Thursday, October 7, 2010

My Empire of Dirt

Well, every great meal must have it's opposite, so here is my most recent tale of woe.

Recently, a new friend heard from others that I really enjoy cooking, and asked me to invite her over for a meal. I jumped at the chance, and asked what her favorite meal was, glad to try something new. It turns out that she is a big fan of Shepherd's Pie, so I decided to do a trial run for Dave and I before having a guest eat something I had never tried before. Given the outcome, I'm very glad that I did it this way, instead of just winging it for guests like I usually do.

Since Shepherd's Pie can be rather complicated to put together, I chose to make it on a weeknight when my soccer game would be starting later, around 9pm. I was actually able to find the ground lamb that it called for at my usual grocery store, and was very excited to get started. (Here is the recipe I began with:

First, I peeled and cut up my potatoes, putting them in water to boil. Then I put together the filling, chopping and browning and simmering. Everything smelled wonderful! It turns out that I had forgot to buy corn, but I didn't think we'd miss it. I mashed the potatoes, and they were thicker than I was used to, but tasted great. Finally, after a little more than an hour of prep work, I spread the filling in an 11"x7" Pyrex baking dish, spread the potatoes on top, and placed it on a pan in the oven. For once, I was following the directions in the recipe precisely. With approximately 10 minutes left to bake, I heard an odd noise come from the oven. When I opened the door, I discovered that the baking dish had shattered, filling the bottom of my oven with glass.

Needless to say, I was quite upset. I had wasted an hour and a half of my time, and had no dinner to show for it. To top it off, now I had to wash all of the dishes and pans that I had used! Dave hugged me and sympathized, offering to clean up, but I felt that I had to take care of my own mess. He quietly dried the dishes, while I washed and cried into the sink. Then he picked up some pizza, but I just didn't feel like eating anymore. The pans hadn't cooled off by the time I left for my game, so Dave was nice enough to clean out the oven. I definitely got out some aggression on the soccer field that night!

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