Last night ended up being somewhat a waste of my time. Three hours of my time to be exact. I had attempted to make three of my family’s favorite meals at once. Not dishes, but main courses. I thought I could handle it because of the way they cook, each of them only require minimal hands on time, which is spaced out enough on each that I could make all 3 (2 hour) long recipes in 3 hours.
While my timing on each was perfect I made mistakes or the ingredients weren’t great. The mistake I made was with the french onion soup. I used twice the amount of butter to cook the onions than I was supposed to. I’ve done that once before, too, in chicken noodle soup. Butter is good but too much is disgusting (to me.) My fiancee (! lol) said he thought it was still delicious but I’m hoping that I’ll be able to skim the solids off of the now cooled soup and fix it a bit. I am doubtful it will work but I will try. That’s my favorite soup too and I don’t want to just chuck it without trying something to make it better.
The second mistake I made was trying to create my own lasagna recipe. I’ve only ever used one recipe for lasagna and I absolutely love it. Why did I try to get creative here? I was really looking forward to the lasagna that I love. I really don’t know why I tried something different, but it didn’t work out to my liking. Again my fiancée said he liked it and the baby wolfed down his plate, so while it wasn’t terrible (according to them) I did not like it and couldn’t finish the small piece I was trying.
The last recipe I made was our hands down favorite, meatballs in sauce. I’ve made this one many times and have never once had a problem with it. This tome however the sauce wasn’t done enough and the onions still had a crunch to them (bleh!) and the meat was flavorless and not juicy like normal. Usually we get our veal/pork/beef mixture at Giant, but fiancée has been going on and on about Acme being better. It’s not. The onions were slimy with that murky white liquid and the skin peeling between layers and the beef mixture was really not good.
So anyway, I made three rather large meals and none of them turned out as delicious as they should have because I over-reached. If I was paying closer attention I would not have over did the butter and under cooked the sauce. I don’t know that I wouldn’t have tried my own lasagna recipe, but maybe I will knock that off for a while.
I’ve never tried to make so many meals at once, but have always wanted to as I was curious about Sunday cooking for the week. These three worked well together as the cooking times over lapped and allowed me to work through on one thing or another. What I’ve learned that I don’t like about cooking marathons (aside from the tendency to make mistakes) is that there isn’t any down time to get caught up on the dishes. I usually have the dishes cleaned up by the time I’m done cooking (for the most part) but last night it was a huge mess in there. I didn’t even use a lot of pots or utensils, three recipes just make a mess!
Do you ever do large cooking projects? Do you have any tips to share about staying focused and not making mistakes? How about cleaning up? Is there an easier way than waiting til the end that I just didn’t realize?