty one. The use of the whole wheat flour definitely changed the dish - and not for the better! After we suffered through the meal, Eddie carefully avoiding making any eye contact with me, I carried the skillet of leftovers straight to the trash can and unceremoniously dumped it!
The silver lining to this debacle - we had prepared her "comfort meatballs" as the main dish and I can say that they turned out to be awesome! Thank goodness!!! Because my version of the mac & cheese was a total disappointment.
And now you know why I love to collect cookbooks and gaze longingly at them.....because my experiences in actually preparing dishes according to the recipes are sometimes quite disastrous!
Keeping it real in the kitchen, y'all....