After a pretty bad week last week, my goal this week has been to just be positive and try to enjoy the time I have right now to try new things.
Despite the fact that I complain about being bored, I also enjoy the time to cook. I really enjoy creating new recipes and tweaking ones from all my new cookbooks. And I’ve made a lot of delicious dishes and really improved my grating, slicing, chopping, peeling, steaming, and searing skills.
My mom certainly makes some great meals, and she has all sorts of recipes that my family considers favorites. But she didn’t do a ton of “from scratch” cooking. Which is fine, because the creativity that comes with taking some pre-made ingredients and combining them with special touches is a huge influence on my cooking.
(Ask Wyatt, he knows how creative I am with the idea of a “semi-homemade” meal.)
So I was pretty proud of myself for deciding to tackle the homemade meatballs we had on Wednesday.
I know, I know, it doesn’t sound that hard. But to someone who has always eaten pre-made meatballs with homemade sauce, it was a big undertaking.
So, I thawed the hamburger and found a recipe.
And dug in with both hands. (It was my first time feeling that distinctive raw-egg-and-raw-hamburger-squish. And as expected, it was equally fun and gross.)
About twenty minutes later, I had a full pan of meatballs, all sauced up and ready for cooking.
- Ready to pop in the oven! My hands were a huge mess right about now.
After I got those in the oven, I got ready to slice, bread, and fry the eggplant. Yum. (I think I may love eggplant an unusual amount.) Still though, last time Wyatt was home in time to help me with this process, as it’s hard to do all on your own. Between keeping an eye on the ones in the pan and getting the next ones ready to put in the pan, and the sticky cracker-and-egg-mush-mess that tends to build up on my fingers, it was a challenge. I was also trying not to over cook the steamed vegetables on the back burner of the stove at this time.)
But I made it, and by the time I was done, I had a huge mess!
It's a good thing we have a small kitchen, because I always manage to make a mess of all the cabinet space!
And Wyatt seemed to like the end result. (I liked it as well. I’d for sure tweak the sauce if I was going to make this recipe again, but overall, it was a success.) (He even brought leftovers to work the next day, and shared with some coworkers, and since they approved, too, I’d say it was an absolute success.)
My first meatballs!
And don’t forget the eggplant! An important part of the meal.
- I ate way more than 2 pieces of eggplant, this is just the first helping. Maybe not the healthiest meal ever, but the vegetables count for something, right?
So, all in all, despite the number of dirty dishes I had to wash later, it was a good meal. And we used up the eggplant. So, that’s good. I hate wasting fresh vegetables.
Last night we had soccer, which went better than last week.
(Despite the run-in I had with the Brita pitcher before we left that left water ALL OVER the inside of the fridge. Man, I hate that thing.)
I still feel like a total goof most of the time and wonder how those guys can be THAT much faster than me, but I managed to have a few good passes and some other non-sucky stuff like that.
And Thursday nights are usually Wyatt’s night to cook because he lets me take the first shower when we get home. (He knows me well–when it’s chilly outside and I’ve been running around in shorts, that’s the fastest way to make me feel better. There’s just something magical about a super hot shower.)
We had hot dogs and macaroni and cheese. Cheap, fun, and though I could take or leave hot dogs, I had more than my share of the macaroni.
All in all, this Thursday night was WAY better than last Thursday. (More about that later, I’m still sorting out my feelings about why last week was so hard…)
And I’m ready to head into the weekend, which is turning into a much busier time than we expected. But, other than the time I’m here during the day, life tends to do that, right?