I grew up with my mom popping a roast in the oven before leaving for church, resulting in a yummy Sunday dinner. It was a tradition that I tried to emulate but wasn't very successful at - mainly because I don't like cooking on Sunday. I consider it my day of rest and we usually go out to eat. However, any other day of the week I do love to prepare and serve a good pot roast.
I think I've mentioned before that I don't cook it the way most folks do. I season it with garlic, salt, and pepper, add a little water to the pot and slow cook it in the oven for a couple of hours. That's it, nothing more. A roast cooked with potatoes, carrots, and onions, all in the same pot .... yuck! I do NOT like mixing all those flavors together, not to mention I'm just not a fan of carrots. My husband on the other hand grew up eating it that way so I've learned to compromise.
I cook potatoes, carrots, and onions but in a separate dish, seasoned with beef bouillon. He hasn't complained yet so I guess it's okay (honey if you're reading this, NOW is the time to speak up if you DON'T like it cooked this way. However it you don't want me to continue to cook it this way I don't know what I'ma gonna do 'cause no way am I ruining a great roast with vegetables!)
I also figure while I'm selfishly preparing meals my way I might as well cook a pot of rice. (Am I the only one who grew eating rice and gravy with their roast?) There's also the obligatory green beans and sometimes corn, to add a little color to palette. Yum! Comfort food at it's best.
I don't cook a roast often - have you seen the price of beef today? It seems a bit of an extravagance especially when I'm only cooking for two. Every once in awhile though the desire for comfort food wins out over being thrifty and a pot roast finds itself on menu. Yesterday was that day.
Yep, last night we had roast for dinner. And it was oh. so. good. It was all I could do to refrain from gorging myself. I behaved though and didn't go back for seconds. I'm really trying to cut back on what and how much I eat but it's been a struggle and having something that tastes so good, that also soothes the soul, (which is what comfort food does for me) ... makes it doubly hard to maintain will power.
I was actually doing ok up until I began clearing away the dishes. There was quite a bit of food left over so I fixed a dish for tomorrow's lunch and then there it was ... the leftover gravy ... calling my name. I knew I should quickly toss it in the trash but instead I began to rationalize in my head - if I don't do something to curb this craving right now I'm going to be thinking about it all night long. If I'm thinking about it all night long, one of two things might happen. I might end up eating a snack later on or worse yet, I might get up in the middle of the night and EAT the leftovers. Oh my, what's a girl to do?
I did the only thing a sane (read - unable to maintain will-power) person would do. I took a slice of bread, tore it into little bite size pieces, dipped it in the gravy and savored every morsel of it's goodness. It wasn't without guilt however. I felt guilty about giving into my desires and even worse I felt guilty that I was trying to hide from my husband that his beloved wife was in the kitchen pigging out. Hiding it wasn't easy because he kept coming back into the kitchen. I wanted to scream at him, "get out! Can't you tell your wife is in here being gluttonous?"
Finally he settled down to watch TV and I was able to continue scarfing down my bread and gravy. I finished loading the dishwasher, and wiped down the stove and countertops. As I made my way to join him in the living room, I was careful to wipe any incriminating evidence from my face because nothing will get one busted faster than a glob of gravy in the corner of your mouth. I was content. My belly was full, my cravings abated, and as far as I know, my hubby was none the wiser.
I'm ashamed to admit I woke up this morning thinking ... not about my deceit from the night before ... but about the leftovers in the 'fridge. I was almost giddy with excitement, couldn't wait for lunchtime to roll around. Finally around eleven I said, "to heck with it, I'm eating early!" I popped the container of leftover roast, rice, and gravy into the microwave and watched the seconds tick away.
Yum it smelled soooo good. The cat thought so too. She ran and took up her stalking position, in anticipation of getting a handout. Yes, I feed my cat table food. It's probably why she's such a picky eater and I end up tossing more cat food than she actually eats.
Beep, beep, beep. It's ready! I sat down and began to eat. It was still a little cold so back to the microwave it went. Beep, beep, beep. Let's try again. Ah, yes. Just the right temperature. Let's eat!
I guess you're expecting to read now, about how yummy my lunch was, and how stuffed and satisfied I am. Alas, it's not to be. Surprise! About half way through lunch I began to think about it. You know what? Leftovers aren't nearly as good as originals.
What? Leftovers aren't nearly as good as originals? What you talkin' 'bout Willis? Last night it was delicious but today it's not?
Well, here's the thing ... it tasted ok but it wasn't making my tastebuds sing like it did last night. In fact, it was kind of blah. My husband refuses to eat leftovers. Maybe this is why.
So ... the second time around just isn't as good as the first which turns out to not be such a bad thing because I didn't even finish my leftover meal (and for the record neither did the cat).
Bonus? Maybe a lighter lunch will make up for the gluttony of the night before. That's what I'm telling myself anyway. I'm also inspired to not cook such a great meal again tonight. No need to set myself up for failure two days in a row. Look out honey, we're eating light tonight!
And finally I leave you with this photo which has nothing to do with the topic of today's blog. I don't like posting without at least one photo so this is what I came up with.
Fall is my favorite time of the year and it's partly because of all the beautiful fall foliage. Sadly the color this year is not as vivid as in past years. I guess it's because of how dry it's been. A lot of the trees had their leaves turn brown and fall off prematurely. Others just sported more muted colors this time around. I spotted this little gem in my neighbors yard today and thought he deserved to be photographed.