Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Adventures in Cooking

Yesterday, when I took my garbage out, there was a big cloud that looked like a crowing rooster. It was wispy, possibly some sort of cirrus cloud formation. The next time I went outside it was gone.

I thought you should know.

Mike came over for dinner and a movie last night. We ate leftover melon soup, and I made macaroni and cheese and spinach.

The macaroni and cheese was a minor disaster of sorts. Quoth Mike after eating it, "My teeth feel chalky." I think I either a) overcooked the pasta by a minute or two or b) screwed up the roux somehow (perhaps too much flour?) or c) both a and b.

This is what I did [those of you who can cook, please see if you can find an error]:

Over low heat, I melted 3 tbsps of butter. Then, I slowly whisked in approximately 3 tbsps of flour [I hate my measuring spoons, so this is a used the 1 tablespoon but still a best guess estimate]. After all that dissolved, I continued to whisk until it looked kind of bubbly. Next, I slowly added about 1.5 cups of milk.

I cooked that over low heat (continuing to stir with the whisk) until it started to look thickish. After that, I added about 1.5 cups of grated cheddar cheese. And stirred until the cheese was melted and the sauce looked all creamy and stuff.

After adding the sauce to the drained pasta, I set it aside and waited for Mike to arrive. When he (finally) came in, the sauce was dryish and clumpy, not creamy. WHAT HAPPENED?

I thought the spinach was a bit gross, but Mike -after sniffing it twice- pronounced it good. Usually I use fresh spinach, but, because I was feeling lazy [after the time-consuming labor-intensive roux], I used frozen. I sauteed a clove of minced garlic in olive oil. Then added the partially defrosted spinach and balsamic vinegar.

Mike did say after the meal, "Be careful or you'll start to be known as a good cook."

Ha. Like that will ever happen. He just hasn't been subjected to some of my more famous experimental cooking disasters. Give it time yo.

After dinner, we snuggled up on the couch to watch V for Vendetta. I thought it was a good film. The "message" was applied with all the delicacy of a sledgehammer, but ... still ... it gave me something to think about. Mike said he'll need to watch it again to get all the references ... (and also) I think because I had to keep pausing and explaining plot points to him. That got a little old after awhile.

He left soon after the movie ended. We're going out tomorrow night. Yay. And, we'll probably watch PR3 tomorrow as well.


  1. What is this activity "cooking" of which you speak?

  2. Ooh, I *loved* V for Vendetta. But I guess I've been in a rather violent mood since...oh, I don't know...2000?

    I had my mom look at your Mac'N Cheese dilemma, and she said it looks like your ratios may have been a problem. Not quite enough milk, and quite a bit too little cheese. Her recipe uses these amounts: 2Tbs butter and flour, 2 1/2 cups milk, and 3 cups shredded cheese (half American, for meltablitly).

    Hope it goes better next time!

  3. I'll just add that macaroni and cheese is not a dish that "sits" very well.

  4. You had to keep explaining plot points to him? I thought *you* were the pretty one!

  5. I agree with Chelsea on two counts:

    a) I also loved V for Vendetta (I watched it last time I was here in Aus - ahh, memories)

    b) Ratios - too much flour in your sauce. And you didn't put paresan cheese on. That would have gone great with the spinach too!

  6. * I meant Parmesan cheese, excuse the typo.

  7. The rule is 1 T butter, 1 T flour, 1 c liquid. You could have added another c of milk. And maybe used another cheese, too - some parmesan would have been nice with the cheddar.