Thursday, November 5, 2009

Ham Happiness

For those of you who have read past posts regarding my slow cooker adventures, you will not be surprised to hear that it was with great trepidation that I served tonight's dinner.  As I prepared tonight's foray into the world of slow cooking, I realized, "this may not go well."  You may know one of the rules to slow cooking food is: always add liquid.  This recipe lacked liquid.  I was apprehensive. 
Let me give you the rundown for the evening.  We invited Ken and Conni (Drew's parents) and Stacie and Morgan over for dinner.  Sometime this afternoon I put together the recipe from Fix it and Forget It: Ham and Scalloped Potatoes.  The worst part of the preparation (don't hate me PC) was the slicing of the potatoes.  I used my new and improved, much safer mandoline from PC.  It took quite a while to slice all nine potatoes required for this recipe, so long in fact that I didn't slice the last two.  I gave up.  This mandoline does not seem to work as easily as the last incarnation.  Granted the last incarnation nearly cut my thumb off twice.  This one seems to require much more force behind it and I had to cut each poato in half and then put it on the little food pusher thing, then get it all lined up.  This process took a good 20 minutes.  Not my idea of fun, but I could also blame this on my stubborness.  I had a knife that works and I could have just as easily sliced the potatoes thin, but then I could not rant about the mandoline.  (Remember, I told you PC, you can't hate).   All that said, I got the whole thing together and then checked the recipe for the third or fourth time to try to see where I had missed the liquid.  Alas, there was no liquid and I began to fret.
I moved on to dessert next.  I made Ultimate Chocolate Pudding from Christmas with Southern Living 2009.  I enjoyed the process of making pudding from scratch because, I confess, I have never done this.  I used Ghiradelli cocoa for this attempt and I was very pleased with the results.  I tried a little bit off the spatula, then I tried a little more, and I little more.  Then I had to put the bowl in the sink and run water over it to make sure I did not lick the whole bowl.  If you have never made chocolate pudding from scratch, I highly recommend it.  It was good even whilst warm.  I put it in individual serving bowls and chilled it until after dinner.

So, the reckoning came and I was still very nervous.  I had forewarned our dinner guests that if it was awful, we would order pizza.  AND...It turned out o.k.  In fact, it was better than o.k., it was good, even great.  Everyone really liked it and Ken even got seconds (not a normal thing for him since the stroke).  It was a hit!  It don't know what you are doing to me slow cooker, but you get me every time.  Someday, I will understand your whims and ways.  Tonight, I was just happy that it worked!  Oh, I must add that this does not photograph well, so you will just have to imagine a wonderfully constructed, yet somewhat ugly dish with all the comfort of home.  We served this with crescent rolls and green beans.  A pretty well rounded meal.

Then we had coffee (well a couple of us did) and dessert. The pudding was wonderful!  Mmmm!  The biggest fan was Connil.  I can add this one to the list of her favorites.  She would like for me to consider making her a pudding sandwich.  I will consider this at some future date, after I have gotten over the shuddering. 


cookingwithBecky said...

No hate... just the offer of my mandoline trick. Have all your veggies ready for slicing (washed and cut to the appropriate size if needed) and then place in the food holder. You then simply slide it up and down as if you were driving a car an a track. (Yes I realize that most of my descriptions come from the being around toddlers most of my day but bear with me.). you don't have to push in fact simply "Vooming" up and down like Jordan with his cars will produce even quick slices. It is all about the ease and momentum.
It even took this Pampered Chef a couple of tries to fall in love with this product but once you master it you will use it without hesitation!

June said...

the meal sounds great, and so easy. would like to try the pudding!! (hint hint)

Conni said...

okay, you don't have to make the pudding sandwich, but I'm just saying with that pudding -oh my goodness, it would be delicious!!!!
And aren't you just a little curious?

This pudding is an A+++++++++++++ +

The casserole was really good but who can think of it after the pudding?!