Monday, March 16, 2009

EVERYBODY EATS

It’s time to begin another contest, same rules as before (see side column). This contest will run through the end of March. Previous winners are welcome to enter again. Comments on multiple blogs mean multiple chances to win. So far I’ve been really impressed with the comments given. Many of you have great writing skills and have had some unique experiences. It has been tempting to just send all of you a prize. By the way, winners don’t have to take one of the books associated with the current contest, you can ask for any of the previous books I’ve listed or you can request a book you’ve wanted to read, but haven’t had a chance to yet. If I have it, I’ll substitute it for your prize.

When someone asks me about my favorite food, I have to stop to think. I love lasagna, but it’s hard to beat a good steak with mashed potatoes and gravy. Then there’s fried chicken. I get hungry just thinking about pizza especially the ones loaded with all kinds of stuff and extra cheese. Oh and fajitas!

And vegetables. My kids think I’m crazy but I love asparagus, carrots, baby peas, baked squash, broccoli, Swiss chard, corn on the cob, and buttered beets. Alas, though we’ve nearly always raised a large garden I can’t pick peas or beans nor husk corn. I have nasty allergy problems triggered by those activities. What’s a day without fresh fruit? I’ll eat most canned varieties, but it’s the fresh fruits I crave; juicy peaches, crisp apples, blackberries, pears, watermelon. Mmm. Here again allergies raise their ugly head. No kiwi for me or my son.

I’ll admit it; I have a sweet tooth. Chocolate, of course, but also pie, candy, cookies, puddings, and cake. If they're chocolate, so much the better! As I’ve gotten older I have to be careful of these items, so when I indulge, I make certain it’s the good stuff.

There, you guessed it. The books I’m offering as prizes all have something to do with food.

First off there’s Dianne Crabtree’s Chocolate Therapy. “Joan Spencer has a secret. Hidden in her kitchen cupboard, behind the pots and pans, lives a box of candy bars. Milk chocolate, no almonds. Joan considers the chocolate her secret weapon in her life full of stressful situations.”

This is a story about an average woman with a husband, teenage children, a divorced sister, and a father who reappears after disappearing from her life over thirty years ago. With more than average stress in her life, she faces these challenges with courage, faith, a sense of humor, and chocolate.

The Icing on the Cake by Elodia Strain is filled with post-adolescent angst, plenty of humor, and a young woman anxious to make her mark as a food editor for a prominent magazine. She’s also anxious to make a positive impression on a certain handsome photographer. The book falls somewhere between chic lit and romance.

The Candy Shop War by Brandon Mull is centered around a candy shop that specializes in magical candy, treats that aren’t quite so delightful as they sound. This one is for mid-readers and younger teens, but parents will want to read it too.

Now here’s the subject for comments. What is your favorite or most disastrous experience involving food?

8 comments:

Crystal said...

Well, there was the one week (fairly recently I'm embarrassed to say) where I had multiple food mishaps. I'll just list a couple. By themselves they were bad enough, but the fact that they happened in the same week was just "the icing on the cake." (pun intended...by the way, I read that book last week and LOVED it. I was seriously laying in bed 3 am with tears rolling out of my eyes because I was laughing so hard). I digress. I had to making brownies as part of a more elaborate recipe. You were supposed to double the recipe which meant that instead of 1/4 cup of water with the mix, I'd need 1/2 cup. I read it wrong, however, and thought it was 1 1/4 cup of water (yes, I've made brownies a million times, so I have no idea what I was thinking). Let me just tell you that when you add 2 1/2 cups of water to 2 brownie mixes you get a VERY soupy mixture. I started completely over.

Second food disaster happened two days later. I make a delicious sweet bread and I was going to make it for something at work (it's bread with powdered jello sprinkled in it before it's baked to add flavor before it's shaped). I'm happily making my dough (which I knead by hand; no bread machines for me!) and it's just turning out soft and perfect when I notice little worms on the counter. My mom had just finished making an apple cobbler so I thought maybe the worms came from the apples she used. I wiped them away-slightly disturbed-and continued. After my dough had risen I dumped it on the counter to shape it. Upon moving it slightly I noticed more worms on the counter (tiny maggot-sized worms). Ahhhh! Horror of horrors...the worms were in my dough. As it turns out, the worms were in the shortening. It was disgusting. Yuck! My dad said to use the dough anyway, but there was no way. I dumped it in the trash and started again. A very sad cooking week indeed!

I've had many cooking mishaps, but these were just the most recent. lol. (Sorry so long!)

