Friday, June 28, 2013

Mid Century Housewife Day 3: A Pointless Bake Off

Let's just jump right into it, shall we?

Day 3 of the Housewife Project (Thursday)

Well, day 3 was spent cleaning. It was the day that was reserved for a deep clean of certain areas of the house. I decided to do the kitchen and the bathroom.

It was a ton of work. It took about 2 hours to finish just the kitchen alone. And that's with me having one of the world's tiniest kitchens. Every little nook and cranny had to be clean. Following the instructions from America's Housekeeping Book helped a lot, though.

I started off by emptying out the refrigerator and freezer and scrubbing the inside of it. Of course with that came the emptying of gross bottles and almond milk cartons that somehow got lost in the back of the fridge (just in case you were wondering, almond milk turns into a weird oozey substance when its spoiled. I guess it turns into almond oil or something...ick. Can't let that happen again).

Once that was done I scrubbed the actual unit itself just for some extra shine. Then it was on to the stove. I spent 30 minutes scrubbing, and scrubbing...and...scrubbing until it was as shiny as a new one. That led to going inside of the oven which, thankfully, we cook enough and clean it enough so that it didn't need too much attention.

Then came the cabinets, then the walls, then the floor. It was seriously never ending (and don't forget all this happened after I had already  made and served breakfast, made the bed, dusted every piece of furniture...again...and walked around and made sure everything was were it was supposed to be...). But it was worth it. When I was finished it was like having a new kitchen. Every think was gleaming (with my sweat and tears).

The bathroom came next which wasn't that big of a deal since that gets a daily deep clean everyday anyway.

Then it was on to baking... Good thing I like to bake because it was only 1 o clock and I had already had a full day but no lunch yet.

I started with the Cheese Swirls that I needed to go on top of tonight's Tuna Bake.

The instructions were pretty straight forward. It was basically a basic biscuit dough recipe that was rolled into a jelly roll shape, then cut and baked. Sorry I forgot to get a pic of the actual biscuit recipe...

Here is the dough (messily) rolled out with the cheese on top. Of course it's American cheese.

Then rolled into a log

Cut into circles and baked off.

Here are the finished swirls! Aren't they cute?!

Then I moved on to the Strawberry Cream Pie...Here is where things started to veer in the wrong direction.  Here is the recipe

I did everything the instructions said... I mean, EVERYTHING...but for some reason when I went to check the pie after it had chilled for 2 hours I noticed that it wasn't setting...Totally soupy. But, I thought, maybe it just needs to chill longer. So I moved on to eating a late lunch and meal planning for the weekend. I still had 3 hours before Honey started on her way home.

Meal planning took longer than I expected because my indecisiveness set in and I couldn't narrow down what I wanted for dinner this weekend. I finally figured it out and let me just say, it should make for interesting blogging!!

When that was done it was on to the Tuna Bake

I knew I was taking a chance with this one because Honey DESPISES canned chicken soup. It literally makes her gag. was worth a shot right. I got out the can opener and got to work.

Now this recipe would have been better if maybe the cheese swirls were not baked off in advanced and then baked AGAIN for 30 minutes when you put them on the Tuna Bake. Making the bake itself was not the problem. It was the fact that 30 minutes was way to long to keep already baked biscuits in the oven. So my super cute, perfect little swirls ended up over baked and looking like they were one step away from being door stoppers. Sigh...

I'm soooo anal with my baking, so that put me in kind of a bad mood. But at least everything else turned out ok right...wrong...we have to go back to my pie...

So right after I did the meal planning, and right before I started the Tuna Bake I checked the pie again. After almost 4 hours in the refrigerator it was no more near set than when I first put it in...Panic mode... ok... maybe not. Let's be creative. Let's see, we can eat it as like a vanilla/ strawberry pudding or something...or, maybe freezing it would work.

So I stuck my soupy cream pie in the freezer...sigh # 2.

Now fast forward to finishing up the Tuna Bake. I check the pie and well, it's definitely freezing. I have no idea how it's going to turn out but at least its solid now.

Honey comes home and I go through the ritual of putting out the table, setting it and fixing her drink. I pull the Tuna Bake out the oven and bring it to the table. Silence.

"What did you say this was supposed to be?" she asks

"Ummm...Tuna Bake??" I respond.

"Hmmm..." blank face from Honey

I serve it and she tastes it.

"Well, it could be worse" she says.

Which in Honey language means she hated it and doesn't want to hurt my feelings. I just laugh because like I said before, I knew I was pushing it.

I however didn't think it was all that bad.  I don't think I'll make it again but it wasn't HORRIBLE. I'm glad I made salad also because Honey ended up only eating the greens.

Then it was time for the pie. My poor pie had been through a lot. Pulled it out of the freezer and yep, it was frozen... here is the sad finish to my long day of hard work. This had NEVER happened to me before while baking!! UGH!! Stupid mid century cookbook instructions!!!

Honey agreed that if it had set it would have been scrumptious!! But alas, we had to eat frozen, strawberry cream pie.

Oh well, hopefully today's cooking and baking will be better!!!

Time to do more dusting!

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  1. Hahahah! Honey's reaction to the meal! :) That is so frustrating that the pie wouldn't set!!! I wonder what why that happened, when you followed the recipe to the letter? Hopefully your next meal goes more smoothly... :) xx

  2. I do not want to tell you the last time I cleaned my freezer! Very proud of you dear Latoya:) You did great on your cooking. Big efforts for trying all these vintage recipes. Can't wait to hear about what happens next:)

  3. Too bad about the pie. I tried making lemon squares from a recipe and they were really runny. We eat it either way but it was disappointing. I tried a different recipe and noticed that there was a bit of flour (I think 1/4 cup) to hold the ingredients together. It worked out so much better this time around. The hubby loved it and so did I.

  4. Hmm, with those types of pies it can be very tricky, especially because our definition of thick or slightly thick may be different then the author's definition there of. It could be that the recipe is just off in its measurements but in comparing this recipe to a modern one, everything here is correct so the only thing that I could see that went wrong is that maybe using cream cheese instead would have help get a solid set since that is what some use. Seems like the ones that I've had that turned out right actually used original cream cheese.

    Or you may not have let it cook long enough after adding the hot mixture to the eggs since that also has to be cooked again until SUPER thick.

    Totally understand your baking frustrations, I am anal when it comes to anything I cook too....hope this helps for next time if you attempt it again!

    1. Yeah. I bow realize I didn't cook it long enough. m definitely going to try it again!

  5. Oh well... you know at least ONE day had to go wrong, right?! Sorry about the pie. I am going to guess that you just didn't cook it long enough (I have made a lot of these kind of pies and have had several, CUSTARD versions as a result). I know that 'failure' feeling too. The one where you really want to go and sulk because you KNOW you can do better. Yes, I suffer from 'perfectionist baker' genes too. I am probably my own worst critic too... the kids and DH are OK so long as it tastes good ;)

  6. Loved Honey's reaction to the Tuna Bake!

    My guess on the pie would be that it didnt cook long enough. I make an apple pie and sometimes the filling does this and I have decided its because I tend to become impatient while cooking it and take it up too soon.

  7. Aww, Honey's reaction is so tactful and sweet! Tony tends to be very frank when he doesn't like something (and he's a picky eater, let me tell you), so I'm not sure if I would have gotten off with such a thoughtful response. I suspect us gals are a lot better on the food diplomacy front than many chaps. :)

    ♥ Jessica

  8. Oh Honey's face in the picture is so sad / cute.

    I'm so sorry you had an off day in the kitchen. I have had those before (more than once) and they are SO frustrating.



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