Friday, November 11, 2011

Dinner Fail

I'm generally really good about meal planning. In Moldova, I learned very quickly that I had to carefully plan all of our meals a week at a time, because we lived 30 minutes away from the nearest grocery store. Once a week, we would drive into town, spend about an hour and a half or two hours going to the grocery store, the market, and sometimes the pharmacy. If we ran out of something mid-week, there wasn't usually an opportunity to stop and pick something up until the next big trip.

I'm sure we were quite a sight-- strolling into the grocery store speaking English, filling our cart to the MAX, buying odd items that most Moldovans don't know what to do with (like peanut butter), and then paying with a card instead of cash. One time when Josh was checking out, a cashier actually grumbled to another store employee, "Why do they always have to pay with a card?" She didn't know we could understand her!

Checking out at the smaller of the two grocery stores in Orhei (actually it's the only one left now). This was not the girl who grumbled about us paying with a card.

On an even further tangent, I'm finding that one of the little things that I'm adapting to the slowest is the fact that you can swipe your own card at checkout in America. I almost always try to hand my card to the cashier, because that's what you have to do in Moldova. The guy at Trader Joe's the other day asked if it was my first time there, and I sheepishly said no. I spared him the explanation that I was just still not quite used to shopping in America, apparently.

But none of that is really relevant to the point of this post, except to explain why I became a really disciplined meal planner. A new wave of missing Moldova has hit me recently, so I guess I just wanted to reminisce a little.

So, yesterday, I'd planned for us to have pork chops for dinner. I sat them out to thaw in the morning, but because it was so cold in our house, by late afternoon, they still weren't completely thawed in the middle. I turned the oven on and popped them in, intending to only leave the oven on for a minute or so--just enough to warm it up and help them thaw a little more quickly.

I think you can see where this is headed.

Thirty minutes later, we picked Josh up from school and I started telling him about dinner... and then I remembered the pork chops in the oven. The oven that I'd never gone back to turn off.

This was in one of those styrofoam trays, but the styrofoam had completely melted into the meat.

I ran in, opened the apartment door, and was greeted by smoke and the smell of burning plastic. After turning off the oven and opening the kitchen window, I jumped back in the car and we all went to the mall for Josh and me to split a one-trip, all-you-can-pile-on-your-plate Chinese buffet feast. Yes, it's gluten-full. And probably MSG-full. I do it occasionally anyway because it is cheap and good and fast.

So, lest you get discouraged and/or intimidated because I cook everything from scratch and we eat super healthy... now you know that even I occasionally ruin dinner and pig out on mall Chinese. Pobody's nerfect, right?

1 comment:

  1. seriously, since seeing this pic on instagram yesterday, i've been craving chinese like a mad woman. thanks for that. :-)