Sunday was my cooking day. I made 2 quarts of Greek Yogurt, 8 portions of that crazy Dr. Oz egg/carrot/spinach/noodle/tomato/cheese/kitchen sink contraption, and I orchestrated the Great Easter Egg Hunt 2013. That, and I did an hour of cardio, laundry, etc. What I want to share with you is just how clumsy I was in the kitchen.
This is what I was trying to make. It had a layer of noodle, egg, and carrots; a layer of spinach; a second noodle layer; a layer of reduced tomatoes; a final noodle layer; and it’s topped and divided with grated cheese before being put in to bake. The original recipe makes 4 portions, which would be fine for a single meal for a family. I’m a single guy who makes food for the week on Sundays. I need twice as much, so I doubled the recipe. I’ve done this before quite successfully.
For some reason, I kept messing this recipe up today. The recipe calls for a can of diced tomatoes. Doubling that, I would need two cans of diced tomatoes. Ro-Tel was on sale this week, so I picked up a couple of cans knowing that I’d be making this. The plan was to mix one can of diced tomatoes and one can of Ro-Tel to spice it up a bit. Before I could stop myself, I had dumped two cans of diced tomatoes and two cans of Ro-Tel into the skillet to reduce. Oh, well. I can use these for when I make this next time, I thought.
As the last of the frittata-like discs were setting, it was time to add the spinach, which I had forgotten to defrost. No problem. I grabbed a plate, opened a box of spinach, plunked it on the plate, stuck it in the microwave, covered it with my fancy new microwave dome, which I put over everything since the unfortunate exploding fish incident, and set it to defrost.
By the time I had cleaned out the skillet, sautéed the garlic (and onion, which the recipe did not call for), it was time to wring out the spinach and add it to the skillet. I dried the spinach using my hands and brought it to the pan. I’ve learned with this dish not to remove too much of the liquid or the onions and garlic will never incorporate. There was just one teensy-weensy little problem. I had only defrosted a single box of spinach. This was a double recipe.
Do you ever have days like that? I made too much tomato reduction. I didn’t defrost enough spinach. I was probably paying too much for car insurance. There was a time in my life that I would have collapsed into the corner, hugged the dish washer, and sobbed because cooking is hard!
Cooking is not hard. I reduced the heat under the skillet to low, I got out another box of spinach, and ’round we went again. Plate. Dome. Reheat. Squeeze. Skillet. I brought the heat back up to medium, and I let the spinach do its thing. In the mean time, I camped out by the garbage can peeling carrots to be eaten as carrot sticks this week and stirring milk which was warming to become yogurt.
The multi-tasking in the kitchen may have gotten the better of me today, but I did finally get all of my foods prepped and put away. Keeping calm under pressure in the kitchen is a skill that I’m learning day by day.
Keep Calm, Weight Loss Family!