Saturday, December 5, 2020

August 16, 2019 Haunts Me

 It was a lovely day in the neighborhood.  This is me every morning checking out the yard before letting the puppies out.  First thing ... take a big sniff.  You really can smell skunks if they are around.  Then I do the rounds, looking behind every bush because that's how I got caught last time.  Finally, the dogs are allowed out.

With that done, and having caught up on all my brain games ... hey, whatever it takes to keep the old noggin working ... I went on to more suitable morning pastimes.  It's called keeping the couch from flying away, sewing, yelling at the television and trying to balance my bank account. 

In the meantime, I put a pork roast in the slow cooker because the picture said it would come out looking like the most gorgeous, sauce-covered, pineapple, brown sugar coated thing you have ever seen. 

Then it was on to cinnamon rolls.  This time of year we always had rolls in the house.  The smell of them baking is just divine.

Right off the bat, this happened.  It was a sign.  I should have stopped right there, put everything away and gone back to couch control.

But NOOOOOO ... I had to continue making the rolls.  It's a delicate dance between scalding milk and boiling milk.  Boiling is of course a bad thing.  Two eggs, sugar, yeast and three cups of flour later, along with arm muscles I didn't even know I had, it was ready for the rise.  When done, it should fill the bowl.

Ha!!  Fooled you!!  This is what it looked like ninety minutes later.  Not only did it not rise, but it was not the least bit soft and puffy .... it was hard like a snowball.

I dug the yeast package out of the garbage.  Well for crying out loud!!  No wonder it didn't rise.  Yeasties can be rather finicky like that.  August 16???  I checked the fridge and threw away three more packages.  Stubborn as I am, and with everything else mixed up, melted and chopped ready to make the rolls wonderful, I started all over again.

This time I triple checked the dates after locating one lone package of yeast in the fridge.  Truly, I wish I could find my Mom's original recipe in one of the eight cookbooks I have that belonged to her, but none of them stood out.  

This time the ball of dough did rise, although still not like my Mom's rolls used to.  That old cake yeast sure seemed to be better than what we have nowadays.

And so with much gusto, I baked them in my Breville oven.  These are caramel rolls.  You melt a stick of butter in the pan, dump in a big pile of brown sugar and cover that with a shower of walnuts.  Walnuts are really good brain food, or so I learned yesterday on television.  That made me happy because now I have a really good reason to eat the entire pan.  

When you turn them over onto a plate, or in this case foil for freezing, the bottom becomes the top.  Of course I always seem to use too much brown sugar.  They will be perfect for Christmas morning with my puppies. 

I did have some leftovers, so I threw them in another pan and smothered them with cream cheese frosting.  As you can see, a taste test had to be conducted.  I have to say these were not near as good as Mom's.  I think in the old days ingredients were processed differently, so the outcome is not the same.   Maybe I just need to practice more. 

I wasn't feeling all that smug since August 16 kind of put a damper on things.  I'm used to stuff like that happening to me rather often.  Take dinner for example.  August 16 hit me not once, but TWICE in one day!!

I LOVE mac 'n cheese.  It's one of my food groups, but I don't indulge very often.  Too many calories and I'm prone to eating the entire pot in one sitting.

I whipped up the sauce ... again, Mom's recipe which I know by heart ... cooked the noodles, mixed it up and into the oven it went.  My mouth was watering.  The plan was to take some of that yummy pork and place on top of a big bowl, just like you see in the frozen food case at the grocery store.  

I uncovered the pork.  It sat there in a huge swimming pool full of liquid akin to water.  There was no thick sauce to be seen.  I could have thickened it, but the recipe did not call for that.  Oh well ... I shredded it in readiness for my wonderful dinner.

Hmmmmm ... this mac 'n cheese tastes a little funny.  I took another bite and another bite.  Yup ... this is bad.  What the heck did I do?  Ding ding ding ... the light bulb went on.  I checked the date on the macaroni box.

You guessed it.  AUGUST 16, 2019.  No way!!!  How could that be?  I never really thought the date would affect macaroni.  I was wrong.  All of my lovely mac 'n cheese went in the trash.  I didn't even take the time to bury it.  I ate the watery pork, looked longingly at my cinnamon rolls as I placed them in the freezer and went back to what I do very well ... keeping the couch from flying off into space.



  1. That’s one of the best things about mom’s cooking... one is you can never duplicated it ... they say it’s all in the wrist . and it never has an expiration date..
    And if you sneak it out of the kitchen and she doesn’t see it’s 10 times better

    1. That's true ... there are very few things my Mom made that I can make as well.

  2. My guess is, mom had a wood stove, always had a kettle of water on said stove, and her yeast dough raised somewhere near there were it was 'warm and humid'. That is what yeast likes, warm and humid. And being 'in date' and not 'out of date' helps a bunch too. And YES, the ingredients now days is not the same too. Now, "if" you come across old Twinkies, you don't need to toss them, I don't think they ever go bad.

    1. Hahahaha I don't think I've ever seen an outdated Twinkie ... they get eaten immediately!!

  3. To many Chemicals in foods and ingredients we use today. It changes the taste and how it sits around our middles. Processed foods have so many unknowns in them it's scary. Trying to pronounce some of that stuff makes you wonder.
    Be Safe and Enjoy!

    It's about time.

    1. That's what I think too. There are too many additives in food that completely change the taste and even the consistency.