As the Tater Tots Burn

2. July 2012 04:48

I've always loved to cook.  Although I didn't do well in that grade-school Home Economics class (because I wasn't a huge fan of MEASURING ingredients, thus predicting my future ability to be a better cook than a baker), I progressed quite nicely, just absorbing skills and recipes by working in the kitchen alongside my mom and grandmother.

But even though I love to cook, and even though I write a blog detailing my family's favorite recipes, I am in no way immune to disasters in the kitchen.  Members of an online community I used to frequent had a name for those:  the Bad Dinner Fairy.  Every once in a while, she comes over here and makes dinner a miserable experience.

Sometimes it's a recipe gone bad.  That's what happened to us last week.  I'd read a cookbook that had no fewer than twenty recipes that I knew we HAD to try, and already last week we'd tried--and loved--one of them.  I was optimistic that we'd love this one too.  The author of the cookbook promised that this dish would taste just like the Chicken and Broccoli you get at the local Chinese takeout.

My local takeout must be nowhere near her local takeout, because in spite of the fact that I followed this recipe to the letter, we wound up with chicken that tasted almost like it was covered in apple pie.  It wasn't inedible, but it wasn't anything we'll want to eat again, either.

And sometimes the Bad Dinner Fairy arrives in the form of my children, who conspire to give me indigestion through their bad table manners.  While Sixteen is tireless in exhorting her younger brother to chew with his mouth closed, Twenty is an instigator who encourages both his siblings to play with their food.  And this, my friends, is why we now serve Tater Tots instead of Smiley Fries:


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