Friday, July 23, 2004

TIN CAN GOURMET

Cooking is one of my few passions and talents.  So is procrastination, so while I may have all kinds of ingredients for a wonderful 4 course meal that would make Martha Stewart rushing to join the Dust Bunnies just to get my secrets, most nights I'm so busy being tired after work that I don't even get up to contemplate what to fix until its too late for anything except for hotdogs and other heat-n-serve delicacies.

Last night it was 'chili cheese tater tot casserole', a light fluffy layer of golden brown formed potato nuggets bathing in a warm coating of Hormel chili (with beans) and topped with a generous sprinkle of finely shredded colby and jack cheeses.  It was inspired by an order of chili cheese fries from Sonic which is a favorite of my family.  Personally my palet screams in protest at anything placed on potatoes other than salt, pepper, sour cream or gravy, but my desire to please my family occasionally outweighs my personal preference.

Okay, honestly.... I was desparate.  It was 8 o'clock and my kids hadn't eatten dinner yet.  I rummaged through the cupboards and refrigerator.  There was all kinds of possibilites, but nothing that would be ready for consumption within the next half hour, so I grabbed a can of chili and a pack of hot dogs.  Wait.... we just had hot dogs two nights ago... I try not to repeat a menu for atleast 3 days so that wouldn't do.  Ahhhh, good ole tater tots!  Hey, if Sonic can sell them as a regular menu item they can't be all that bad.

So I dump everything together in a dish.  Actually it was 2 dishes because all of my big pans were dirty and I didn't want to waste precious time washing them... So two pans it was.  I assembled the casserole and got it into the oven in record time.  I didn't even bother to set the timer.  Whats the point?  It doesn't matter how long it would take to heat up the casserole, the kids needed to eat by 8:30 so that sucker was coming out then, ready or not!  Besides, everything was precooked, it was just a matter of heating it through.  If it was still a little cold, no big deal, at least they won't have to worry about burning their mouth when they eat it.

8:30 and I can hear my kids stomachs rumbling.  They're either very hungry, or those chimichangas from yesterday are still working in their systems.  Nothing like a little bit of chili to add to the mixture huh?  I rush up stairs to pull the casserole out, but no potholders.  Now this I don't get... potholders are only used for one thing... removing hot pots and pans from the stove and oven.  They are only used in one room in the whole house.  They are usually purchased in pairs.  I am the only one who ever uses them.  So why oh WHY can I never find them when I need them?  Every year I buy new potholders, along with matching dish clothes, dish towels and throw rugs for the kitchen, kind of a weak attempt at a kitchen make-over.  The dish clothes usually end up in the bathroom towel closet, the dishtowels in the garage and the rugs get pushed up under the cupboards and shelves.  The potholders just vanish, poof!, into thin air.  Actually there's probably a whole stash of them, along with all of those rolls of toilet paper that keep mysteriously disappearing from my house.

So I end up folding up a bunch of paper towels to make a disposable potholder and remove the casseroles from the oven.  My kids wolf the culinary delight down and hold out their designer Chinet plates in a plea for more.  They love it and my life is complete.  I have provided for my family.  I, on the other hand hated the concoction and thought it looked like, well, gross!  But the kids liked it so I guess its a keeper.  I'll just stick with a salad though, thank you very much.

8 comments:

derasta said...

I have the same problem locating the pot holders when I need them...if I don't need them they are always sitting on the counter staring me in the face and getting in my way...when I need them they are no where to be found and I end up using a dish towl to get my stuff out of the oven.

cneinhorn said...

LOL, another masterpiece from the DustbunnyQueen!  That potholder thing happens to me too, allllllllllllll the time.  I've done the paper-towel rescue too.   Last time I ended up using Husbands clean underwear that were folded on the kitchen table in the "clean laundrey pile" and it worked like a charm.........LOL ;-)

"JerseyGirl"
http://journals.aol.com/cneinhorn/WonderGirl

purplectigger said...

The " chili cheese tater tot casserole" sounds good. I agree if Sonic can have it as a regular menu item, then why not make it at home.
The pot holder thing, well, I think the pot holder fairy hid's them as a joke. Maybe to see how creative we can be when we need to get something out of the oven in a hurry.
Have a great day!
R.C,

olddog299 said...

Potholders are usually the target of Willow the Wunderhund in our house.  Keeping them around got to the point of such impossibility that I gave in and bought a package of 25 commercial tea towels from Sam's.  Now I deal with hot pots the way I did in a commercial kitchen with a tea towel to protect the fingers from third degree burns and me hollering "Hot Stuff" and "Behind You" to no one in particular as I navigate around the kitchen alone.  I do ALL the cooking - SWMBO avoids KP like the plague.

ann7inflorida said...

Dorn....the casserole sounds like a gastric disaster waiting to happen! (but most yummy things usually are) : )

hestiahomeschool said...

At least your little darlings don't comment that the food you serve looks like hockers or sperm. ROFL....

sunshine38585 said...

It sounds like a good meal to me! LMAO. I just had Sonic lastnight. It is one of my favorite places to eat too.

angieabk said...

WHAT A MOM!!!!!
Don't you wish they gave awards for this kind of igenuity!?!
I can't tell you how many times I've served this kind of "Rush to get it done without anyting in cupboard" dish.  They always end up being family favorites.

Keep up the good work supermom!
ang