IN MY KITCHEN

A Culinary Low

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I like to think of myself as a good cook. On occasion I burn or under cook or over-season. But generally what comes out of my kitchen is a success.
Tonight however, I hit my culinary low. It started out as one of those uninspired evenings–standing in the kitchen, nothing completely defrosted, tired from three days out of town, wanting take-out but knowing the budget called for eating chez moi. It got even worse when I pulled out  "The Four Ingredient Cookbook" which I received as a wedding present five years ago. Then it took an even deeper nosedive when I set that aside for the "Pillsbury: Cooking For Kids" recipe pamphlet. I dejectedly perused the pages, passing pictures of canned pear sailboats and teddy bear cinnamon biscuits until I came to this crowd pleaser: Cheeseburger Pies. (I swear that I was sober when I made the decision to press back the pages and begin creating this delectable fare.) I had all the ingredients–ground beef, shredded cheese, ketchup (yes, there’s ketchup IN the recipe), mustard (yes there’s mustard IN the recipe), flour, milk, eggs, onion. And I thought, "Who doesn’t like something in the friendly shape of a muffin?"
So I pressed on–browning the meat, mixing together the wet ingredients (milk, egg, butter, ketchup and mustard) folding these into the dry ingredients and again FOLDING in the ground beef to this. It ended up looking like something you’re forced to eat blindfolded at a fraternity hazing. But I continued, inspired by the photograph of tender little beef cakes.
I was still enthusiastic when I popped them out of the muffin tin 20 minutes later, even though the tops looked a little dark and the bottoms were black. I like crunchy things I thought to myself and it’s shaped like muffin, for pete’s sake!
I even maintained my enthusiasm as we all sat around the dinner table and I plopped a crunchy biscuit onto each plate.
But my enthusiasm quickly hit a low when I looked across the table at my husband, thoughtfully and carefully cutting his muffin into two neat halves, spreading a layer of mayonnaise, ketchup and mustard down the middle. I thought of the other times I’d seen him carry out a similar ritual, sitting down at the breakfast table with a steamy cup of coffee and a cinnamon apple muffin, carefully cutting his muffin into two neat halves, spreading a layer of silky butter down the center. And my positive attitude about my meat muffins came to a screeching halt. I succumbed to laughter and tears, barely able to get out between gasps: "These are horrible." Emma, who had been dredging hers in ketchup looked perplexed but them came to the same conclusion as her unglued mother: "These are gross."
And that was rock bottom.
Literally–they had ROCK BOTTOMS.

Img_2737_1

I like to think of myself as a good cook. On occasion I burn or under cook or over-season. But generally what comes out of my kitchen is a success.
Tonight however, I hit my culinary low. It started out as one of those uninspired evenings–standing in the kitchen, nothing completely defrosted, tired from three days out of town, wanting take-out but knowing the budget called for eating chez moi. It got even worse when I pulled out  "The Four Ingredient Cookbook" which I received as a wedding present five years ago. Then it took an even deeper nosedive when I set that aside for the "Pillsbury: Cooking For Kids" recipe pamphlet. I dejectedly perused the pages, passing pictures of canned pear sailboats and teddy bear cinnamon biscuits until I came to this crowd pleaser: Cheeseburger Pies. (I swear that I was sober when I made the decision to press back the pages and begin creating this delectable fare.) I had all the ingredients–ground beef, shredded cheese, ketchup (yes, there’s ketchup IN the recipe), mustard (yes there’s mustard IN the recipe), flour, milk, eggs, onion. And I thought, "Who doesn’t like something in the friendly shape of a muffin?"
So I pressed on–browning the meat, mixing together the wet ingredients (milk, egg, butter, ketchup and mustard) folding these into the dry ingredients and again FOLDING in the ground beef to this. It ended up looking like something you’re forced to eat blindfolded at a fraternity hazing. But I continued, inspired by the photograph of tender little beef cakes.
I was still enthusiastic when I popped them out of the muffin tin 20 minutes later, even though the tops looked a little dark and the bottoms were black. I like crunchy things I thought to myself and it’s shaped like muffin, for pete’s sake!
I even maintained my enthusiasm as we all sat around the dinner table and I plopped a crunchy biscuit onto each plate.
But my enthusiasm quickly hit a low when I looked across the table at my husband, thoughtfully and carefully cutting his muffin into two neat halves, spreading a layer of mayonnaise, ketchup and mustard down the middle. I thought of the other times I’d seen him carry out a similar ritual, sitting down at the breakfast table with a steamy cup of coffee and a cinnamon apple muffin, carefully cutting his muffin into two neat halves, spreading a layer of silky butter down the center. And my positive attitude about my meat muffins came to a screeching halt. I succumbed to laughter and tears, barely able to get out between gasps: "These are horrible." Emma, who had been dredging hers in ketchup looked perplexed but them came to the same conclusion as her unglued mother: "These are gross."
And that was rock bottom.
Literally–they had ROCK BOTTOMS.

11 comments on “A Culinary Low”

  1. Ha! Thanks for making me laugh so hard! We are in the middle of a very strong windstorm and I came downstairs to make coffee and check the computer before we lose our power. I remember one Halloween, before we went trick-or-treating, I made these mini-tacos, thinking, how cute, they’re small, the kids will love them. Later on, I saw my husband looking a little uncomfortable. When I asked what was wrong, he said he had a ‘mini-heartburn’. I felt like the mom in that movie “Mermaid” who could only make small party-sized finger food.

  2. That is sooo funny! I am ashamed to say I was reading with enthusiasm thinking I may want to make these for my family. My son loves muffins and generally anything with hamburger. You lost me when you got to the part about mixing the milk, eggs, butter, ketchup and mustard. What did you end up eating for dinner?

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