From High Heels To Orthopedics Shoes!

Peanut Butter...Noodles...Pot from hell...

Goodbye Pot & Noodles. The Pot Did It.

MadSickMy family’s very favorite dish is my homemade chicken & noodles served over a huge pile of buttery mashed potatoes! Mmmmm, sounds good, right?  NOT THIS TIME!!

It is soooo hard to get my family to Brentwood anymore; the traffic has become horrendous from Brentwood to anywhere!  Anyway, my son Scott said they were coming from San Jose, to have Christmas with us on Dec. 23.  Their only, request for dinner was my homemade noodles! Actually, he flat out begged me! Big Grin I told him I couldn't promise, I am still recovering from my shoulder surgery, and my ankle & back pain right now is pretty bad! Dinner out sounded wonderful to me! Anyway, I secretly said to myself,”come Hell or high water" I was going to make the noodles! Jim tried to discourage me, he knew how bad my body hurt, but I was resolute. Of course we all know that I couldn't do hardly anything without Jim these days, so he helped with everything.  I made a huge pot of chicken soup a few days before, (noodles are cooked in homemade chicken broth) cooked a big plump chicken, plus 8 chicken breasts, and all things that make great soup! It was to be a BIG pot, commercial size, so I could send the kids home with a pot of leftovers.
Anyway, a day later I rolled the noodles out, a big job with my sore shoulder! It makes a gigantic mess......always! I end up with flour everywhere on me and everywhere I go, and Jim follows me around with his dust pan and broom....he makes me crazier than I already am! Wild  The noodles had to dry for a day and a half and turned often, in order to dry, and then you cut them in strips to store. They are thick noodles so need a long time to cook with the cooked chicken in the broth.  The longer it cooks; it thickens from flour on noodles and makes delicious gravy!

Okay, so you got the picture! Lots of work involved for this tired old lady and "the day" arrives! I wanted everything to be perfect, house, table, myself and of course the meal! At about 2:30 PM, my ankles were so sore I couldn't stand, so put on some ointment and stretched out. I posted on Facebook, everything perfect.....noodles "bubbling", potatoes & green beans ready to turn on, etc. Perfection! I get ANOTHER text from Scott, mouthwatering for my dinner!  I am feeling like the "best" Mom and Nana, in the world! The moment I hit post, on Facebook, ...... tragedy, horror, disbelief ... I smelled a bad burning smell!  My heart dropped to the floor, I literally flew into the kitchen, and the ENTIRE house smelled of this  acrid, horrible, burning smell!  Noooooooo! My noodles were burning!!  (Our pot was 25 years old and the finish was shot in an area about the size of an apple)  Yep......that was where they were burning!  We tried gently stirring..........nooooo don't do that, it makes it worse!  Jim, hurry, we need to get this stuff out of the pan, .........NOW! But we had to scramble to find three pans to dump it all in!  (Kids were coming soon, texts constantly arriving, "starved for noodles Mom, can't wait"!) now I'm sweating, kitchen a disaster, house smells absolutely awful! Jim lights every scented Yankee Christmas candle we have, to get rid of the smell!

In the meantime, I'm tasting.......bad.....well maybe not too bad.......yes, the whole batch tasted burned! I'm close to tears, exhausted, frustrated and mad at Jim and me both....he was right there on the computer; I was resting &   bragging about my "bubbling" noodles.............when this disaster hit! In the next two hours, we tried everything......!!!! I googled burned food, then burned gravy, then finally noodles.......peel whole potatoes and drop in......taste after a while, ugh, awful....back to the computer......ahhhh.....peanut butter.....it works, THEY promised! So I proceeded to add peanut butter, 1 TB, 2TB, and on and on till the burned taste leaves! Foolproof!  Keep tasting, awful, well....maybe a tad better! More peanut butter, clean & scrub big pot clean all temporary pots, check candles! Phone rings, due to massive traffic jams, trip is taking 31/2 hours, compared to 1 and 1/2 hrs......now they are getting tired, stressed, and request no appetizers, just Mom's chicken & noodles!! Mom still stirring and tasting, and adding peanut butter..........it was a "nightmare"!  Last taste before doorbell, burned taste with a hint of peanuts. Too late! Just get through it!

