Wednesday, March 12, 2008

The Recipe from Hell


I've been wanting to post this story since Sunday but I forgot to take a picture of my meal and I think without a photo you won't get a full understanding of what Shawn and I went through, nevertheless I'll tell you about it. (I found this picture on-line, it doesn't look exactly like mine but it's very close. The one that looked the closest I had to buy the rights to so yeah, you get this one.)

On our flight back from our honey moon I purchased a Martha Stewart Living to read on the plane. It is always fun to look at those and plan on projects I'll rarely start if ever complete. This particular issue had a section on dumplings and how nearly every culture has a different variation of the dumpling. There was a Turkish version called "Manti" which I decided I just had to try because it looked really colorful and pretty in the picture. Plus the ingredients were interesting, including mint, cinnamon, paprika, bay leaves, fresh parsley, ground lamb, Greek yogurt...

There are a few problems with Martha. 1) her things always look really colorful and pretty in the picture 2) when preparing one of her recipes you need to go to 6, yes 6 different grocery stores to gather all of the ingredients therefore 3) your ENTIRE Saturday needs to be dedicated to purchasing ingredients for the meal and 4) your ENTIRE Sunday needs to be dedicated to preparing the meal.

The thing about manti is they are really small, allegedly the smaller the better. As in, Turkish people have a saying that goes something like; a woman who makes a great wife can make manti so small 20 fit on a spoon. I'm paraphrasing. Anyway, you make the dough from scratch and cut it into 1 1/4 inch squares then spoon in 1/4 teaspoon of this meat mixture and fold in all 4 corners and seal the seams. (I'm telling you the measurements because I need you to understand how small these are) Not too complicated right? Ok, and then repeat...110 times.

Two hours later our food was prepared, and then it had to cook for an hour during which time I had to make 3 kinds of sauces type substances.

I invited Beckie and Steve up for dinner and we ate and for the most part enjoyed our first ever Turkish meal. I don't think Beckie liked it but I'm pretty sure the rest of us thought it was good, and it was a fun experience because how often can you say you made something like that from scratch? Well if you're me, not too often.

So basically that's it, that was our Sunday dinner. Shawn was a good sport and he helped as much as a man can with intricate little things. Their fingers just don't work quite like ours do they?

6 comments:

Mendy said...

Wow! That's some amazing dedication to a magazine recipe, Chica. I've never made anything that complicated, but even now I look back on the things I used to make for dinner and laugh. Anyway, I bet your dumplings were so tiny that you could fit 40 on a spoon; Shawn sure is lucky.

Tracy said...

I can't even comprehend what you just did. If a recipe has an ingredient that I don't recognize, I don't attempt it. And if it has more than 5 or 6 ingredients or steps, I skip it. Basically we eat out a lot. So you are amazing to have created such a meal. You have a lucky husband!

kathleener said...

yeah, those martha recipes are always tougher than they appear. my mom even has trouble with them and she's a great cook. way to go, though, for sticking with it! and at least shawn ate it---cubby would've said, "uh, i think i'll make a pb&j sandwich!"

Beckie said...

Ok suuuccch the overachiever. I know you are outshining me in the cooking department (not hard since I haven't cooked for Jon since September :)!

Amber Sechrist said...

I love my Martha and try to make one recipe out of her magazine (to which I subscribe) every month. Love, love, love it. This month I made this sea scallops with edamame salad and puree. They were delicious. I have her newest cook book and made sweet onion rolls from scratch and stuffed red peppers with thyme, basil and feta cheese. You can say what you want about Martha, but her recipes deliver. To be honest, just reading the description of your dinner made my mouth water. It sounds delicious. Merhaba - that's Turkish for hello!

nicole said...

Ooh that sounds good. And lucky Shawn. Poor John had to eat some interesting concotions when we were first married. I like to think of myself as a late bloomer in the kitchen and that I'm getting better. It drives him nuts when I "improvise" though. He is actually a really good cook, probably because he follows the recipe exactly and will go to six stores to get what is needed.