Wednesday, July 12, 2006

There must have been something in the stars...

I had such a bad day yesterday. Nothing went right. I planned on doing another super cook-a-thon since the weather is going to get hot again and I ended up throwing away at least 75% of what I made. I HATE wasting food and I will do just about anything to salvage something if it doesn't turn out right. Yesterday just sucked.

Of course, I learned several things, so that is good. First of all, if you make the Chicken Style Seitan I posted about several days ago, do not allow it to sit in the marinade for more than 24 hours. With normal seitan the longer, the better. Not so with this stuff. The teryaki chunks were horrific. The texture turned to an awful mush. I tried to make a stir fry out of them.. (I wish I had just tasted the chunks, first... but the bbq seitan is still great and I've let other seitan sit this long and it was fabulous.).. so I made this beautiful stir fry out of asparagus, carrots, red peppers, sugar snap peas, ginger, onion, bean sprouts and the seitan. I threw in some chipotle/tofu/orange sauce (more on that later), cilantro and scallions. It was wonderful, except for the damn seitan. As I sad, I am not one to throw things out, so I figured I could turn this into Asian Veggie Burgers and Spring Roll filling. I took out my dandy hand held mixer and went to town, mixed half of it with breadcrubs and set it aside to cool in the fridge. I took out some spring roll wrappers (which had eggs in them, so I wouldn't even be eating them.. but the kids and husband would love them) and filled a bunch and DUH... the mxture was too hot. I thought it was cool enough (Because, of course, I dirtied yet another dish and spread it out to cool in the freezer).. but it wasn't, so all of the spring rolls split wide open. I was soooo annoyed. Oh... and my oven was on, and I store baking pans in my oven, so they were all over my kitchen table and my kitches was really messy)...
I threw away the spring rolls.

As I just said, my oven was on. This was because I baked bread and burger rolls (at 5am) yesterday. Those came out well, thank the stars or I probably would have cried. Back to my oven.. I hardly ever turn my big oven on (especially during the summer), so when I do, I fill it up. I had started my morning off with a big bowl of oatmeal and soymilk and prunes. For some reason, I wasn't hungry, so I didn't want to eat it when it was done. Not one to waste, I decided to make muffins. If I had only stuck with my original plan to make oatmeal,bran and prune muffins, it would have worked, but I got the wise idea to throw in a can of crushed pineapple and all the juice.... and then I had to add more flour and so on... and I ended up baking 18 muffins that never got done in the middle. Vegan muffins can stick really bad... and these were like freaken glue.. oh and I didn't use any sugar or sucanat, only a tiny bit of stevia. I'm sure that didn't help. More food in the trash, but this time, it took me about 20 minutes just to pry them out of the pans.

But wait.... there's more! I got the bright idea to make a Chipotle Sweet Potato and Asparagus Salad. I made up the dressing with silken tofu, oj concentrate, lime juice, chipotle peppers, a pinch of stevia, cilantro and garlic. It was delicious. the dressing was so good. I'll make it again. Unfortunately asparagus and this mix did not really go over well. I wasted a pound of asparagus and 2 med. sweet potatoes. My husband pretty much spit his out. I didn't think it was THAT
BAD... It's still in the fridge, and I will probably eat it because it's healthy and there and I don't like wasting food. I have a couple of ideas that MIGHT salvage it. I can see mixing it with rice and black beans and habanero sauce for a burrito. I might also stuff some sushi with it.. That might be horrific, or OK... I guess we'll see. bleh..

I made a quart of Chipotle Orange BBQ sauce and that was good.
Made lunch for the kids/husband..
made popsicles for them..
cut up a bunch more watermelon
stuffed my face with the last of the cherries

My kitchen was so trashed. big time trashed. cleaned it up for the thousanth time.. oh, did I mention when I made bread that I knocked over about 1 cup of yeast and 4 cups of flour onto the floor...

and then once the kitchen was spotless (and this was 1pm) my son comes in and grabs a bunch of cut up watermelon in his hands and spills a bunch of the juice all over my fridge, floor, under the fridge and left a trail into the living room??? Who does that? Teenagers are just brainless sometimes. Duh.. get a bowl!

