The Tale of the Fail
I had chosen "Ireland" as our theme for the month of August. Since two of us are not around during March, which is when we would most likely choose Ireland, I decided to do it now. I debated any number of recipes for our main dish and finally settled on Steak and Guinness Pie. This seemed appropriate for our somewhat cooler days. Knowing that we were eating at noon, and realizing that the dish needed to cook low and slow (four hours), I decided to cook it the night before and then heat it up the next day and add the puff pastry top.
Oh, the best laid plans! I put it all together - all four lbs. of beef, onions, garlic, mushrooms, beef stock, tomato paste, Guinness and one and a half cups of flour to thicken the liquid as it cooked. I placed it all in a large pan which then - completely tipped over as I was sliding it into the oven! All over the fully opened door of our new, two-month old stainless steel oven. Without going through the blow-by-blow details, I did not completely freak out. I gathered all of the solid ingredients and got them back in the pan and then set about cleaning up the cups and cups of flour thickening liquid. I knew that the dish was not going to be completed that night, but figured that all was not lost - a mess yes, but not lost. That is till I closed the oven door, and the remaining liquid (that I didn't know existed) came cascading out of every crevice in the the door - including down in-between the door's two glass panels - where I could never reach it to clean.
Amazingly, I still kept it together, cleaned up what I could, and left a frantic message on the voicemail of the appliance repairman that we use. Then I bagged up the solids that I had managed to save, put them in the freezer and went to bed. I did NOT take any pictures of the mess!
Ok, the next day! I didn't bat an eye deciding to purchase sub sandwiches as the main course! And of course, my dear friends only cared that the oven would be ok. The happy ending to this fiasco is that our repairman was able to dismantle the door, get it completely cleaned and then reassembled. I can still hardly believe it - I was prepared to have to buy a whole new door. Thank you!
On to our meal!
For our Irish appetizers, Tierney chose Smoked Salmon and Cucumber Squares. Delicious! She also made some that had sauteed potatoes and onions - they were both wonderful!
For side-dish, Chris made Authentic Irish Colcannon, a hearty potato dish - and colorful!
And now for our main dish - turkey and roast beef submarine sandwiches!
Lastly, Ellen prepared Lemon Curd and Jam Tarts - a delicate, buttery crust and wonderful fillings!
What can I say - it all ended ok - a bit frustrating in the process, but when you end with good friends around a table, and are able to laugh at your mistakes (especially when they can be fixed), it's all good!