So you know how it goes. The kids go back to school and maybe you are feeling a little guilty about the fact that you are SO EXCITED that they are back in school or maybe you are just an over achiever and you decide that you want their first day to finish with an amazingly tasty meal. You start early. You prep, you sauté, you cook. You show up to the table with a beautiful meal and everyone is all smiles. Does this sound familiar to you? Yep. Me neither.
I did actually try to make that amazing dinner for the first night of school. I did start early. But let me tell you how it actually went. I should start with what I decided to make, right? Beef involtini with artichokes, cacio e pepe, and broccoli alla something or someplace. I can’t even remember what recipe I was using. Way over my head, people. I’ve been eating cereal for dinner lately. And way too much take out. The first sign that this was way over my head was the prepping of the artichokes. I should have taken photos of this. It took me forever. What a mess. My artichokes were huge and, of course, turned brown before I could even get the lemon on them. Lame.
The beef was surprisingly easy to pound, stuff, and roll. I got through the browning stage just fine, and added all of the requisite juices and seasonings to the mix. I added the artichokes. I was feeling good. My kitchen was smelling good. Then I walked out into the garage to see one of my kids inhaling candy from the previous day’s Labor Day parade. It wasn’t even his candy. I totally tried to keep my cool. Second fail.
I decided that I was ahead of schedule so I would get going on prepping the broccoli and the pasta. I’ve made cacio e pepe enough times to know what I’m doing. This was a no brainer. Until everyone came home. I got totally derailed in the most uncool, ugly step-mom way by the fact that both boys were now out in the garage eating candy (that still didn’t belong to them) and school lunch snacks while I had already been in the kitchen for two hours. I totally lost track of everything that I was doing. I lost track of the fact that I cook because I like good food, not for the pats on the back. I lost track of the fact that it was 6:30 and they were probably hungry since their schedules were totally off. I lost track of the fact that it was the first day of school and of course they would want candy. Kids are kids.
I miss-measured the oil for the cacio e pepe. I overcooked the broccoli. I undercooked the artichokes but overcooked the meat in the same pot. I under-seasoned the beef and the artichokes and the pasta while over seasoning the broccoli. Also, I totally need a bigger stove.
Honestly, the best part of the meal was the wine.
Some days are like that. Please tell me I am not alone here. Can I get a good back to school story? Anyone?