I wondered what to write about on day five, so I checked the NaBloPoMo prompts, and found this:
Tell us about a dish you attempted to make that ended in disaster. Have you ever re-attempted the meal?
A specific meal immediately came to mind. It wasn’t a disaster, per se, but it wasn’t a raging success, either.
It was hamburger helper, and I’d invited my best friend and my then-fiancée over for dinner.
That sounds horrible, doesn’t it?
Now, now, I was young, poor, and at the very beginning of my first experience living alone. Sure. I’d cooked plenty of meals at my parents’ house, but those were actually mostly breakfasts. I used to cook a mean breakfast–eggs and grits and bacon and biscuits–but I credit that to working nights for a couple years and being awake all night when everyone else was sleeping. It was appreciated on occasion.
So yeah, hamburger helper. I don’t remember what kind it was, only that it was a red sauce, not a white sauce. Which are two of the three styles of hamburger helper anyway, the third being cheesy. Literally and figuratively.
Don’t get me wrong, I am definitely not above some hamburger helper. I love me some tuna helper as well, especially the broccoli one. But when I compare it to the wide range of comfort food recipes I am now an expert in, it seems–tawdry. Maybe that’s just me.
But I didn’t even make a side. And I didn’t stir enough, burning the bottom layer to the pan. Oh, the humanity! No, not a disaster, but not the best meal I’ve ever prepared.
I wonder how that works, that I expect more of myself than I should, given my age and experience at the time. I certainly didn’t know everything I know now.
Like, at least serve some store-bought garlic bread with your hamburger helper.
Man, I love me some store-bought garlic bread. Depending on the store.