Thursday, October 06, 2011

Dedicated to Dinner

Mkay so last night I channeled my inner Desperate Housewife and Domestic Goddess and well, I may never cook again :P

Haha. No, that sounds a little extreme. But it was a comedy of errors from the start. I decided on Monday evening to invite The Trucker over for dinner at my house on Wednesday. And that I would not only cook him dinner, but dessert as well (I may have mentioned this before, but the boy cannot survive a meal without dessert! Haha). I used to cook a lot, I stopped when it was just me at home ...

And here is the thing, I'm completely out of practice. And we eat completely differently. And I have no idea what he likes. No, that's not entirely true, I know he likes steak. But I don't really ever eat steak, so am completely terrified of cooking it, honestly, because I don't really know how it's supposed to look or taste ... So it was definitely not on the cards for Wednesday because I don't quite feel we're at that "I experimented with dinner, but it was a total failure so we're getting take-out" stage yet ... we simply don't eat home cooked meals often enough for that (terrible I know). And because I don't cook properly for myself (because I'm out so much) it's not like "come on over for dinner, I was making this anyway" kinda thing either (which would take the pressure off a little, I suppose). Except for the fact that I mostly eat either meat-free meals or chicken (which he is not mad about).

So anyway, with the pressure on, I hunted down potential recipes (my new favourite food "blog") although I ended up choosing something safe and familiar that I didn't think I could get too wrong. My Spinach & Feta Free-Form Pie (with Bacon) and a Banana Loaf served with Nutella for dessert. (Oh, and I never bake or make dessert ... well, because then I will eat it so it's just safer that way, so that was a daunting enough task in itself).

I left work yesterday afternoon and headed to the shops armed with my list. First stop PicknPay, followed by Woolies. My usually shopping trip. But annoyingly, Woolies was lacking in 2 of my required ingredients (okay, one was a nice to have, but one was a you-can't-make-it-without ingredient!). Mkay, I figured I'd head to my next nearest Woolies and see if they had stock (knowing that if they didn't there was yet another, smaller, Woolies to pass on my way home from there).

Aaargh. What do you know, this 2nd Woolies had about 40 packets of my nice-to-have ingredient and none of my must-have one. Queue phone-call number 1 to Mom (all cooking experiences tend to have at least 3 phone calls with Mom as I panic) to find out what I could possibly replace it with. At the end of that convo, I high-tailed it across the entire shopping center to the PicknPay inconveniently placed at the opposite end and found my must-have-ingredient and purchased it (along with a quick stop back at the Woolies for my nice-to-have ingredient). Sorted, right?

Well, you'd think 4 different shop visits would be enough for one evening of home-made dinner and dessert? But there is more to come ...

I headed home. It was 5pm. 1 hour after leaving work. I got started on my Banana Loaf, since it has to bake for an hour. At which point I discovered that although I brought my electric mixer in it's box from Varen's when I moved ... I appear to not have brought the actual beaters :p Excellent. But not to worry, I have a whisk. Queue phone-call 2 to Mom. At which point, it turns out I've added all the ingredients in the wrong order and the whole lot got tossed and started again. Not a real train smash and I'm pleased to say things started to go smoothly after this :)

The banana bread looked awesome when I popped it into the loaf-tin and started doing the dishes (at about 6pm). And then I started to wonder about that Bacon. I didn't remember unpacking it from my shopping bags ... I definitely remembered putting it in my basket. Nope it hadn't fallen out in my car on the drive home ... And it turned out not to be on the till slip. The poor packet of bacon is probably lying lonely in some shopping basket back at Pick n Pay. Sigh.

So off to the very nearby (small) Woolies we go. Yes folks, I stood at a total of 5 tills in 5 different shops this afternoon alone. OMG. That is surely far too many for one mere evening meal!! At this point I could do nothing but laugh since I had committed to making the recipe and it was going to be perfect.

Luckily it all was. To be honest the food was absolutely delish and the multiple shopping trips all forgotten by the time our bellies were full. And I can highly recommend adding the bacon to the spinach & feta pie, it was a perfect addition, I may always make it like this in future ;) And nutella on Banana bread is a total *winner*. Yum :)

And the boy liked it too - haha. Secretly I'm convinced he thinks I can't cook ...


Tamara said...

What a schlep! I had the same thing when I made a spinach and feta pie from Jamie's 30 minute meals - took three shops before I found pine kernels.

Glad it worked out worth it in the end. Bacon sounds like a good addition.

phillygirl said...

Hahaha, pine nuts was the nice-to-have ingredient I was hunting down ;) Woolies usually has them.

Tamara said...

Every Woolies except mine, apparently. I eventually found them (aptly, I guess) at the Pineslopes Spar.

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