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.