Saturday, December 4, 2010

Disaster in the Kitchen

The plan for Wednesday night was Cheesy Potato Soup, Broccoli Casserole and Georgia Cornbread Cake.  I thought I had enough time.  After all, I started at 3:30.  We did need an early dinner, though.  Todd had somewhere to be at 6:00, so I planned for dinner around 5:00.  Somehow, granola got added to the recipe list.  (The “somehow” was that I promised it on Monday when we were out of cereal, but I hadn’t gotten around to it.)

I was still cooking at 5:00.  At 5:30, too.  Todd and I finally sat down to a bowl of soup at 5:45 and he was only slightly late for his appointment.  (The casserole was in the oven.)  When I finally sat down with the kids – I was determined to have a sit down meal – no amount of cheese could coax the broccoli into them.  A few meltdowns and a heap of guilt later, I put them to bed filled with mac and cheese that had nothing green in it.

The Cheesy Potato Soup tasted good, though I can’t really say that it is quick or easy to make.  It starts with a bunch of potatoes that need to be peeled and chopped.   The Broccoli Casserole wasn’t a complete success either.  I tried to warm the Velveeta in the microwave.  Half melted, half cooked.  And it was not nearly enough to cover and melt into the broccoli.  I cut some more Velveeta (I had extra) into slices and put it directly on the broccoli, with the cracker mixture on top of it, hoping it would melt and run down through the broccoli while in the oven.  Not really.  I had two thirds broccoli casserole, one third broccoli.   

Todd did suggest later that if I put the casserole upside down in a bowl and pour the soup over it, I would have something like the casserole I was aiming for to begin with.  Thanks, hon.

The Georgia Cornbread Cake, at this writing, is still waiting to be assembled and cooked.  The granola did turn out pretty good.

What do I do at the end of a night like this?  When none of the goals are met?  When everything seems to be failure?  When I flop into a chair afterward mumbling words to myself that I can’t print in this or any public forum?

Being rather fluent in Disney movies, I find some good ideas there.  The motto of the movie Meet the Robinsons is “Keep Moving Forward.”  And what comes to mind in even more vividly is Dory’s refrain from Finding Nemo, “Just Keep Swimming.”

Just keep cooking.  Keep living.  Keep going no matter what.  Because what is the option?  Live in the disappointment of the past?  Nope.  Not for me, thanks.  Whether the vista ahead is promising or intimidating, it’s the only scenery there is.

So come this Sunday – rain or shine, tranquility or tantrum – I’ll be donning this same apron and pulling ingredients from the cupboard.  Feel free to say a prayer for me around 4:00, because I’ll be cooking.

Blessed eating!

Cindy’s Cheesy Potato Soup
8-10 potatoes                                             1-2 cans chicken broth
1 can evap. Milk                                         2 cans cream of chicken soup
1 16 oz. sour cream                                  1 stick of butter
3 c. grated cheese                                    green onion
Large round bread rolls (optional)
Cube potatoes.  Place in pot and pour chicken broth enough to cover potatoes.  Boil till potatoes are soft but not mushy.  Add evaporated milk, cream of chicken soup, sour cream, butter, cheese, salt, and pepper.  Allow all to get creamy.  Reduce heat to low and cook for about 10 minutes.  While soup is cooking, bake bacon and chop into small bits (I cut mine in the food chopper).  Cut green onions.  Top soup with bacon bits and green onions.
Optional – Take bread rolls and dig the middle of the roll out.  Form a bread bowl with the bread and pour soup in the bread bowl.  Top with bacon and green onion. – Cindy Bass Switzer

Note:  Todd cooked the bacon, I think on the Foreman Grill.  At about 5:40, I laughed at the thought of taking the green onions out of the refrigerator and chopping them up.

Broccoli Casserole
3 small boxes broccoli                                    ½ lb Velveeta
1 stick margarine                                              3 crushed Ritz crackers
Cook broccoli until tender.  Drain.  Place in baking dish.  Melt cheese and pour over broccoli.  Melt margarine and mix with Ritz crumbs.  Sprinkle over broccoli and cheese.  Bake until cheese bubble up in crackers or until brown. – Joyce Bass

Note:  I used butter and a different kind of cracker which worked just fine.

Georgia Cornbread Cake
1 c. sugar                                             1 c. oil
4 eggs                                                   2 c. pecans
1 t. vanilla                                            1 ½ c. sifted SR flour
1 c. packed brown sugar
Mix.  Pour into greased 12x9 pan.  Baked at 350 for 35-40 minutes. When cake is cooling it will fall.  Cut into squares.  – Tom Henderson

Note:  If you make this, let me know how it goes.


  1. Why Cornbread cake>? There is not any corn, or cornmeal in the recipe?

    C. Kay

  2. That is an excellent question to which I have no answer. I try to reprint the recipes as they are in my book, so I don't know if this was an error or not. I'll ask my relatives about it next chance I get.