pot roast!

So since I've been living in my own apartment and not having Dining Plus anymore, I've found myself cooking real things. Every week I have at least one conversation with my mom about a recipe I want to make for my dinner night. (I've made homemade mac and cheese, parmesean chicken, sweet and sour chicken, spaghetti with homemade sauce and meatballs, and grilled cheese among other dishes). This past week I was feeling ambitious and decided to try a pot roast. So once again I call my mom and get specific directions for the roast, the mashed potatoes, and the gravy. And Sunday I tried it.

I think it was a success. Because my cooking utensils are somewhat limited (meaning I had no giant meat-poking fork) I had to improvise a little and browning the roast was an adventure complete with meat stabbing with a couple of eating forks and a couple small hot oil splashes. But I successfully browned the roast and then went home in between Sacrament Meeting and Sunday School (I always feel bad when I'm not disappointed, but excited I don't have to go to Sunday School . . . ) and finished up the meal after church. I made mashed potatoes, gravy, carrots, and Mom's dinner rolls. The meat turned out a little tougher than when Mom makes it and I don't know if that's because of my own novice pot roast roasting skills or that's how the meat was or what, but it was still good anyway. It finally felt like a real Sunday dinner! I love our staple Sunday dinner and that's one of the things I miss the most. So even though I can't have the relaxed family conversations about funny Applewood Ward happenings or the teamwork cleanup or the being home part, at least I can feel a little more connected with the pot roast. Here is my final spread (sans the rolls--I forgot to put them into the picture):

I think I'd attempt the roast again and I do like being able to cook (at least my own food doesn't make me gag). Last night for my dinner night I made a Rachael Ray recipe we loved over the summer: Chicken with Scallion Lime Sauce and Sweet Carrot Sauce. I thought it was a huge success--definitely one of my more favorite things I've made. I'm going to try and continue to develop these burgeoning cooking skills and see how it all turns out. I want to make pumpkin bread this weekend. (Hmm . . . maybe I'll make pumpkin bread for FHE on Monday . . . just thinking out loud).

On another quick note, I sluffed British Lit today and I loved it. For a quick explanation, my professor told us she wanted us to skip class just once in the Renaissance unit because when you skip class (for non-slacker reasons, but the occasional impulse) you come back to the next class more refreshed and ready to go. My inner Hermione Granger has been screaming "but you can't skive off British Literature Charlotte--what if Dr. Siegfried says something really important that you need to know for the exam next week?!" and then my inner Ron replies "I'll just copy the notes from you." (Meaning I'll borrow the notes from a couple friends in class whom I informed of my planned absence and who will gladly lend me their notes as they're ditching on Thursday and they will borrow mine). It was amazing. I slept in about an hour than usual, got ready, ate breakfast, stayed in my pajama bottoms all morning, did a bit of reading, caught up on my ironing, did some more homework, and then took a walk in the afternoon. I haven't been as motivated this evening, but I don't have so much to do so I think I'll be okay tonight.

Ditching was amazing and I do feel refreshed. I needed a small break like that. Too bad I have to go back to the "go to class and pay attention" life but it's not so bad. I feel much more motivated for my week!


jt said...

i have that dress! (probably 6 sizes bigger tho...)
good for you cooking! i still struggle!

dpw said...

You look too cute in that dress and apron! I'm so impressed that you are cooking so many "real" things. Another reason your roast may have been tougher than you expected is the cut of meat itself. Some roasts, even of the same type, vary in quality from one to another. Also, I love your "giant meat poking fork" reference. Hmm. Christmas ideas abound.

Your day sounds so refreshing. I could use one myself.

Jill said...

Way to be domestic Charlotte! I have found that cooking roasts in the crockpot on low all night makes them super tender and tasty. I don't even brown them anymore, I just put them in the crockpot with some beef base or beef broth and leave it alone. It's fantastic and super easy.

Melissa Marilyn said...

Your meals are definitely impressive and varied. I need to try more dishes. I am definitely in a rut. You look so pretty in the photo too; I love your hair. Ditching class huh? That is funny! Have a great week!

michelle said...

Way cute dress. Very impressive that you made a Sunday dinner with all the works, even the rolls! When I moved out of the dorms, I was suddenly very interested in learning how to cook as well.

How fun that your teacher actually encouraged you to skip class!

Diana said...

you look so cute. You need to come cook for us sometime.
I love cooking, I hardly did it when i was single though.

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