Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Kitchen Fails and Edna saves the Day

Hello, Yankee Belle Café!!
The Fresh Pioneer is back and I have some lovely pictures of my week's kitchen activities. Brace yourselves. It's gonna get ugly.
First up, we have mini lasagnas. Mmmmmm. What could go wrong?? I may possibly, just possibly, have added the salt twice. Or three times. Not sure what happened. Unless I can blame a toddler, it was salty enough to choke a horse. I have a suspicion that I was tired, spacey from writing into the wee hours and thought I hadn't added the salt to the simmering sauce so added it again. And again.
Anyway, looks delicious, but was inedible.
"Punk your family with this lasagna! Can be used as salt lick."
Next I decided to make oyster stew. I've had oyster stew maybe 5 times in my life and I have great memories of a big pot of it steaming away on the stove, filling the house with an amazing smell of seafood and herbs.
I called my dad for the recipe and he said something along the lines of "milk, butter, herbs, onion, and oysters". Not very exact, but I was sure I could handle it.
Half an onion
one cube butter
4 small jars of oysters
1 tsp garlic
1 tsp thyme
1 tsp oregano

Wow! It smelled delicious! It was just like I remembered it!!
And then I walked away.
And it burned in about 2 seconds.
Burnt oyster stew smell is THE WORST. And tastes like charred cheese. *gag*
I declared it a kitchen fail an offered it to the cats.
No go. Apparently, cats are pickier than we thought.

Then I had an idea to try a grasshopper cake. I made a chocolate cake mix and mixed whipped fresh cream topping, lightly flavored with mint extract and a few drops of green food coloring.
Honestly, this was delicious. But it looks NOTHING like the picture. This was going to be a blog post, but I'm sure you all get tired of trying to create the impossible. I know I do.
I waited until it was cool and everything, but somehow their grasshopper cake with the tidy mint leaf morphed into unidentifiable cake mass.
Finally, Edna took the situation in hand/beater.
We had leftover pumpkin in the pantry and she said we should try a jelly roll type cake. That sounded really, really impossibly difficult. If I can't make a cupcake, then I certainly can't roll up a cake. But she insisted. So... we started, even though I didn't have a jellyroll pan.
Preheat oven to 375F

  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

  • Beat eggs and sugar, then pumpkin in a bowl.

  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2/3 cup pure pumpkin

  • ADD flour mix and beat well. Pour into a wax paper lined pan. (Edna says not everybody has a jelly roll pan.)
    BAKE 13-15 minutes
    Meanwhile, sample interesting dinners prepared by small children. Here we have chopped baby carrots, six almonds, 1/2 cup cheerios, and a 1/2 cup of stale candy corn. Very colorful!
    When the cake comes out of the oven, immediately flip over onto plate and peel off the wax paper. Sprinkle powder sugar on a clean, light dishtowel. Roll it up carefully and let it cool.
    After it's cool, layer on the filling.
  • 1 pkg. (8 oz.) cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1 cup powdered sugar, sifted
  • 6 tablespoons butter or margarine, softened
  • 1 teaspoon maple extract

  • Reroll the cake, making sure to eat any filling that drips out the sides. Wrap in plastic wrap and cool in the fridge for two hours.
    Ta-dah! Much better than salty lasagna, burned oyster stew, or even the leaning tower of chocolate cake.
    It was a bit dense, but everybody really liked it. It wasn't exactly a Spring dish, but we'll start on those next week.
    Here's a picture of Spring around my house:
    The cherry trees are in bloom!! Hooray!! That means delicious fresh fruit very soon. Mmmmm. And if you'd like to see more pictures from where I live, or would like to participate in our new facebook group, join our FOUR MILE PROJECT here. My girls were wondering what it's like where our facebook friends live. We've had some very incredible photos uploaded from all corners of the world... and always within four miles of the home of the poster. Come check it out!

     Until next time, take care my friends!



    1. Oh, I'm dying laughing at the epic fails!!!!! Dave's dad loved oyster soup/stew and it does burn at a moment's notice... I prefer clam chowder, and I like the thinner, milkier (more authentic New England/Boston... ahh.... God bless Boston and all of our brothers and sisters there....) versions and they don't burn as easily!!! Still low heat or they 'separate' and look curdled. YUM. :)

      We make pumpkin roll often. It was a fave of my sister Sweet Grass (yes, that is her name now.... And yes, you should be hearing strains of "Age of Aquarius" strumming through your heads...) She's in CA now so I make it in the fall for family gatherings. Love it!!!

      The lasagna.... Oh my stars, what a great idea, though! I'm definitely trying that with the PEEPS!!!! They'll love their own mini pasta dishes and they won't have a clue about your salt trick/lick I'll just tell them my friend taught me how to make these... and they will sing your northwestern praises!!!

      1. Is there anything worse than a dish that looks and smells wonderful and is too salty/sweet to eat??

        I admit, I haven't experienced that last one, probably because I LOVE SUGAR! Maybe after a few more weeks of no sugar, I'll encounter the too sweet problem.

        And Sweet Grass. Hm. I knew a girl named Kristi Richards.She was best friends with Kristi Hanson. She married her best friend's brother and became Kristi Hanson. Then her best friend married HER brother and became Kristi Richards.

        I never knew what to call those two.

        Sweet Grass. I'm still mulling that over.

      2. Virginia, I'm late to read your post. But I'm dying laughing. I had already planned to share an epic fail tomorrow! LOL

        Oh, how funny about your friends marrying their friends' brothers!! That's got to be a first!

    2. LOL -- love your epic failures but I'm glad I wasn't there to smell or taste them! And I'm thrilled that Edna came through because I just happen to have some left over pumpkin in my fridge that I didn't know what to do with! Ta-da! Now I do!

      1. The jelly roll wasn't that hard! Edna is very encouraging in the kitchen. :)

    3. Oh -- and am heartily jealous of your spring. I still have snow in my yard. :-(

      1. At the moment I hear half the neighborhood mowing their lawn. :D

    4. Spring? What's that? Are those FLOWERS in your picture??? We're in the middle of a winter storm warning -- so, no flowers. Not yet.

      Snow drifts? Yes, we have plenty, thank you :)

      I love your epic fails! I've done them all....

      But that pumpkin roll looks delicious!

    5. Yes! We have flowers, but I so love flowers that mean SUMMER FRUIT!!!

      You know me, all about the food.

    6. Virginia, don't you just hate those fails. Perfectly good ingredients gone to waste. I had a week like that not long ago. Soggy chicken fried stead, dry peach cobbler.... Oy!

      But I LOVE pumpkin roll. Of course, if you'll recall, I love just about anything pumpkin. Throw some cream cheese frosting-type stuff on the inside and I'm one happy camper. And you know what, I think I have a can or two of pumpkin in the pantry. No one else would eat it though. And you know what that means. I'd eat it ALL. Not only that, I'd probably lick the plate. And that's not good. I want to fit into something besides my yoga pants. Sigh....

      1. BTW, that Edna is one smart cookie. You need to hang onto her.

      2. Haha! that's one good thing about having so many people around here to eat the food. I'm always fairly sure I won't have to eat it all myself. :D

        And yes, Edna and I are here to stay!

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    8. HAHAHAHA! yes, people usually do not discuss kitchen fails.*eye roll*

      I love English-as-a-second-language SPAM.

      Nobody click the link, please. It might eat your computer.