Dream Shard Blog: The Scintillating Adventures of Our Household

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Jun '11

Dinner Disaster

My Christmas wish list has a new entry on top: “Personal chef.” Right under it is still “Once-a-week maid service” and “Personal masseuse” and “Shopping time without children whining.”

But tonight “Personal chef” is number one.

I sometimes use this space to vent about my self-perceived lack of cooking skills. But, as John always reminds me, it’s not that I lack talent; I lack practice. Talents can be developed.

So I guess tonight I was practicing again.

I should point out that my two least favorite parts about cooking are 1) the huge amount of time and prep work it takes, and 2) after all that amount of time and prep work (and blood and sweat and tears), finding that my family doesn’t actually enjoy what I spent 20% of my day working on. Which, it seems, happens often.

But tonight I really thought I would hit a home run. Last week we went grocery shopping together (rare) and John picked out two fine pieces of ribeye steak. I looked up a cooking method for the steak online provided on FoodNetwork.com by Alton Brown, a super swanky star chef.

I made rolls from a Lion House mix, which I’d never done before. I was super excited to sort of make from scratch rolls that might actually taste really good.

And then I made sweet potato chips by slicing a sweet potato thin, brushing the slices with oil, sprinkling with salt, and baking for 15 minutes at 400 degrees.

I thought with steak John picked out himself and a recipe from a TV star chef to cook it with, and rolls with the brand name “Lion House” on them, I couldn’t go wrong. I knew the sweet potato chips were a wild card, but I knew I, at least, would like them.

After three-and-a-half hours of cooking, it was a total flop. Everything. Nobody, except for me, liked anything.

A Groupon came out recently with a discount on cooking classes in Salt Lake City. It’s far away, and still costs a bit, but I paid for two of them. Talents can be developed. This is my mantra. I might start chanting it for encouragement the next time I attempt dinner.

And now on to some things that actually make me happy…

Carissa greeting me after a night’s sleep.

Carissa showing how tall she is under the table.

And Wesley’s latest love:

This is his Uncle Jon pitching:

And his dad helping him out:


3 Responses to “Dinner Disaster”

  1. tara72 Says:

    again, totally cute pictures of your kids!!

    but how the heck could that steak not turn out?? and the rolls??? they look DIVINE!! I would LOVE those sweet potato chips. I hear ya, sister. I really do. I’m always buying cookbooks trying to find healthy, semi-fast, semi-easy recipes that my family will like. I like just about all of it. *sigh* so frustrating.

    cooking classes sound fun. you’ll have to let me know about them.

  2. mom Says:

    Really?? Like Tara says, the pictures are gorgeous and I can’t see anything you did wrong. But sometimes personal taste is different than you think it will be. So consider this: A flop at one campfire would be a total success at the campfire next door. You don’t LOOK like a flop as a cook, but it may be more discovering how to appeal to the pallets (palates?) you have sitting around your table. But the cooking classes do sound like they could boost your confidence and expand your horizons.

    How cum Wesley looks so grown up?? Is he getting bigger or something? I wish I didn’t have to wait until August to find out. And I love Carissa’s chubby little arms!

  3. alicia Says:

    I agree, everything looks divine!! I have hit a 2 year cooking slump. I dread it everyday. I don’t understand because I liked it most days before! I think I have the same thing- it is SO discouraging to make a huge mess in making dinner and have to clean up the huge mess, only to have family members whine and complain about it. I have come to the conclusion that I cook for me sometimes. Sometimes my kids can choke it down. Other times I cook something I know they will like. It is a huge juggling act.
    I want to hear about the cooking classes too! Sounds fun!

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