One reason I am so keen to find ‘idiot-proof’ easy recipes is because I have had a few spectacular disasters in the past so now I am trying to minimize the chance of future ones!
When I was first cooking, I used my high school cookbook for recipe ideas, as it was easy and simple, and written for schoolchildren! Unfortunately, even a supposedly idiot proof book will not turn out an edible cheesecake if the twit cooking the cake mixes up condensed milk and evaporated milk! Hmm, almost as bad as when I was a child and making up some packet jelly for family. More people were coming than normal, so I thought if I just doubled the water we would get more jelly! Oops.
Just over ten years ago, himself was diagnosed as suffering from Coeliac’s disease. While this diagnosis was good for him, as he was thinking he might have something really nasty going on in his gut (the scary old cancer was present in his mind) – for the bumbling home cook it was a traumatic diagnosis. Ok, so I don’t feed him sandwiches any more – but of course it was much more extensive than that. Currently, ‘gluten-free’ is quite fashionable, so there is a bigger range of goods to buy, and many items are now labeled as gluten free, saving all that time reading tiny little labels. But back then, it was not as easy and things were either horrible tasting, or very expensive, usually both.
So I went out and bought a pasta machine and some buckwheat, and thought I would be clever and make my own pasta. Well, the kitchen ended up covered in gooey, brown gloop, and needless to say, we didn’t eat pasta that night. I still shudder when I think what the kitchen looked like that night. I have never again tried making pasta, even though the quality of gluten free flours has improved unbelievably, and now they are almost as good (although still much more expensive) than ‘regular’ flours. I suspect that when we recently moved house the pasta machine may have ended up in the donation box for the Op Shop, as I don’t remember unpacking it. Recently while watching “My Kitchen Rules” I thought to myself that pasta dough didn’t look all that difficult, and had almost convinced myself to have another go, but without a pasta machine, I can find excuses to not try.
More recently, I found a freeform pie recipe in a magazine. It looked nice enough, so one day when himself was not home for dinner (as it used commercial puff pastry, and the gluten free variety is awful!) I made it for the munchkins and myself. It looked and smelled good when taking it out of the oven. Disaster struck when I was trying to transfer it to the serving plate. It flew up in the air, with me trying to catch it while still holding on to the baking tray and it ended up going SPLAT on the floor. After a couple of second’s sad gazing at the now inedible mess on the floor, the familiar cry went up – “Oscar!”. Our sooky old dog could always be counted on to clean up the floor. Sadly, when things are dropped to this day, I still find myself calling Oscar, even though he has been gone almost a year. I think if I am going to keep cooking, I need another dog to cover up my mistakes. The cat just doesn’t co-operate.
As an amusing footnote, a friend of mine bought the same magazine, and made the same pie, although hers made it to the plate. When I told her of my experience, and how the pie had now been dubbed “Floor Pie” in my house, she thought the story was so funny, that she now calls it “Floor Pie” as well. Now in at least two households, when the query “What’s for dinner?” is answered by “Floor Pie”, people understand what that means.
I will post the recipe for this pie. Hopefully yours will not end up on the floor, or if it does, you have a four-legged co-conspirator to help YOU cover up your disasters too.