I seriously need Robert Irvine from the Food Network to visit my house. Now, I would probably cry because he would most likely shout at me for all my poorly sharpened chef’s knives (I have four, they are all terrible!), and also for the way I chop vegetables nearly cutting my fingers off all the time.

But I need serious help. Seriously.

I am a really good baker. But a terrible “chef.” Honest. Not gonna lie to ya.

Last night’s dinner is case in point. Here’s how it went down.

I was planning to make something chicken-ish. Went downstairs to the 2nd freezer (yes, like all good Italians, I have two refrigerators in my house!). Was about to take out a pack of frozen chicken when I looked in the fridge and saw a bag with a package of meat in it. What? I look inside and it’s ground beef/veal/pork for meatloaf (I use it for meatballs though – it’s awesome!).

Hmm? I thought. Did hubby take this out? Did he just put it in the fridge whilst rearranging the freezer (sometimes he has to reorganize for me – it is TOO cold for me to ever finish organizing in one sitting).Bemused, I figured since the meat was already thawed, I’d better use it tonight. All righty. Meatballs it is. I actually had the energy for it since baby is now sleeping through the night.

First, I took two of our precious jars of tomato sauce canned last summer (those babies are like red gold to us and we only have FOUR left!). Set that to bubbling in the crock-pot with some spices.

Then I set about mixing up egg, breadcrumbs, etc., for meatballs – mix, mix, mix. It came together so nicely. I used a fork and didn’t even get my hands dirty until the ball-forming stage. Form the meatballs gently (not too firmly packed or they get dense and rubbery), and buried them in the spicy red sauce. Cover and set on high to cook.

About 3:30, I checked the pot. Took a spoonful of sauce and, I tell you, it was the BEST-TASTING sauce I have ever made. Ever. No lie. Spicy, a little salty, tomato-y with the flavor of the meatballs.  I was elated, since I’ve had  a series of undercooked or overcooked dinners lately. This was going to be my gold-star moment!


Hubby came home about 4:00 p.m. Looked in the pot. Asks me, “Did you use the meat from the fridge downstairs?”

ME: “Yes?” (puzzled) OH! Were you saving that for something? Did you want me to make something else?

HUBBY: (also puzzled) Well, nooooo. But… I found that meat on TOP of the freezer this morning when I went to get my lunch for school. Had you taken it out last night to thaw?

ME: (more puzzled than EVER). Ummm…. nooooo. I wasn’t even planning to HAVE meatballs tonight.

[We both stare at each other!]

HUBBY: Then when did you put the meat on top of the freezer?

[Looooooooong silence.]

ME: (finally!) I. Have. No. Idea.


Truly, I have NO recollection of putting that meat on top of the freezer. That can only mean one of two things:

  1. I have a hole in my mind! (Babylon 5 reference if anyone cares!) or
  2. I put that meat on top of the freezer a Looooong time ago and totally forgot about it. Sadly, number two is most likely.

I stared at the lovely, simmering pot of sauce. “But it was the best tasting sauce I ever made!” I wailed.

Hubby bravely offered to eat it anyway. “It’s cool in the basement, right? Maybe it’s okay?”

I absolutely forbid it. “You’ll get food poisoning. People die from food poisoning. No. Absolutely not.”

And so. We had to throw out an ENTIRE pot of meatballs and sauce. That would’ve probably given us at least two meals. And we wasted TWO jars of homemade sauce. (NOTE: Tomatoes don’t ripen until August. AUGUST!).

And, with the tantalizing smell of meatballs in the air, we had to have microwaved black beans on tortilla wraps for dinner. Sigh. There is a glaringly blank spot in my “Mommy’s Gold Stars” chart today.

Robert Irvine! We need you over here! Stat!

Have you ever had a dinner that entirely failed on you? How did you rescue it?

Leave a Comment

  • Tiffany March 30, 2011, 8:03 am

    This sounds exactly like something I would have done.

    at our old place, we had an apple tree in our front yard. I patiently waited until they were ready to pick. i watched them grow for months! Then finally it was time. I picked them all. peeled them all. chopped them all. lovingly made a huge pot of applesauce for my baby. at one point i needed to add a small amount of vinegar, so I grabbed our gallon sized bottle and added it in. After I added it, I thought, “Gosh, that smells really strong! I mean, I know vinegar smells, but this is crazy!” I kept cooking for about 30 seconds before I decided to make sure I put the right thing in.

    Uh, yeah. I added AMMONIA to my applesauce. FAIL.

