Friday, October 9, 2009

The Frugal Hostess Forgot How to Cook

The Frugal Hostess loves to eat.  Or, put a less "hog-snuffling-down-slop"-sounding way, she loves to dine.  It started when she got her first real job out of college and got to eat at a fancy restaurant for free every now and then.  TFH began to learn about food and wine and was still young enough that her metabolism outpaced her fork.  (Alas, those days are long gone; now the fork is the fastest moving part of her body.)

Her favorite hobby remains tasting multiple courses at the best restaurants and critiquing them with The Frugal Husband.  In fact, she pretty much introduced The Frugal Husband to the art of dining (if she does say so herself), taking him to a few amazing restaurants for a few amazing meals in the early years of their courtship.  Which began around the same time as those free dinners at that fancy place.  The courtship, that is.  Coincidentally.  Or maybe not....

Because he knows how much she loves to eat out, The Frugal Husband has recreated some of their favorite meals on special occasions.  The first was a Valentine's Day dinner.  They sat on the floor to eat, but who cares about those details when you're chewing on roasted asparagus and Hollandaise sauce?  Over the years, he's surprised The Frugal Hostess by making exact or even better replicas of dishes they tasted at the most expensive restaurants.  In the process, The Frugal Husband has become an amazing chef, able to invent recipes that make you want to punch yourself in the ear if it means you can have more.

Now, The Frugal Hostess loves to cook.  She finds it relaxing and therapeutic, with the added bonus of there being something to eat at the end.  She's even been called a good cook before.


However, The Frugal Hostess has been on a streak of suck lately.  Like, everything she touches turns to gruel. Here are some examples:

Supposed to be: Crunchy Tofu Nuggets | Actually was: Tofu Jerky

When prepared correctly, this is actually good.  You take a block of tofu, cut it into two by two squares (like a half inch thick), roll the squares in breadcrumbs, and bake for a long, long time.  Dipped in barbecue sauce, these give the distinct impression of Chicken McNuggets.  Except for, you know, the chicken part.  And, if you accidentally leave it in the oven for an extra hour because you can't tear yourself away from Facebook.  Or something.

Supposed to be: Veggie Meatloaf | Actually was: Loaf of Horror, GI Distress, and Grossness

Listen, The Frugals do (or celebrate, as it were) Meatless Monday.  And it gets boring eating scrambled eggs or, uh, not meat, so TFH researched some recipes that would add variety to Meatless Monday.  This Veggie Meatloaf was made from lentils, brown rice (OK, TFH can hear you.  Those ingredients do not necessarily mean the food will be gross.  It's just a coincidence.), wheat germ, eggs, and spices.  And rotten dead things, based on the resulting flavor.  The Frugal Husband tried so hard to eat that crap, too, fearing a meltdown from his wife.  Alas, they both suffered for hours as a result of that dreadful Loaf of Horror.

And lest you think that only the meatless meals go afoul....

Supposed to be: Barbecued Chicken Pizza | Actually was: Sawdust Pie with Smoked Chicken and Burn

Man, The Frugal Hostess used to rule at making pizza dough.  What happened??  This pizza was prepared like any other.  She made the dough a day in advance and let it rise in the fridge overnight.  She rolled it out a little, sauced it up, and sprinkled on the toppings (which included some YUM smoked chicken that The Frugal Husband had made and frozen).  She baked it at the correct temperature for the correct amount of time.  Actually, that's totally a lie - that pizza sat in the oven a good 20 minutes longer than it should have.  But, The Frugal Husband was changing out all the light switches in the kitchen at the time, so TFH was kind of hiding by reading blogs, and time just passed....  So it's really The Frugal Husband's fault, at least on that one.

On the one hand, TFH is delighted by her husband's cooking prowess; it's the modern man's version of hunting and fishing, she supposes.  On the other hand, what the hell? 

photos by Geoff604, Back Garage, and The Punch Pizza

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