Monday, October 4, 2010

Punk, Rock. Martha.

Its not Amuse Bouche if it doesn’t have a bloopers reel… last time I checked, my life actually was a bloopers reel.   I felt that it warranted an entire post as opposed to small mention in the Project Food Blog entry, so welcome to 

“Once upon a time I had a dinner party and lit shit on fire!”

This is why I employ the mantra ‘if you’re not having fun in the kitchen, ur doin’ in wrong’.  Let’s just say, Friday was a day full of hysterical errors, and it STILL was the best dinner I’ve ever made. Now that, is pretty amazeballs.

Where shall we start? The burnt oven mit? The actual oven catching on fire?  The palate cleanser that changed from a sorbet to a slushy “granita”? The almost loss of my index finger?  The game of celebrity which lead 4 of the 5 girls present to ALL name George Clooney?

My life, is ridiculous.

First things first, who remembers the amazing champagne orange “granita”?  Well, starting Thursday night I had to make 2 batches of pumpkin ice cream and the sorbet that was to be our palate cleanser.  I should have started on Wednesday.  With no backup ice cream maker freezer mabob, I was having to make a batch, clean it and refreeze, and it wasn’t taking the freeze well enough.  So I had one great batch of ice cream, one soft but still good batch of ice cream, and a hopeless attempt at sorbet on Friday morning.  So then I made the game time choice to freeze that son and just fork it every blue moon and call it a granita.  Well by the time I had thought of this, it was JUST starting to set.   So take it out of the freezer to serve, and you have slushie.  Whomp whomp… that is quite alright though because most of my guests had never even had a palate cleanser and even in slush form, it still did it’s job! 

Mishap numero dos:  Picture it, Chicago, Luxury Dinner Night.  You have just seared your racks of lamb and put them in the oven to finish off.  You throw down your oven mit in a triumphant fit, just like you threw those shot glasses down on the bar to their ultimate death on your 21st birthday. (no one else broke 5 shot glasses on their birthday? Oh…my b.) A solid minute later, after gloating on how “bomb those racks are gonna be” you see smoke bellow from your oven, oh dear, not the lamb!

No. fool.  It’s your oven mit ON THE BURNER that you DIDN’T TURN OFF after you seared those racks. WOW.  I like to think it’s punk rock Martha.   You know it says “I’m here to cook but I’m tough and shit”

So after you decide its fine, all is well in the world and you can move on with your life, you check your rack of lamb to see how she’s a doin’.  You take the lid off of your dutch oven to check the temperature and she needs more time.  2 minutes maybe.  So you close the door.  Without the lid.  There is port. In. your. Dutch. Whitney. 

CUE ENORMOUS PURPLE FLAMES UPON OPENING OVEN. I jumped backwards, hoping to God I still have eyebrows, knock over cat bowls of water, call for Dad in a frightened “ohhh eeeff” kind of voice.  You know its alcohol, because the flames are purple.  You know it’s a matter of time before it dies down. You think.  Sure enough it does, but not without grabbing the attention of every one of your guests.  How do you respond.

“Whelp, thanks for coming to the pyrotechnics portion of our dinner.  I like to call it, cooking on the edge”
Laughter ensues.  I am not going to lie,  I probably should have laid off the sauce so much.  It’s just that everything was going so well and I was happy.  My friends were around, the wine was amazing, and you know how I feel about wine anyway.  So the racks come out fine, but then I start to cut them.  And lost half a nail in the process. 

I was lucky that was all I slivered off.  At this point, it was all I could do to keep from falling on the ground with laughter.  

At least the cooking portion of the night was over, so there wasn’t a lot I could eff up left.  I would like to know, how in the world this was still, the greatest tasting meal I have ever made?!? 

Then we played celebrity, which we had duplicates of the following:
George Clooney
Lady Gaga
Britney Spears.

What is the matter with us? 
I couldn’t have asked, for a more appropriate, more perfect night.

One other small matter of business before we go, Nicole, a dear reader is ready to try the pot roast from last week but she really wants our garlic mashed potatoes recipe.  Whelp, hold on to your panties because you might not like what you're about to read.  A stick of butter. Goes in those suckers.  And there is no substitution for me, for good mashed potatoes, to butter and heavy cream.  So make it lighter if you want, but it won't taste the same, so you've been warned.

Garlic Mashed Potatoes

8 russet or yukon potatoes, at least 2 potatoes per person
2 - 4 cloves of minced garlic ( this is subjective, i love garlic so i say 4)
1/4 cup heavy cream (more if it seems dry)
1 stick of butter (this is going to horrify you, but even if the 2 of us are eating mashed potatoes, i NEVER ever use less than 3/4 of a stick of butter.  get over it.)
Salt and Pepper
Fresh Thyme if you've got it, if not, no biggie

Peel, roughly chop and cover the potatoes in cold water, bring to a boil for about 30 minutes or until fork tender. chop the garlic in the meantime, and the thyme if you have it. Let your butter and cream come to room temperature.  once the potatoes are cooked, fully drain and mash.  Add the butter and 1/4 cup of cream.  If it seems dry, add more cream.  Now, naturally, you can use milk, and you can use yogurt, and you can use soy milk or whatever the hell else makes you feel better.  But I NEVER WILL. ever cheat on these mashed potatoes with anyone other than unsalted butter and heavy ass cream.

The end.





    How sad is it that I have a pot holder with familiar rings? I thought they added to the flair of avacado green and harvest gold colors from the 70's. Totally edgy.

    Love it!

  2. Ha I laughed mostly because my oven mitt looks the same exact way!! I think it just gives the kitchen a little more character :) That's how I think about all my kitchen mishaps..

  3. Wow, and I thought the oven mitt was just a cool post modern pattern

  4. That oven mitt actually looks bad ass! You should market it! :)

    Love this blog! I think you're hilarious... you write the same way I talk to myself on the inside. Haha.

    I've added you to my RSS, so keep it comin'!


  5. I like the oven mitt...what a great souvie/reminder of your fab dinner party! I'm a pretty experienced cook, but I damn near burnt my kitchen down the first time my brother-in-law brought my now sister-in-law to our place for dinner. I was making au gratin potatoes, and they bubbled over and burst into's not a lively dinner party unless your oven is spewing flames, I say :lol:!

  6. Yeah - I've had that oven glove accident (I also melted a teapot but I don't like to talk about that!)

  7. Is it bad that I totally, desperately want that oven mitt for myself? The burn marks are so perfectly placed that it actually looks kind of deliberate... too awesome.
    (PS - We've all been there. I learned the hard way that you should give people a heads up before you flambe something in the kitchen... otherwise, someone dumps a pot of water in your sherried mushrooms, thinking they're doing you a favour. Sigh.)

  8. Thanks for making my day with this post! You're my kind of party gal! ;-)


    (p.s. i nearly lost a finger hosting my dinner)

    thanks for stopping by my post, i'm glad to have found yours. it's great!

  10. OMG I laughed so hard I piggy snorted. Twice.

  11. Seriously you purple flame ball blew up your kitchen? That is amazing! It takes about a month for your eyebrows to grow back... that time doesn't get cut in half if you only have one eyebrow.
    I think, honestly, that you need to make and sell those oven mitts with the scorched rings on them. I'm thinking Urban Outfitters would be a good fit.