How to Ruin a Perfect Meal


As you may have seen, this weekend I made Crazy Easy DIY Dishwasher Detergent Tablets. They were crazy-easy, and work wonderfully. If you haven’t, check ’em out. No, wait: after you’ve read this, check ’em out. Anyways, I mixed them up in a big bowl, which made the kids circle like sharks scenting blood, giving my big puppy eyes and asking if they could help me “wick da spoon.” I gently told them to get the hell away from that disgusting soapy fork, and scooped out the semi-spheres onto an aluminum foil sheet on the counter, where they had to sit to dry for a few hours. I’m a big sucker for the cute begging looks, though, so I promised them a special treat later.

A few hours passed, during which I slaved over a really tasty homemade meal. It involved simmering turkey bones to create stock as a base for the sauce, preparing fresh veggies, browning the turkey, and making mashed potatoes to top the other items. The dish was similar to a sheppard’s pie, but a little fancier, a lot more labor-intensive (no canned mushroom soup and frozen veggies, for once). I was on a roll! Homemade soap! Scratch-made awesome tasty dinner! Damn, I’m the best housewife in the history of the world! But of course because I was feeling so good about winning the day, the day had to have other plans.

I plucked my dried finished-product detergent tablets off of their foil sheet, and then the dinner was ready to come out of the oven. I folded the foil sheet over so it wouldn’t get soapy bits on anything, but forgot about it as I went to pull the food out of the oven and sprinkle some cheese on top for it to sit and melt. I plated up some for the kids so that it could sit and cool for a bit to prevent them from digging into it and burning themselves. Self-control isn’t their strong suit, nor is patience.

As the kids ate, Bear and I decided we weren’t really hungry yet, but I put a small serving onto my plate because they won’t eat as well when we don’t eat with them. We all sat and I had one of those moments of such satisfaction, knowing that this meal would not only feed us tonight, but also serve at least one more meal, or make up a few lunch servings for the hubby to take to work.

I’m sure we’ve all had those moments: every housewife I know has those days where they’re just particularly happy to have accomplished something more domestic than what was necessary. A particularly craft day, or a real deep-cleaning day, or (as in this case) a day where the food wasn’t from any processed starter ingredients. To be frank, most of our meals involve at the very least some frozen veggies, and although I know that’s equally nutritious, it’s just not as satisfying to show off.

I took the kids to wash their hands and get them out of the kitchen so I could clean things up and I noticed Bear had placed foil over the food, so it wouldn’t get too cold before he decided to eat later. I wiped down the table and the boys’ chairs, then started to wipe down the counters and realized the soapy foil was gone from the spot on the counter where I’d left it. I looked back over at the dish on the stove top. No. Surely he didn’t…

“Hey Bear? Did you put the foil from the counter on top of the food?”

Sensing the tone of defeat, he asked, “Should I… not… have covered it?” I could tell he was mystified as to why this wasn’t a good move.

“The foil had all kinds of soap coating it… so… uh.” I double checked, not wanting it to actually have been the same foil. It was. I pulled up the foil, and the steam still rising off the food had formed a layer of dew over the foil, wetting the dried out soap and dripping it back down onto the meal, making sure that even the parts that didn’t touch the foil directly were affected. “At least it was soap side-down, so it destroyed the food.” Despite the sarcasm, this was said without attitude. I didn’t want to make a big deal, because it was an honest mistake, but I was also wracking my brain to try to think of a way that this was not actually happening.

“I thought it was foil you’d put over the food to bake it.” I asked him if he wanted to test it to see if it was gross, because I wasn’t going to. He declined. With a big sigh, I dumped the remaining food into the trash.

This only reinforces the idea that pouring so much time and effort into a meal will only be punished. Hot dogs and chicken nuggets from now on.

On the other hand, the detergent works pretty great.

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10 thoughts on “How to Ruin a Perfect Meal

  1. That’s terrible! I can’t tell you how many dinners I ruined in college when I left for work without turning on/plugging in the crockpot. When you walk through the door expecting delicious smells, and get nada.

  2. Ugh. I’m sorry this happened to you, and I can certainly relate! If I try to make some kind of all-from-scratch delicious meal, I’m usually so stressed out and crazy while I’m doing it that it’s probably not worth it. Maybe when the kids are a little older and can (I hope, dear God I hope) appreciate it more. I’m going to go check out your dishwasher tabs recipe now. I SUCK at all things crafty, but I love me some dishwasher tabs and they’re crazy expensive.

    • I hope you do, and that you like them! And I have definitely thought of shelving the idea of any “real” cooking until they’re older, but I get bored every once in a while and get sucked back in!

  3. Oh my goodness! That must have been deflating! You worked so hard! You’re a better woman than I. I probably would have flipped out on my husband! I’m visiting from, I Don’t Like Mondays! It’s nice to meet ya!

  4. Pingback: Crazy-Easy DIY Dishwasher Detergent Tablets | Raising Heathens

  5. Well well, you made me laugh on a cold wet day in Ireland and I also learned how to make my own dishwasher tablets and save money. Can’t be bad!!

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