BDH said recently that he’d like it if we tried some new recipes for dinner. The regular stuff was getting… well… boring. So I agreed, and I’ve been scouring the cookbooks and recipes to find stuff that looks good to make, and I plan and shop accordingly.
So, when my latest version of Canadian Living came in and BDH remarked to me, “There are some good recipes in there”, I thought I might try some of the recipes.
The first one I tried, last week, was a tomato-ey potato and sausage soup. BDH liked it, but I didn’t. But that’s fine — that kind of stuff can be packed up for him for lunches. If I can make a big pot of something for him and freeze it for lunches, he has some variety. So that’s good.
Another recipe I wanted to try was a fish sticks and sweet potato fries recipe. Both BDH and I like fish — me moreso; he’s a fair bit more particular, but he still likes it — and we both like sweet potato fries. So it seemed like a good choice.
I shopped painstakingly this week, including the ingredients for this recipe. The fish is always tough to buy. The recipe recommended tilapia, which we’ve had before and did not like, or something called basa which I’ve never heard of before, or catfish. I have had catfish and have loved it, and it’s white and flaky and firm and basically harmless, so I opted for that.
The recipe called for 4 fillets. Well, 4 fillets of catfish is A LOT, and was getting into the $20 range. So I said no, lets try 3.
I got BDH to come down and help me prepare the sweet potatoes, and I cut up the fish. The fish amounted to a LOT of fish, but I cut it up and breaded each individual piece. The recipe said to put the fries in a 450 oven on a pan covered in parchment paper. Well, parchment paper burns if you put it in an oven higher than 420. So we lined a baking sheet with tinfoil and used that instead.
After half an hour, I checked on the fries. They had turned to a congealed, mushy mass. NICE.
I put it in for another 20 minutes. They had crisped up slightly, so I put the fish in as well.
20 more minutes, and both the “fries” and the fish were underdone. Although the congealed mass of sweet potato was burning nicely to the tinfoil.
We decided to transfer everything to a baking sheet, no tinfoil. After fighting with the mass of congealed vegetables for 5 or 10 minutes, we got a big lump of it on the pan, along with the fish fingers (which did not look so bad, to be honest). We put the pan back in for another 15 minutes.
15 minutes later, we had some fairly crispy and occasionally dried out fish, and a big burned hunk of vegetable matter.
BDH gamely tried to eat it. He choked down some vegetable mass and a fish finger. I ate a few fish fingers, actually, and thought they were ok.
I went to clear the plates and saw how much was left on BDH’s plate. I thought I’d offer the fish to the cats.
You know your cooking is bad when even FOUR CATS WILL NOT EAT FISH.
(Well, that’s not entirely true. Cinnamon ate a couple of bites, but I think she didn’t want me to feel bad. She’s sweet that way.)
So I scraped everything into the garbage. And I wanted to sit down and cry. 3 hours of effort and 20 or so dollars later, and we had a full garbage bag. It’s so distressing. It’s a big failure in terms of money, time, and effort.
Oh well. When I was shopping I picked up some swiss chocolate on sale. At least I can assuage my feelings of failure with some tasty, and economical, chocolate.