Of Pot Roast and MJ #sol21 #6/31

During the month of March I will be writing every day in the company of my fellow slicers in our writing community annual Slice of Life Story Challenge with Two Writing Teachers. This is Day #6.

A Miss #sol21

March 6, 2020

I’ve read that Michael Jordan said this quote. Perhaps it’s true, perhaps it’s apocryphal. Myself, I believe in the message behind the quote. It’s just statistics. If you take millions of shots, you’re going to miss some.

So a few days ago, I missed one…

Like many missed shots, I could have seen it coming. What’s that saying… Hindsight is 20/20.,, This particular chuck roast had been in the refrigerator for a few days. I had a plan for it… sort of. Each day, I passed it by for another dinner choice, a different recipe. But Thursday I knew that it was do or die. I had to prepare that roast. On Wednesday morning, I considered the new recipe that I had tabbed on my reading list. This recipe is a little weird. That should have been my first clue. When you cook a lot, you have a sense of combinations, trust certain recipe developers, have a few basics in your pocket. But against my better judgement, I pressed on. Mistake #1

I didn’t have a key ingredient, but thought I could buy it on my way home from work or substitute something else I had in my kitchen. On my way home Wednesday, I was tired and thinking of other things completely forgetting to stop by the grocery. So that one ingredient I didn’t have remained missing. Mistake #2.

On Thursday morning, I was still tired and still distracted. I got down the slower cooker, found the roast in the refrigerator, and began to assemble the ingredients. Looking again at the recipe I thought, this doesn’t seem like pot roast. I don’t have any beef broth. Oh, I was going to stop and get some yesterday. I decided to forge on… Mistake #3. Broth is broth? I thought pulling some chicken broth out of the refrigerator. Mistake #4.

Once I substituted the chicken broth for the beef broth, I was cavalier about all the other ingredients. I glanced at the recipe and haphazardly dumped the ingredients in a bowl. I paid little mind to measurements, just focusing on the actual items. Red pepper flakes, balsamic vinegar, brown sugar, soy sauce, and grated orange peel? This really doesn’t sound like a pot roast. Momentarily, I considered looking up a new recipe or going with what I knew were the standard ingredients. Unfortunately, I didn’t follow that instinct, randomly dumping the current ingredients into a bowl, stirring, and pouring it over the pot roast, the final and fatal decision. Mistakes #5 and #6. I dropped on the lid, flipped the switch, got ready for work, and left that mistake to simmer all day long.

Arriving at home shortly before 3, I did not look at the pot roast at all. I had a workshop until 5. When I finally emerged from my home office and opened the lid of the slow cooker… disaster. I knew immediately it was all wrong. How it looked, how it smelled, this was not going to be edible. With no viable options in sight, I thickened the liquid into what visually looked like gravy, portioned out the roast and potatoes and placed it on the table.

As they gathered, I could see the skepticism mount. Everyone took a bite and there was silence around the table. I need to end this now. It’s terrible, I said, let’s just dump it. Who wants some eggs? “This doesn’t seem like pot roast,” said my husband. “What were you going for?” said my son. “Is it a mandarin sort of thing?” The encouragement continued. The failure, however, remained.

So… I make a lot of dinners. Most of the time they do work out after a fashion. Occasionally, they don’t.

Were there indicators of potential failure?

Were there take-aways for next time?

Just to be safe, tonight we will having pizza…. carry-out.

8 thoughts on “Of Pot Roast and MJ #sol21 #6/31

  1. I was chuckling as I read this because I’ve done similar things in the kitchen, combining ingredients that made me wonder but trusting without tapping into my own funds of knowledge.

    I think this would be a great beginning of a book chapter if you ever write one, as there are so many important connections in life and it’s a lot more personal and relatable for many people than missing basketball shots!

  2. I like how you structured this with the upticking log of mistakes along the way. I, too, kept hoping against hopes that it would turn out anyway. Oh, well. The pizza will be lovely compensation. This is a great post–relatable but meaty (ha!), too. Thanks!

  3. Been there.

    Since you started with that Jordan quote, my sports brain imagined you — throughout this slice — as a TV commentator diagramming via telestrator as you armchair-quarterbacked the whole experience.

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