  • Lindsay O. March 28, 2011, 11:39 pm

    That is so funny :) I always get a good laugh reading your blog. I have done something similar too, but it sure didn’t look as yummy as your meat balls. Speaking of I am going to have to make some of those, they look so yummy. How sweet of your DH to still want to eat them so that it didn’t make you feel so bad.

    Luckily you guys communicate, if not you might have just eaten it and gotten sick.

  • Crunchy Beach Mama March 25, 2011, 3:31 pm

    oh gosh you must have been so mad! I think I would have cried.

    Gosh that sounds so good my mouth was actually watering!

  • Erin March 23, 2011, 2:43 pm

    You poor thing! If it’s any consolation, they LOOKED delicious!!! And it’s the thought that counts…right…? :-)

  • Elle March 23, 2011, 9:43 am

    Ouch that sucks. But thank you very much for reminding me that I have to start cooking right NOW! I told hubby we would have beans if they don’t get to cooking they won’t be done when he gets home. Cya later.

  • Andrea G. March 23, 2011, 12:33 am

    Ok, I have a confession… this literally made me laugh out loud. NOT your situation with the dinner, but the way you told it. We have had this conversation in our house probably a million times where one of us totally forgets something like this.

    Also, how do you go about canning your sauce, and what is the shelf-life? I’m trying to eat local and in-season, and my husband’s number one complaint is “we use so much tomato sauce… we could NEVER do that!!!” So, do you mind sharing how you make your sauce and how you can it?

  • Darcy March 22, 2011, 11:47 pm

    Oh my! I’ve managed to burn a crockpot pull of casserole. I’ve also managed to start dinner and then realize we’re out of milk…which was needed!

  • Amanda March 22, 2011, 9:25 pm

    Oh NO! I once forgot the crockpot on high and returned that afternoon to find my roast …blackened…..and my husband has forgotten meat on top of our garage freezer before. I didn’t cook with it, but it was a piece of deer meat that had been given to us by my dad, who is a big hunter, and my husband thought it was very tragic indeed.

  • Courtney @ LivingABonaFideLife March 22, 2011, 8:58 pm

    Oh no! It is never fun to waste time and food like that, so sorry! Good that you can see some comedy in it though, :) Earlier this week I baked up some chicken breasts that needed to be cooked. I was glad to have chicken pre-cooked for a couple of meals during the week….until I left the chicken out to “cool” and didn’t find it until the next morning. Gah!

  • April March 22, 2011, 8:50 pm

    Oh no! So sorry that happened!

    I’m a new follower from the Wednesday Window, hope you’ll follow me back!

    Frugally Green Mom

  • Stefanie March 22, 2011, 8:43 pm

    OH MY GOSH! I have had more than my fair share of disasters. I’m 40 and have been cooking since I was a little girl… so I’ve had cakes catch on fire, I’ve forgotten to turn oven on when we had a family over for dinner… and endless tales of woes! I HATE to hear about your tomato sauce.. I froze my tomato sauce and am down to the last one. August will be here before you know it!

  • MKDaddy March 22, 2011, 3:20 pm

    A Babylon 5 reference! Me Capt. Sheridan…you Delen! Luvs!

  • T Rex Mom March 22, 2011, 2:47 pm

    Ahhh – just horrible. But awesome story. And what does it tell you that I totally got the Babylon 5 reference?!?

    Beans in the crockpot for tonight. These to go with homemade tortillas. Mmmm.

    • MKDaddy March 22, 2011, 3:23 pm

      I am so impressed, you need to talk up JKMommy on Babylon 5!

  • Kalyn Turner March 22, 2011, 1:52 pm

    Wow! What a story…it gave me a great afternoon laugh that is for sure. Sorry to hear that you had to throw it all out, but probably the best choice. Hope tonight’s dinner is more successful.

    My husband and I have had a few moments like this too…they always provide a good laugh.

    Hope things are going well for you…So thankful that spring is around the corner.

  • Sabina@Slipstitches and More March 22, 2011, 6:44 am

    Oh I can relate to this story very well (btw so sorry it happened to you but very funny story). I consider myself a good cook, but I have had my moments. Like the time I poured a little bit of cold water into my pyrex baking dish that was filled with the best baked chicken I ever made. I open the oven slid out the baking rack and when I poured in the cold water the pyrex pan instantly cracked and splintered and there was glass all over the chicken and inside the oven was more tiny glass slivers and let’s not forget chicken juice lol…a mess! Lesson learned that day.