Ever have those nights where nothing seems to go right in the kitchen? It's a total domino effect: one thing goes wrong and the whole meal goes up in smoke (figuratively and sometimes literally.)
Last night we had planned a creamy shrimp and linguine dish. I'd made it before, there was a sale on shrimp, and the Doodle loves pasta ... it all fit perfectly. So we thought.
The water's boiling, the veggies are chopped and the shrimp are drizzled with grapeseed oil (Ever tried this stuff? A fantastic, lighter-texture alternative to olive oil. Good on everything.) I dress them up with italian seasoning, garlic powder and a little of my old stand-by, Mrs. Dash. Hubby decides he'd rather have the shrimp grilled, which set a distant alarm ringing in my head (I should really pay more attention to that sound ...) Reluctantly, I concede, and he gleefully skips outside to prep the Q.
And that's when it started to unravel.
First, the skewers of shrimp are unceremoniously dumped in the dirt by hubby, who is trying to figure out why the Q wasn't heating up (something to do with the gas connection, but I was too busy furiously stirring my now gelatinous sauce to care, while he scrubbed the shrimp under the tap and re-applied the marinade.)
The shrimp are returned to the grill, but are taking forever to cook. The sauce had gone from creamy to gluey to burnt, despite my vain attempts to keep it wet by adding various liquids. (Should've added some wine. Everything's better with wine. Bad time to decide to relegate alcohol consumption to just the weekends.) The pasta was done ages ago, and I thought it would be smart to just leave them in the pot of water - that way they don't get all stuck together right? Right. But then they also become soggy strips of gross-ness. Eww.
Meanwhile, the Doodle is STARVING TO DEATH and making sure we know about it, running around the kitchen, wailing and doing her bow-to-Mecca temper tantrum (bent at the waist, hands and forehead on the floor, screaming) and loudly demanding "UP! NOW!!"
I move quickly to drain the linguine and proceed to dump it into the sink. More rinsing. The sauce is now starting to curdle and tastes more like sour lemon pudding than shrimp. By the time everything was plated, the only thing that was edible were the green and yellow beans I microwaved at the last minute. With brave faces, we dig in, but those hopeful looks change to disgust after a few bites. Gawd-awful.
The Doodle tries a bit, twists her face in pure horror, regurgitates onto her bib, and says "All done!" You got that right. Can't say that I blame her ... we didn't want it either. Toast and peanut butter with applesauce it is. Mom of the year, that's me.