Everyone sits down, and Scott gives everyone  gigantic servings, I'm quietly hoping that maybe I was exaggerating , took a few  bites ....... & literally ran to the bathroom and puked my guts out......it wasn't bad, it was worse"!  They were all picking at their food, but nothing said.  McKenzie had brought her beau, Austin, an absolutely great guy, and guess what his parents were........nooooo, chefs with a catering company!!  Bless his heart he ate a full plate then I could have killed Scott......he filled his plate again!! That poor guy, "dutifully" ate the whole plateful....again!  Well, the rolls, and fresh green beans, and mashed potatoes were tasty!  Conversation was flowing, we were having fun so I kept my mouth shut, but I was dying inside!  You see it wasn't just stupid noodles, it was my Son and darling granddaughters, and I look at them and could cry I am so proud of them.  I hardly ever see them anymore and I was so excited they were coming.  I love them sooooo much and I wanted to give them a special memory, of "chicken and noodles" at Nana's! Well, unfortunately, they got that "in spades", a horrible car ride for a horrible dinner! I was devastated! I wanted so badly for it to be perfect! We did go on to open presents, and the girls showed Austin my scrapbooks, mostly about them, and they laughed and we all had a good time after all .........except, I have to say, dinner was exceedingly quiet!  {#smileys123.tonqueout}
 
Aftermath:
We were sick of cleaning pots, and beside that 20 gal pot had a burned spot that wouldn't go away, so Jim taped the pot lid on, and we threw away 20 gallons of burned, peanut buttery, chicken and noodles pot and all!

The next day Scott called to thank me for a wonderful time! I had to tell him the truth, so I asked him, "Did the noodles taste funny to you?" Bless his heart, after a slight pause, he replied, "Well Mom, there was a tiny burn taste", but the girls never mentioned it! (They are so darling and have such good hearts) I then told him what had transpired for at least three hours steady, while we were waiting for them to all arrive.  He felt so bad that he had been harassing me about this meal, for weeks, and then all day on the 23rd!
No one knows the "noodle disaster" details, except Jim, Scott and I....... (And recently, Trina, my daughter in law, because she later asked Scott why I didn't send her some noodles, because she was sick at home.)  Now you all know!!

In Retrospect:
This all happened exactly a week ago!  It still hurts, truly traumatizing for me, BUT, in the big scheme of things.......a funny story, and that's all,  not sickness, or death, or some other tragic event, AND my triple  insulated, brand new 20 gallon pot was just shipped to me, hopefully this will never happen again........!!

Must not have been too bad. Some asked a seconds serving.

Maybe it was better than the food they get at home?

The Stockpot From Heaven: Stainless features an inner core made of aluminum, which results in high heat conductivity, no more sticking to the bottom, and oven proof up to 500°F. This makes the "Noodle Queen" very happy.
Granddaughters: Alexa & McKinzie
Granddaughters and my Son Scott
McKenzie's Boyfriend: Austin
Going back in time with my scrap books.

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Phil Sawko | Reply 04.01.2015 16.49

In thr scheme of things you felt worse than they did. We need to be easier on ourselves. House is beautiful, family is beautiful and that.s what matters. Phil

susan owens | Reply 01.01.2015 20.18

What a priceless story Karen and Jim. thanks for sharing...now maybe we should ask for this dish next year at our christmas dinner. Love, sue...sgo
Beautiful

patti | Reply 01.01.2015 18.09

Omg sissy, just like Ramie I was horrified but true to my perverted nature, or maybe your skillful story telling, I laughed out loud. (Not a lot, well, kinda)

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05.10 | 02:51

I would love to help you clean grout!!

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03.10 | 06:37

Love this! Thank you for sharing!

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02.10 | 19:05

Sis, want to help me clean my grout?

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02.08 | 23:38

I too am an avid fan of Joan. I attended two of her workshops at GATE conferences in CA. She is one of my career inspirations by far. She is AWESOME!

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