October 14, 2009

Moody Blue Beautiful

Yesterday I went all Domesticated. I put frozen chicken breasts and pre-soaked beans and beautiful olives and sautéed onions and peppers and tomatoes and all manner of lovely enchilada sauce in the crock pot. I had a book event, but, thought I, my family can STILL be nourished by a lovely homemade meal fashioned with my own two hands. The secret ingredient of MOM-LOVENESS would flavor it, because that’s just how I roll. PREEEEN!

Momtastic, right? I can bring home the bacon, slow cook it up in a crockpot, and at the SAME TIME I can pop out of my car’s imaginary tank-hatch style sunroof with a submachine gun and pepper I-85 with a hail of hot lead so that traffic clears and allows me to get to Lawrenceville on time. Or wait, no I can’t.

I can sit in traffic for two hours and be almost on time, though. THIS IS ME, HAVING IT ALL, I thought smugly, mentally spritzing 70’s perfume into the air and walking through it while I sat breathing the exhaust farts of a muffler free Volkswagon for close to two solid hours.

But I was not at all dismayed as I inched forward, because I knew at home my children and Scott were enjoying a nice, hot meal flavored with MMMM SALTY LOVENESS. Or wait, not that either. I did not notice that I had turned the crock pot dial to a spot exactly between LOW and HIGH which, surprisingly, does not equal medium. It equals nothing. Scott and the kids came home to raw chicken that had been sitting in enchilada juice and slowly thawing itself while making bored whistling noises and hoping it would be left unmolested long enough to drum up some good, deadly bacteria.

Luckily Scott got home EARLY and realized what had happened before it sat for too long. SO at around five-thirty, he put the cooker on. When I called from the now vacant I-85 on my way home, he told me about the dial and that the cooker was on making the chicken that we could have as lunches all week or Thursday dinner.

So I had not provided dinner, but on the UPSIDE I hadn’t ruined 30 bucks worth of groceries! Scott was exhausted – he was out of town all weekend, so I was in charge of the chicken. “NUT UP, SELF!” I thought to myself in a perky think-voice. “TIME TO REDEEM YOURSELF, OH SELFY! You will go home and watch The Office marathon on TBS until 11:30, then go down and shred the cooked chicken and put it in the fridge,” Said I to me, and then nodded in cheery accord.

OR NOT. I could have done that, but instead I fell asleep on my face, drooling, only 10 minutes into the 5K race episode where Pam walks in and sees Michael’s, um, think tank. I have never seen the end of that ep, which Scott says involves pukign up alfredo and some of the best Office one-liners in the history of the show. I MISSED all that, and this morning I got up to 15 hour carbon-flavored chicken husks that had mummified into a concrete-hard coating in my slowcooker. EPIC MOMFAIL. It will take a chisel and REALLY a lot of swear words to chip and blister that crap out. I feel up to the task. At least the swearwords part.

On the upside, I am really really grumpy. I mean, no. On the UPSIDE, I slept funny and my neck is borked. Wait wait, no, now I have it. On the upside, I have COOKIES. Oh wait, no, because I denuded my house of all junkfood. But hey, at least I can work up some good endorphins on my elliptical, OH WAIT, except it BROKE.…Epic optimism fail. If you need me I will be in the corner, making grumble-flump sounds and glaring.

Posted by joshilyn at October 14, 2009 9:45 AM

Ohhhhh. Oh, no. Um. Mellow Mushroom, tonight? ;)

Posted by: Mir at October 14, 2009 11:52 AM

I totally had the crock pot fail a couple of years ago. Instead of coming home to a lovely beef stroganoff topping, we came home to...raw beef that had been sitting in onions and garlic and beef stock all day. *sigh*

I feel your pain!

Posted by: Erin at October 14, 2009 12:15 PM

I've forgotten to plug the slow cooker before, which results in the same fail.

As for the baked on badness, let me recommend that you use a disposable slow cooker bag next time. It may not be environmentally friendly, but nothing beats being able to just throw away the mess once a meal is complete. May I never have to scrub cooked on gunk from my slow cooker again!

Posted by: Elsisi at October 14, 2009 12:43 PM

I knew there was a reason that I didn't have a slow-cooker yet! Actually, it is more to do with my limited counter and cupboard space, but I am so SORRY that you had a bad day. And that today isn't much better, so far.

I once put cake back in the oven for "just a few more minutes", and woke up (a few hours later) to the distinctive scent of over-cooked chocolate. VERY sad.

I hope that your corner is nice and the BetterU gets a BetterDay!

Posted by: Diane (TT) at October 14, 2009 1:09 PM

On the upside, you have WoW :)

Posted by: Laura L at October 14, 2009 1:13 PM

Time for chocolate!!

Posted by: Linda J at October 14, 2009 1:16 PM

Soak that bad boy in baking soda and water for a few hours (what I like to refer to as "marinating my dishes") and order The Office from Netflix because that 5k episode? Epic.

Posted by: Anna Marie at October 14, 2009 2:18 PM

I have ALSO totally flaked on my crock-pot cooking before, which led my husband to attach it to a lamp timer so it turns on when it ought and turns off when it ought. Of course, he has to set it, but I put all the goodness in the cooker. Works like a charm.

On the other side of that, someone told me to remove really, really, really baked on ick from various and sundry pots and pans and casseroles, to put dish soap and water into the item, then set it on the stove and turn the fire on under it. Let it "cook" until nearly boiling, then wipe it out. It works like a CHARM, and I have to use that trick often.

Posted by: Roxanne at October 14, 2009 2:52 PM

once again, an entry that reminds me how much I love you and your writing. :)

Posted by: diana at October 14, 2009 9:54 PM


Posted by: Avallia at October 14, 2009 10:31 PM

Oh, dear. The world is fighting against you. But that usually means you are doing something RIGHT and GOOD that the world feels the need to try to smother. Keep up the doing good and right, but not in growing as a person. Never, never do that.

Posted by: Nikki at October 15, 2009 4:55 AM

On the upside, you had one insomnia-free evening?

Posted by: Brigitte at October 15, 2009 7:00 AM

Geez...I had to go check on my crockpot before I could finish reading your post!

I think you need a new crockpot...one of the fancy ones with different time settings and lights and no knob that can get all caddywhompus on you and derail your Mommy goodness.

Plus, retail therapy is always good for the grumps.

Hope today is better.

Posted by: Jen at October 15, 2009 1:30 PM

I love my crockpot, but there are those moments, well that Linda said, reek of chocolate need.

Posted by: Cele at October 15, 2009 10:54 PM

I have not (yet) had a raw OR charcoal experience with my slow cooker/crock pot. Which I suppose makes sense, because I don't think I have ever actually left it unsupervised. I think that every time I have used it, it has been set up at my Wonderful-Father-and-StepMom's house. Both are retired, and my StepMom has a keen sense for when food is Done.

You are the Greatest Writer Ever. And has anyone told you today that your hair looks marvelous?


Posted by: JMixx at October 16, 2009 11:24 PM

just remember....you can do anything, but not everything. or you can do everything, just not all at once.

Posted by: dramamama at October 16, 2009 11:34 PM

That is one of my favorite Office episodes (maybe second only to the where a bat gets into the office and Jim pretends to be a vampire- ironically, directed by Joss Whedon.) I bought my husband the t-shirt they all wear for the race as a Father's Day gift.

Posted by: Laura B. at October 20, 2009 8:59 PM