Peek inside my mind while I make dinner

July 15, 2008

So, just for fun, I thought I would let you into the scary world that is my mind as I am planning what and how to prepare for our Monday evening meal.

8:30 AM: I had a pot roast that I had removed from the freezer that was finally thawed. Ok. We will have pot roast. And, look here, I have a bag of Yukon Gold potatoes. That sounds like dinner!

I knew what I was making for salad, because I had come across a recipe for watermelon salad about which I couldn’t stop thinking. More on that later.

So, I had a pot roast and potatoes. How shall I cook this? Shall I do something new or something I know works? What do I have on hand? It is a hot day, so the slow cooker wins out over the oven.

I need some liquid.

I had just made a batch of polenta (I use it to hide Georgia’s pain meds. She quite likes it and takes her medicine without complaint.) Polenta uses 3 cups of chicken broth. The box holds 4 cups. Well, there’s one cup of liquid for the roast. What else? Oh, here is some beer I bought that I didn’t particularly enjoy. One bottle of Strawberry Blonde in the pot. Perfect. A bed of celery for flavor and to keep the meat off the bottom of the pot.

As I recall, last time I made pot roast I had to add salt, so, let’s use a good bit of salt. Add some fresh ground black pepper and a handful of Herbs de Provence.

Let’s try bringing this to a boil before putting in the meat. Maybe it will make the flavors bloom. What the hell. While that’s heating, I will prep the fruit for the Sangria.

8:45 AM: Strawberries: Beautiful. Tasty. Ripe.

Peaches: What the hell? This one is mealy. This one is rock hard. Crap. Well, they are tasty. Aha! I will toss them in the pot roast!

What other fruit do I have? Oranges. OK. Very traditional with the Sangria. In it goes. Soak to your little heart’s content in the pear juice and brandy.

9:00 AM: I can smell the herbs, so I figure it is time to put the pot roast in the slow cooker.  I set it on low because the last one I did was a bit overdone when I used the “auto” setting which starts high and finishes low.

3:30 PM: Sing Dulcinea from Man of la Mancha while preparing salad. Think about how I would run away with Brian Stokes Mitchell.

3:45:Meat is perfectly done. I pull it out and place it in a lasagna pan lined with foil. Taste the broth. Yum! Scoop out pitiful remnants of vegetable matter that are nothing but pulp and discard. Toss in the bag of whole potatoes and the onion that didn’t get used in the salad. Walk down the block to give Carrie some salad and some help with her new smartphone.

5:00 PM: Pull out potatoes, wrap them in foil and put meat back in hot pot to return to serving temperature. Slice some potato rosemary bread and wrap it in foil to heat in the toaster oven (no sense using the big oven and heating up the house.) Have hubby set table. Serve delicious salad and Sangria. Hmm. Seems a little bitter. I see. Oranges aren’t as sweet as peaches and are more acidic. Now I know why so many Sangria recipes call for sugar. Pull out fruit, pour a little Sangria in a measuring cup, add honey & microwave until liquefied. Stir into Sangria. Perfect!

5:25 PM: Plate meat and potatoes, wrap bread in towel and place in bowl. Dinner is served. Family is happy.

Watermelon Feta Salad

  • Half of a Dulcinea watermelon (they are marketed as personal sized melons) in bite sized cubes (about 4 cups)
  • 1/8 cup diced Walla Walla (sweet) onion
  • One handful of each:
  • Parsley (minced)
  • Mint (minced)
  • Feta cheese
  • The juice of 1 each lemon and lime
  • Sea salt to taste

Dice the onions (it might be prettier with slivers of red onion, but I prefer the flavor of the Walla Walla) and place in a small bowl. Add the fruit juice and a sprinkle of salt. Stir and set aside.

In another bowl, add all remaining ingredients. Dump onions and juice on top and toss.

This is not a “make ahead” salad. Serve when fresh. It was so good that I turned my plate up and drank the leftover dressing. (I do the same thing with Caprese Salad, which is my all time favorite.)

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One Response to “Peek inside my mind while I make dinner”


  1. […] 6, 2008 The watermelon salad was such a hit, I thought you might like to try this recipe, too. I haven’t made it, but it […]


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