Stephanie said...

My mom is an excellant cook! Along with my dad. Having parents as good as my parents it's hard to have a favorite. So when my mom asks "what would you like for your homecoming? or birthday? etc." I can never decide. Lemon chicken, phai thai, green jello salad, ceaser salad, toasted tuna fish sandwhich, etc. But if I could just pick an single food (not cooked into anything)it would be celery. I know, "whose favorit food is celery?!" Mine! I love it! it's just fresh, and right for any part of the day!

Melanie Goldmund said...

I often invite the missionaries to eat at our house. One day, I decided to make a Boston Cream Pie according to a recipe that I found in a Hershey's Cocoa Cookbook. I didn't see any cocoa in the cake recipe, though, and because this was in a cocoa cookbook, I thought it must be an oversight, so I added three tablespoons and made a delicious chocolate cake. The vanilla filling came out well, too, along with the chocolate glaze. After eating two huge slices, one of the missionaries leaned back with a satisfied sigh and said, "Sister Goldmund, can you make Twinkies, too?"

An AZ Girl in TX said...

A disaster... One night I was hurrying to make dinner while my 5 yr old, 3 yr old and 9 month old were "happy" for a few minutes. I got everything out to make a yummy chicken fettuccine and noodle dish, started the water boiling in one pot while I melted the butter in the saucepan... it was all hot and ready to go, when I decided to grab the chicken from the fridge before pouring the noodles in the boiling water. I opened the chicken (that I had bought only 2 days before) and it smelled so awful! I was so glad that I hadn't gotten farther before discovering that there was no way we were eating that!

Now something Yummy to wipe out that awful smell... if only in my memory. ;^)
I was making my husband’s birthday cake one morning last week. I had set the cake to cool as far back on the counter as I can push it. I was taking care of some things in my living room when I happened to look up and see my 3 yr old walking out of the kitchen to the table... with the whole cake in his hands. It crumbled and fell apart just as he was reaching the table so he set it down and wiped off his hands and walked away. I was really upset, and then realized how funny it was to watch him try to eat the cake and then decide he better not since it fell apart. What a cutie! I was glad that my husband didn't mind his "earthquaked" cake that was missing pieces etc. ;^)

And a side note… my all-time favorite thing to make for dessert is Devil’s Food Cake with Almond Butter Cream frosting… Delicious!

Taffy said...

Love chocolate...really good dark chocolate especially! My DD12 LOVES dark chocolate. She heard is was better for you than 'regular' chocolate. On my birthday all I want are lettuce wraps and Great Wall of Chocolate from PF Changs! :)

TRIBE'S said...

I have too many food disasters to count. There was the time I had glass in my spaghetti that I fed the missonaries because I had fozen my sauce in a glass jar, it broke, I still used the sauce and figured the Lord would protect them. I almost burned down a Condo we went to for girls camp twice, you have to wonder why they asked me to be the cook. We were making a treat I call Becky's delight it called for 1 1/2 cups of sugar I had my daughter mixing it over the stove she read it wrong and put in 11 1/2 cups of sugar when I came in she was stressed and couldn't figure out why it was so stiff and burning. We threw the pan away. But my favorite disaster was when I was little my Mom would make a Tunnel Of Fudge Cake, but only to take places when she wanted to impress people. We would all hope it would fall because that would mean we got to eat it. I have tried to make this cake but you can no longer get some of the ingredients, so sad.

Me again said...

When my husband I were newlyweds, I would occasionally try my hand at 'freestyle' cooking.

My mom made it look so easy!

I had a yen for stroganauff so I decided to give it a try.

I made a sauce, I can't remember with what. But then I started adding all sorts of seasonings. A little of this and that.

Lets just say that by the time I got done, I thought it was pretty good, but I was lucky to get my husband to eat any.

To this day when I start to freestyle, or modify a recipe, I'm met with great hesitation and an occasional reference to 'pasta a la Me Again'

Daley Family said...

Well, I can't really think of any disaster with food, although I am sure there are quite a few of them. I did try to make sour cream enchilada's and those were nasty. I am by no means a great cook, I think I just try to stick to easy things to make.

My mom made these cookies once from a cake mix and jelly, they looked nasty, but they were delecious!

But I do have to say, my husband has recently been diagnosed with kidney problems. For me it is pretty hard to eat healthy, I have always loved fatty foods, the greasier the better. This year we started Weight Watchers for the umpteenth time and were doing pretty good at it for a while, but adding in all the things that he has to look for in foods makes eating and trying things even more difficult.