For dinner I made whole wheat angel hair, used the marinara sauce mixed with the last of the tofu-basil ricotta and made a salad. I vaguely remembered reading on Dori's blog (The Bakehouse) that she made dressing with xantham gum to take the place of some fat. So... did smart me get online and find her recipe? NO! I started out trying to make an italian type dressing with a tiny bit of veganaise... but wanted it thicker. I didn't want to add tofu (I couldn't stand the thought of washing out my vitamix one more time) so added some of the gum... obviously, way way way too much! oh my.. So.. I ended up having to get the vitamix dirty and make up the different with soymilk and water.. and now I have almost half a gallon of really funky nasty creamy italian type dressing that is sooo slimy (I'm SURE Dori's dressing is fabulous because this would lend a nice texture in the right proportions.. I will be writing hers down)..
Most normal people would probably throw it away, right? But I didn't. It's in my fridge. I'm thinking it MIGHT work in small batches as a binder or in place of eggs in burgers or to dip seitan or tofu in before coating with breadcrumbs.. but I will try both of these things in very small batches and if it doesn't work, I will throw this away.

This was an odd experience for me, usually I don't have trouble in the kitchen... I mean, we all have things here or there that don't work out (Especially if we don't cook with recipes), but to have almost everything I touched suck so much .... OY VEY!!

Today is a new day...


  1. lordy! i got exhausted just READING that!

    you need to kick your feet up tonight, pour a warm buttery glass of red wine and simply be.

    doctors orders.

  2. Good grief! I most certainly would have cried after a day like that in the kitchen. I get hot under the collar if one little baking experiment doesn’t turn out just the way I think it should.

    Ah, well. It’s a new day.

  3. I have episodes like this too when I try to salvage something gone wrong, and usually it only gets worse!! So frustrating. I hate to throw out food too, but when you experiment with new ideas, this is sometimes the unfortunate result. Such a drag...

    I do think sometimes it has to do with the planets or full moon or something (um, wasn't it a full moon yesterday......???!!) :)

  4. Oy, i need a drink (and i don't drink). You poor girl, i'm sorry about that! I read it and kept hoping SOMEthing would go right... besides the rolls/bread you made. But at least that WAS good. How frustrating. And the watermelon trail... aiiiiiiiiieeeeeeeee. This is why i rarely cook from scratch! (And also because i'm usually just cooking for only me...)

    I believe Dreena is correct about the full moon... it does sometimes make crazy stuff happen. Next time the moon's full and you are jonesin' to cook or bake, just turn yourself into a werewolf and let someone else do the cooking!


    Hope the rest of your week is better!! MUCH!

  5. Seriously, I'm drained FOR you. I would've cried. In fact, I've had days like that and I'm pretty sure I did cry. Sometimes things just don't work, and it's so frustrating... ugh.

    I too hate to waste food, so I'll leave things in the fridge for so long that I forget they're there... and then leave them in even longer because I don't want to deal with the moldy tupperware. As if it'll just magically disappear if I leave it in there just a little bit longer. Sometimes logic just does not intersect with my reality.

  6. I can sympathize with not wanting to waste food. I hate it when things don't turn out right. However, I completely admire you for even trying to create new foods. When asked about his attempts to create the lightbulb, Thomas Edison said, "I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work." Every attempt that doesn't work out is a learning lesson that points us in the right direction for next time.

  7. Eek! I hope today is better. Keep your head up. :)

  8. Sorry to hear you had a rough one! Jump on over to V.O. and take a load off when you have a chance!

    I love your IS a BRAND new day!

    Best wishes!

  9. well geessh that just stinks!
    I would have stopped waayy before you did and said "screw it, we're eating out"

    where did you find stevia??

  10. oh well--every once in a while, the kitchen gods just demand a little baksheesh. guess yesterday was their day. hope today is better!

  11. Oh my! What a day! I haven't had a day quite like that, but I have had some doo-seys. I agree with tanya... kick back and have a good stiff drink or peppermint tea would be my choice.

  12. How are things today, Melody?



  13. It's so disappointing when something seems good in my head, but just doesn't turn out. I quit after one attempt. But, wow girl! You've got gumption to keep going.
    I have also been witness to things going awry due to the weather. Humidity will cause cakes not to rise properly and all kinds of wonky stuff. And we all know about the effects of a full moon. Just chock it up to outside forces and like you said, today is a new day.

  14. Hi! Thanks for visiting my little bloggy corner of the world. :)

    Wow, you had quite a day in the kitchen! It sounded exasperating and yet cathartic all at once, though. "When life gives you lemons...", and all that sort of thing. Your kitchen sounds like a place people would want to hang out in. There seems to be something going on all the time.

    I guess creativity isn't always neat and tidy, but it sure can be cathartic.

    P.S. Thanx for the link you left for me. I'm going to try a recipe or two this weekend.