Curse of the Hostess

I have a curse. This curse in no way relates to delicious cakes wrapped in plastic, ex: Ho Hos, Twinkies, Donettes, etc. No, my curse is not nearly so sweet, nor is it particularly fattening. Whenever I try to cook for anyone other than Trey and myself, some unforeseen delay/catastrophe will take place. Think I’m paranoid?

(Note that all of the photos link to their original sources. I have a problem when it comes to photographing food, in that I’m usually too busy eating it ;-) )

 Exhibit A 

It was mid summer and my parents had planned to drive down from Georgia for a weekend visit. I had only recently started cooking, so I picked an easy recipe that I had done a few times before: Tuscan Pasta

Tuscan Pasta With Tomato-Basil Cream Recipe

Now I’m very much a one-dish kind of girl. I’ll occasionally make dessert, but always at a different time or on a different day. Trey is a big fan of sides though, so I thought that I should try and stretch myself a bit and make bruschetta to go with the pasta. I looked up several recipes and got the general idea (you slice a french loaf, drizzle it in olive oil, cover with chopped tomatoes, basil and mozzarella, and toast it in the oven).

So what went wrong? Well for starters, the fresh basil I got from Walmart was incredibly fresh. I always do my grocery shopping there, so I’m used to their normal, just starting to wilt basil which (apparently) has about a quarter of the flavor of really fresh basil. I used the same amount that I always did and the pasta was quite overwhelmed. Secondly, I had never made bruchetta before, so while the idea seemed simple enough, I underestimated the amount of tomatoes and over estimated the amount of oven time, creating dry burnt toast.

Still not convinced?

 Exhibit B 

It was a quiet Saturday afternoon, and Trey had left to play golf with his work buddies. I texted my friend, Stephanie, to see if she wanted to hang out, and she suggested we get dinner together that night. Well I had already planned to try out a recipe for Lazy Day Casserole, and I didn’t really feel like paying to eat out, so I suggested she and JC just come over for dinner. Now I was already used to new recipes taking way longer than they should, so I got started early (memory says around two, but my memory lies a lot). I also knew that I had to start early because I wanted to make Honey Beer Bread to go with the casserole, and the two dishes bake at different temperatures.

Lazy Day Casserole

So I mixed up the bread, popped it in the oven and started chopping the vegetables for the casserole. My timing was almost perfect, and the bread finished baking just a few minutes after I had all the vegetables ready (maybe that’s more of a testament to my slow vegetable chopping, than my excellent timing, but regardless…) I reset the temperature on the oven and went back out to the living room while I waited for it to beep. Thirty minutes later I realized the oven never beeped. Dangit. I put the veggies in the oven, but at this point I didn’t have enough time to let the veggies cook for 45 minutes and then add the sausage for another 30. I improvised, but the potatoes and carrots didn’t really finish cooking. On the plus side the bread was delicious!

And finally, my last piece of evidence to prove to you that I am, quite legitimately, cursed:

 Exhibit C 

Just this week Trey and I invited our friends, Daniel and Alyssa, over for dinner. Now the only planned meals I had left for the week were new recipes. Obviously that would not be a good choice, so Trey suggested I make teriyaki chicken. I had just made it a couple days before and the recipe is fairly fast and simple to make. It really just involves cooking some chicken, mixing up a simple sauce, and dividing the sauce between the chicken and the rice. I don’t make it all in the rice cooker like the recipe says because mine isn’t nearly big enough. The only difference between the way I made it for Daniel and Alyssa and the way I made it a few days prior, was that I had used up the last of the white rice. I had been wanting to use brown rice since Trey and I first got married, but for some reason he had a ton of white rice in various half-used packages. We had finally finished it off with the last batch of teriyaki chicken, so I got out the brown rice and went about the recipe… until Daniel and Alyssa came over and the rice cooker still wasn’t finished.

We went on a tour of the new house. Still not done. We sat in the living room and chatted. Finally it clicked over from “cook” to “warm,” but it didn’t really look right. I tasted it, and it was definitely too crunchy. I added more water and let it do its thing. We hung out for a while longer until it eventually said it was done again. Now at this point the rice had been cooking for a full 90 minutes making dinner an hour later than originally intended. Only it still wasn’t right. So we went out for Mexican.

Here is my dinner for four that will now be eaten by two, over and over and over again.

Now of course there are more stories to add to my case, but these three are the most clearly supernatural. I mean Walmart having fresh basil? An oven not beeping when it has every other time? And rice taking longer than ninety minutes to cook?! Obviously I’m cursed.

Oh and just in case you think I’m just a terrible cook, I made this amazing pork roast for Trey and myself perfectly on the first try.


  • Grandma Kate says:

    Becky, do not dismay! You’ve tried some excellent sounding dishes for a beginning cook!! Each one of these things will be perfect next time ’cause now you have experience behind each one. Kudos on your efforts!!!
    And, KEEP ON!!!

  • Anne says:

    Hey, the photos make all the food look yummy! (And by the way, the pasta and bruschetta was quite tasty. I don’t remember there being any leftovers. :-) )

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