Where else would I turn other than FoodNetwork(dot)com? Early this morning with my blank grocery list patiently sitting next to me waiting to be filled, (unfortunately I couldn't say that same thing about my impatient son, freaking out in his high chair because all the bananas were gone) I zip onto the great world wide web and find the first dish that sounds appetizing. Chicken Tetrazini. Prep time? One hour. Skill level? Intermediate. I glance at the ingredients list, jot down what I'm missing and it totally looks doable.
I arrive home from the grocery store a mere 60 minutes later, which is a-mazing by the way when you're toting around a five-month-old, and get to setting up the kitchen. C is playing merrily in his "office" in the middle of the kitchen and in between measuring out ingredients I play defense for my son whose sheepdog is viciously trying to lick-attack his face. In case you're wondering, "office" is the term we've given to Carter's activity jumper.
Not one to miss any sort of cue for a NAP, at the first sign of Carter rubbing his face, I quickly scoop him out of his "office" and whisk him into the living room. At this point, I've managed to successfully saute and wonderfully brown four chicken breasts, shredded them and sauteed the mushrooms, onion, garlic and thyme in butter and one cup of white wine. The house smelled delicious as I bounce and sway Carter around the living room to the sound of the vacuum. (No judgies, ladies. Desperate times call for desperate measures and I needed C to fall asleep quickly so that I could start on the sauce). As soon as those heavy peepers started closing, I lay C in his swing, flip that baby on "high" and hightail it back to the kitchen. I leave the vacuum running
Into the pan goes the butter, whisk whisk whisk. Some flour, whisk whisk. The milk, cream, broth, nutmeg, whisk, whisk, whisk. And a dash of salt and pepper. Whisk whisk. Following the damned directions to a "T" I bring the sauce to a boil, cover it and then turn down the heat (read: turn the oven nob from 9 to 5) to let it simmer for the noted 10 minutes.
Being the little diligent chef that I am, I listen when Giada tells me to start the salted water a' boiling for the linguine. I grab my pasta pot, I fill it with water, I salt it and I place it on the cook top to start boiling. I glance over at my angel of a son who is still passed out in his swing.
I glance back at the stove.. HOLY MOTHER OF GOD WHAT IS THAT COMING OUT OF THE PAN? AND WHY IS IT COMING OUT SO QUICKLY?
Within seconds, my sauce, slightly reminiscent of what a melted StayPuff Marshmellow man would look like, is literally POURING over the sides of my saute pan and all over the freaking cook top. Thank goodness for quick thinking, I immediately turn off both heated burners and throw the entire pan of
Remember those two super hot burners? Well, the sauce is now inextricably adhering itself to them in a smoky, slightly fiery mess. I throw open the sliding glass door, the kitchen window and the front door to catch the slightest hint of a cross breeze.
The smoke alarm starts going off. Sheepie is losing his ever-loving shit (pardon my French) and barking like a madman. In between vertical jumps in an attempt to turn off the smoke alarm, I'm pleading with him not to run out the front door.
Let me remind you, the vacuum is still running.
The smoke clears and I spend the following forty minutes alternating between using paper towels, kitchen towels and lysol wipes to clean off the cook top. I'm scraping at the burned sauce with a spatula and using the scrubby side of a sponge to clear it away. If you're thinking that I probably made it worse before I made it better? You're probably right.
At this point, I'm not sure whether I should laugh or cry. Somehow, by the grace of God (or the vacuum) Carter is still asleep in his swing... and the front door.. HOLY SHIT I LEFT THE FRONT DOOR OPEN.
Is wide open. And there's Sheepie. Sunning himself on the front lawn. Watching our neighbor take down her Christmas lights.
In one morning, I manage to nearly burn the kitchen down and lose the dog.
For. the. love. 2011 is shaping up to be an interesting year already.