Tonight's meal receives the dubious honor of being the worst meal I have ever made in my entire life. This meal replaces applesauce meatloaf ( hey it was Betty Crocker recipe), crock pot stew also know as - meat mush and bean soup. All were truly awful, awful meals. Scary to look at smell or eat. Applesauce meatloaf started out as most of my disasters do with all the best intentions of being a good meal. I carefully read the directions for meatloaf and when I didn't have all the ingredients tryed to make something new. The recipe for meatloaf has a little foot note that says if you want to try something different , blah, blah, blah and before I knew it I was putting applesauce into my meatloaf. It doesn't even sound good but I made it and my poor husband sat and silently ate it and then put the leftovers away and never touched the stuff again. I threw it away a week later at which point it really looked and smelled awful. But I had to go through the routine of believing that I was going to eat some more and not waste all those otherwise good ingredients who became shamed when they were combined.
Crock pot stew began early in the morning on what was an extremely busy day for me. I was going to night school at the time and the boys were in little league. Three different fields for three boys and one Dad to shuttle the crew. I had a crock pot and had bought a recipe book, "Fix-it and Forget it". Well that's what I did. I carefully cut the veggies and meat and layered them in the pot with the exact amount of water and seasoning, thinking all along of how wonderful the meal was going to be and how happy everyone would be to come home and have a hot meal after playing in the cold. I was at a break in my class when I called home and was anxious to hear the reaction. My husband sad, " well uh, it was okay". Now I was puzzled. Did the boys like it? Andrew calls it meat mush. I could see that. Crock pots have a way of taking pieces of food and cooking them into a blob of indiscernible mass. Yes it was possible to have stew that looked like mush. "Well do we have any cereal?"
Bean soup - not split pea soup - bean soup looks like grog or something they served at an orphanage in England. Yuck.
Fast forward to tonight's meal. Most of the time I manage to make good meals. I'm not a talented cook but with some planning and effort I can make a pretty good meal, but there are those days when I can't make toast. Today I was at the store and began staring at a box of hamburger helper. I have carefully avoided this product for many, many years. I have always thought that even the picture on the box looked creepy but today for some unknown reason I began to think that bacon cheeseburger meal sounded pretty good.
It was awful beyond even the most in depth explanation of the word awful. I knew that I had a catastrophe on my hands. It has a strange artificial taste to it that reeks of preservatives and fake flavors. They put it right on the front of the box, "artificial flavors" Strike one. Usually when I know that a meal isn't going to be that good I make dessert so that I can offset the problem. But tonight I thought we needed some bread to make things better. I decided to make beer bread, it's fast, simple and I have all the ingredients. Beer bread - 2 cups of self rising flour, 5 tablespoons of sugar, one bottle of beer. Usually yummy, yummy good. No problem. I forgot to let it sit for 5 minutes, I forgot what temperature to cook it at, and I forgot how long to let it cook. In my defense I did check it with a toothpick in three places but when I cut the bread the center was goo. Strike two.
Fortunately, I was able to open a can of fruit cocktail and was well stocked with whipped cream (Costco sells a three pack) and I sprinkled cinnamon and sugar on top.
As bad as the food was the meal turned out to be one of the best family gatherings we have ever had. Everyone made jokes about how bad the food was. My 2nd son is very, very funny and he began a comedy routine that made me laugh so hard my stomached ached. Thank you B you are a great son to take a Mom's worst moment and end up making it the best fun.
To all you dear people who like hamburger helper please forgive me. And if you know a way to make this stuff palatable please, please do share.