A Picture of Domestic Bliss

5 Sep

All day long I read about easy, nutritious homemade meals that were a big hit with the whole family. After a certain point, one starts to believe the hype—that it’s a matter of course to churn out delicious, healthy, visually appealing meals day after day. (Curse you, Pinterest!) So, lest we all start to put undue pressure on ourselves, I hereby share my woeful tale of dinner disaster.

This is not me.

I am not a terrible cook. I dislike cooking, which is not the same thing. But as I believe in an equitable division of duties in marriage, I sometimes make dinner.  This is what I was doing one Sunday night, trying out a new recipe entitled “Impossibly Easy Lasagna Pie.”

I probably should have been warned off by a name like that. (I’ve spoken before about the reverse psychology of calling something easy). I suppose it wasn’t exactly hard, per se, but it was certainly involved. By the time I put the pie in the oven, I’d already been at it an hour; the countertops were covered in flour, egg shells were crushed on the floor, the sink was full along with the dishwasher, the trash can was overflowing, and I’d used practically every utensil in the kitchen. But hot dang, there it was, and I was proud of myself for remembering to put a cookie sheet under the pie plate so it didn’t drip over into the oven. (Cleaning the oven is the WORST, don’t you agree?)

I had a few precious minutes’ peace and leisure with the fam while it baked.  When the timer went off, I looked in…and it was beautiful! Well, if not beautiful, definitely good enough to eat. The crust was a pretty golden brown, bubbling away. It had indeed dripped a bit, so I was still congratulating myself on the cookie sheet as I grasped it, pulled, and the entire pie slid right off the tray, flipping upside down and sliding goo-ily down the oven door.

With a dog, a cat, a baby, and bare legs, I should probably just be grateful the night didn’t end in a trip to the hospital. But at that moment, all I could think of was the waste—the time, the effort, the mess, and a whole pound of ground turkey now puddling puke-like at my feet. And now we had nothing to eat. I don’t mind telling you that few vain tears were shed. At times like these, the temptation to sulk and eat chips and beer for dinner is strong. But I have a child now, and that child has got to be fed. (Pity Parties: yet another little-known thing to appreciate about your pre-baby life, if you have one of those).

It was indeed a pitiful sight, me sitting on the floor with a garbage bag, scraping my beautiful dinner off the oven door with a metal spatula, tears rolling down my face. But the evening wasn’t a total wash. My wonderful, amazing husband fixed me a stiff drink and let me relax while he churned out another of his super-fast, cabinet-cleaner meals. And I figured out a pretty ingenious way to clean the crack of the oven door. So if YOU ever have a mealtime disaster (and care to admit it aloud), you know who to come to for the tip!


5 Responses to “A Picture of Domestic Bliss”

  1. GreedyFrog September 5, 2012 at 4:29 pm #

    We’ve all been there! I usually get distracted and forget to take something off the heat when I am supposed to.
    Please please pretty please, can you share your cleaning tip? 🙂

    • janielyoung September 11, 2012 at 3:26 pm #

      Surely! Fold a paper towel over a butter knife–if you’re really ambitious, you can secure it with a hairband–and run the knife through the crack. Do it while the oven’s still warm and you don’t need to use cleaner. Ta da!


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