Friday, August 21, 2015

not your typical recipe blog post.

 Domestic is not necessarily the word I would use to describe myself. I love making a home, hosting friends, family, and guests, and enjoying food and drink amidst lively conversation to be sure. I love walking into someone’s home and finding beautiful decorations, cozy accents, and the smell of something delicious. I try my best to recreate that atmosphere in my own home, with a little dose of the ‘I’m not really good at this stuff’ reality mixed in. I think I am oftentimes too eager to be a part of the camaraderie that is happening to be good at the details.

So sometimes I’ll get the question, “Do you enjoy cooking?”
Yes, because I really like to feel like I can make people happy with food, however, I’m bad at it. I give myself too much freedom in the kitchen for my skill level and I end up with something that only resembles the recipe I attempted. The point is.. I’m not a good cook. And I’m okay with that.

We eat in just about every night of the week, so I’m obviously keeping my family nourished somehow. It works, but my cooking is the source of some of our favorite inside jokes. Needless to say, when it comes to blogging about recipes, laughter and fun around the kitchen, I find myself leaning in the opposite direction. I have nothing to contribute in that category.

Today I am making my very first pot roast. I figured I’d give it a try. It is one of those feel good meals that I would love to add to my very small repertoire of dishes I can successfully create.

Yes, that's the baby monitor on the counter.
You bet your bottom dollar I wasn't trying this while he was awake.

To begin, I picked up the variety of meat that I believed to be what one uses to put in the pot.. to roast.. (pot roast, get it?). I was hoping I'd be reading "roast" or "pot roast" on the label. Not so easy.  I even asked the sales associate behind the meat counter if he could assist me in selecting the meat I would need. He proceeded to tell me about the different cuts. After a while, he showed me about 5 options for different recipes, and after a few polite head nods and “oh yeahs”, I ended up thanking him for his help because if I told him that I was still as lost as I was about 10 mintues ago, I feel he may have been insulted. He was a guru for sure. My eyes began to cross when the discussion turned to the anatomy of a cow. Shoulder? Flank? Shank? 

I ended up grabbing what was called “boneless beef chuck steak” and ran. 

People typically say, “I can follow a recipe”, when they’re really trying to say that they are not inventive in the kitchen but that when they follow a well-written recipe, they obtain a delicious meal. I’m not even so sure I can do that much. Sure, I can read. I can. I don’t know, something I can’t explain happens to me when I begin the cooking process.

For example: this pot roast. I looked up recipes online, found one, thought the picture looked great, wrote down the ingredients, and bought them at the store. When I came home to begin cooking, I read the instructions only to find out it would take much longer than I anticipated, so I decided to improvise.
I browsed some other recipes, and after reading/searching, I found a combination of recipes that I figured might work out and I am going to do like always and “wing it”.

Harris loves that. Sometimes he’ll walk in the kitchen when I’m making something new and sees me tossing some herbs on something, he asks reluctantly, “Are you winging it?”


So here we go on my latest cooking journey!

At present, all ingredients are prepped and sitting cozy in the crockpot. Cross your fingers!

This is my kitchen. We haven't finished putting cabinet doors on. Welcome.
Also, the bag of chips is not there because that was part of the recipe. Cooking makes me hungry, ok?

Side note: I went back to double check my recipe only to read about something I’m supposed to do with cornstarch and the broth. What? I googled, “why use cornstarch on pot roast”, and the first sentence of the first website that I pulled up (not even kidding) says, “Pot roast is a wonderfully forgiving dish that’s hard to mess up.”

No pressure.

Apparently the cornstarch makes a thicker gravy. Who knew? Probably everyone.

I’ll let you know how this mess turns out later. We’ll hope it is edible and, if we’re lucky, magically delicious! 

I kill houseplants, I am a bad cook, and I’m happy to be me.