Early on in our relationship my husband commented to me that I should take risks in the kitchen. He pointed out that he had a box of Betty Crocker Recipe Cards and I should feel free to take one out and challenge my kitchen skills.
At the time it wasn’t that I couldn’t cook but my mishaps (many of which are still laughed about and discussed at social dinners) definitely outweighed my success stories when it come to anything that wasn’t a baked good.
So empowered by his faith and his encouragement I went to the box of recipe cards and pulled one out for a beef roast, rolled in black pepper and roasted in cranberry juice in the oven. Well I didn’t have a beef roast but I wasn’t going to let that stop me. I was going to stretch myself and make an amazing meal that would just completely blow away my then boyfriend. I was going to reward his faith in my abilities.
I had stewing beef. 2lbs of stewing beef to be precise and figured well I could roast it and serve it on rice and vegetables. So in theory this could work.
My biggest error was the fact that when I read the recipe it said to roll the roast in black pepper and I, obviously not thinking what so ever, rolled every individual piece of stewing beef in black pepper. I put it in my roaster, add the cranberry juice and away I go.
This is great!
Look at me……fill up the kitchen with a steam that was loaded with smell of black pepper and brought tears to our eyes.
It just didn’t occur to me that a little would a very long way, after all my mom would roll roasts in black pepper and steaks. I was so sure I was on to something when I started out. In my head it was going to be a pepper steak stir-esque masterpiece.
My husband is a brave man. He even tried it and as much as he likes spice and zing he couldn’t even finish the piece in his mouth. In fact last night when I mentioned sharing this story as my next post he still did a full body shiver at the memory.
It was a failure of epic proportions and I am pretty sure he ended up making us fried egg sandwiches that night.
We even had to throw out the roaster.
However, the lesson learned here was I should really learn about spices before using them.
The downside is that I became gun shy in the kitchen for a very long time. Even now when I’m thinking about how I can layer flavours into my food I tend to think it until I’m sure I’ve handled all the possible fall out.
However, in our house we now have a saying whenever I attempt something new with flavours or recipes….
There’s Always Dominos!