Monday, December 12, 2011

Momentum Gets the Better of Me

I have long espoused the benefits of planning ahead when it comes to cooking; actually, when it comes to life with small children, planning ahead improves the potential outcomes of almost any situation (at least part of the time...too many variables for a guarantee any stronger than that).

I was pleased with my momentum this week—I planned to make an appetizer for a party that would leave me with a cranberry-teriyaki glaze matched to a recipe for Asian braised short ribs, and pulled short ribs out of my freezer to thaw. I made extra poststickers (my appetizer of choice), so we could eat them at our convenience after I froze some.

Then, my parents showed up. I love them dearly, but they invariably add to the chaos. This time, my dad did so by showing up with a 10-lb. picnic ham as a gift. I had just tossed it into my (brimming) deepfreeze when my husband commented that it would be nice to have ham for dinner and sandwiches throughout the week. Out came the ham, and in spite of the fact that dinner that night was to consist of only him and the boys (I was going to the party), the 10-lb. ham went in the oven.

Turns out the potstickers can't really be frozen, because the filling was too wet, and they were meant to be cooked right after filling them, but I didn't because I played volleyball right before the party, so I made the potstickers ahead of time. The wet filling made the wrappers extra gooey. They need to be cooked right away to be saved. So. They probably should be cooked tonight.

The teriyaki glaze is already made, and the short ribs are thawed, so in spite of the fact that the fridge now contains leftover empanada filling, some extra ground pork that I didn't use in the potstickers, a few dozen ready-to-cook potstickers (if they aren't already past saving), and most of a 10-lb. ham, I also have to cook the short ribs. If I don't cook them tonight, I won't get to them until Wednesday, because tomorrow night I am booked into a hot new restaurant to do a review. So. The ribs are on the stove, bubbling away; then I will have empanada filling, ground pork, potstickers, ham AND braised Asian shortribs to choose from. I hate wasting food. I hope I can find a pork/beef-loving person (or people) to help me out...

Planning ahead seemed like a good idea, until a ham got tossed into the mix. I guess I should enjoy the fact that I probably won't need to cook anything for any meal for the remainder of the week. I can rest up for my catering event next Saturday. And maybe catch up on Christmas baking...and, do my dishes.

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