A Potential Turkey Disaster

Well friends, as discovered in a previous post, I’m not exactly a chef extraordinaire.  I have things that I make and I definitely kick their metaphorical butts, but sometimes, when venturing outside the realm of my comfort zone of food preparation, things can go a little astray.  I only bring this up because tomorrow, the boyfriend and I are going to be having a little Thanksgiving dinner here at our house, just us and another friend.  This may not sound like too big of a deal, and usually it wouldn’t be, but disaster struck at the grocery store today when I stopped after work to buy the actual turkey.  They were out of Butterball, pre-stuffed, self basting, cook from frozen turkeys.

Now, a little background on the need for this particular kind of turkey, they’re very user friendly.  It’s not that I don’t have the potential to be able to work with a normal turkey, stuffing all that bread up it’s hind end and basting it myself, it’s just that when it comes to cooking a large meal with lots of components, with the main part of it taking HOURS to cook, I need something that can handle the fact that I’m easily distracted and likely to wander away and forget the stupid thing is in there.

For the last two Thanksgivings, Butterball has saved my butt in this respect because the boyfriend and myself split all the other food chores in half and the turkey sat in the oven, happy as a bug that escaped the big squish, cooking away with no intentions of sucking up all my attention.  I only had to check on it once in a while and possibly use the baster thing to pour some liquid over it and keep it from drying out.  Butterball is a happy, self-sufficient turkey.

I love this turkey...made just for the absent-minded cook!!

Because of the lack of the desired type of turkey, I searched around for a while before I finally chose a fresh one so I would at least not have to defrost the stupid thing overnight, and put it in the sink of water like my mother always did and still have it be partially frozen because it NEVER FREAKING DEFROSTS!

This is the point in the shopping trip at which I cursed The Real Canadian Superstore for their lack of hand sanitizer in the meat section as one of the fresh turkeys somewhere had leaked disgusting turkey blood all over the rest of them and now they were all covered with it.  So then I had to spend the rest of my shopping trip selecting things without touching them…no easy task.  Luckily, the nice girl at checkout had some sanitizer at her station and the problem was solved.

So, stay tuned for an update on whether or not the turkey joints the ranks of The Doom Cake and Pizzapocalypse or if it turns out to be a delicious Thanksgiving dinner for all.

A Domestic Goddess I Am Not

A friend of mine has a blog where she always posts about these awesome and creative home projects she’s working on or has finished.  They’re always really neat and things that would never occur to me or I would never be motivated enough to bother with for my own home.  (see her blog here).  I’ve always been a little jealous that I couldn’t figure out how to cook food that looked halfway decent or do nifty projects but I have recently realized that it’s just who I am and I shouldn’t sweat it.  I manage to feed myself and the boyfriend and sometimes the cat (don’t worry, the boyfriend always remembers to feed the cat, he is certainly not starving).

So because of my acceptance of my domestic non-success, I have decided instead to post about my two recent epic fails in cooking/baking.  They have been appropriately named by the boyfriend and I, as The Doom Cake and Pizzappocalypse.

The Doom Cake

The Doom Cake was an accidental work of art.  I found some cake mix on sale and decided that we hadn’t had cake in a while, so I picked it up along with some icing.  A few days later, I went to make said cake and discovered that for some reason, we no longer have the normal sized cake pan in the cupboard.  Don’t ask me where this went, things disappear around this place all the time and either show up randomly down the road or are never seen again.  So I rooted around in the cupboards and found two identical, heart-shaped little cake pans and decided to make a layer cake with them.  All went perfectly well with the mixing of the cake and the pouring of the batter into the pans and the subsequent baking of said cake in the oven.

I waited the instructed amount of time, puttering around and surfing the net until the cake was done.  I did the toothpick test thingy my mother taught me (see Mom, sometimes I listened when you were trying to teach me cooking things!) and took them out of the oven to cool.  This is where everything went slightly (alright, way more than slightly) askew.

We think the problem occurred when I didn’t let the cake cool enough when taking it out of the pan.  I fully recommend always waiting until you know for sure a cake is cool enough to remove from the pan.  Otherwise, this could happen to you:

The Doom Cake

A side view of The Doom Cake

Yes, as soon as I placed the second layer on top of the first, everything started to collapse in on itself in and implosion of cakey doom and deliciousness.  I tried to repair it with icing patches as best I could, but the icing started to melt as well and everything just sort of went downhill from there.  The fact that I was laughing so hard while doing this that tears were running down my face did not help matters any either.  So this was my attempt at a layer cake and I will probably never attempt it again.  We did eat it, however, and it still tasted like delicious cake, so it’s not all that bad.

Pizzappocalypse

Recently, we took a bunch of our dishes out to storage because we wanted to minimize the amount available to us in an effort to force us to wash the dishes more.  We don’t have a dishwasher and the boyfriend and I both hate washing dishes, so they tend to pile up.  The theory is that if there are less dishes to pile up, we will have to wash them more often.  The unfortunate thing about this plan was the one and only pizza pan we have got packed up with all the rest of the stuff.

One night, I decided to make a frozen pizza in the oven and after searching in vain for the pizza pan (round metal thing with holes in it) I gave up and decided that putting the pizza directly on the oven rack would work just fine as I was pretty sure I’d done that before and nothing bad had happened.  This, my friends, was the start of something very odd indeed.  I was unaware that pizza could melt, not unlike plastic.  Well, guess what?  It certainly can.  Below is an artist’s rendering of the event:

This presented a problem as the melted pizza was contained withing a very hot oven and I couldn’t exactly use a flat spatula to remove it from the rack since it was at varying levels of height.  Eventually we decided that metal salad tongs would be the best way to go about it and we extracted the pizza a piece at a time in chunks.  We put it all on a plate and what should have been my lovely, round, bacon and onion pizza ended up looking like this:

Pizzappocalypse in all its glory!

I will admit, the pizza still tasted phenomenal, it was just very weird to eat it in mangled pieces.  I’m definitely digging out the pizza pan before I cook another one though, it was just too complicated to extract this mess without burning myself or setting something on fire inside the oven.