February 15, 2011

Teary Parsnip Pie, Recipe for Disaster

Did I already mention last week was a long one? Well, in case you missed my previous post, my girls were sick early in the week so I spent a lot of time playing nurse and cleaning up after everyone. By Thursday night, we were sorely in need of a trip to the grocery store because the cupboard was pretty bare. I considered dragging my recovering two year old out to buy a few things but she was so tired, I just couldn't do it. An early nap won.

Maybe I made the wrong choice because things sorta went south from there. I knew my husband had a producing gig that night and I planned to make dinner early so he could eat and run. When I took stock of the bare cupboards, I found carrots, potatoes, parsnips, greens and a little leftover hamburger. Perfect. Pot pie would probably work. I had just enough butter for a crust. So, I made the crust, popped it in the fridge and started working on the veggies.

But, when I took out the back of potatoes, which I've always kept in a cool, dry cupboard (like my mom did), I found a roach running around in the bag. Now, girls and boys, I'm pretty cool in a real crisis - like the time our car was stolen from behind our house and we watched it drive away. But put a roach in front of me and I will totally l-o-s-e it. Which is exactly what I proceeded to do, especially because I'd already put-my-hand-in-the-bag when I found the roach! AAAAHHHHH!!!!

What if the roach had POOPED on my potatoes? The potatoes had to go. Since I didn't want the creepy little crawly to escape and run into the dark reaches of my cabinets, I stood there holding the bag for a few seconds while doing a terrified dance around the kitchen - shrieking for my four-year-old to come help me. That's right. I'm admitting it. My four year old had to rescue me from my own ludicrous terror.

"Mom!!! What is it?!!" shouted my little would-be-savior.

"Ah!! A roach is in the potato bag! A roach is in the potato bag!!" (eloquence disappears when terror hits)

AH!!!" responded an equally freaked out four year old.

"Quick, open the garbage can!" I shouted.

She opened the can and I threw the potato bag inside the garbage, tied the larger garbage bag around it and ran for the door so I could put it outside for Rob to deal with when he came home. Very unfeminist of me.

Then, we slammed the door (like the roach was going to tunnel through two plastic bags and come after us) and stood there huffing and puffing excitedly while we danced around shrieking.

"I hate cockroaches!!"  I shouted. I felt like there were roaches crawling all over me.

"Me too!" she shouted back. And she danced around like she felt the same way.

After we calmed down, I went back to the kitchen, looking around me for any signs that cockroaches were going to come pouring out of my cupboards. Then, I realized I was acting insane and resumed cutting up the veggies that hadn't been pooped on by gross bugs. Then, it occurred to me that I really needed those potatoes for my pot pie. My uber-frugal grandmother and mother would have been horrified to see me throw out a partially full bag of potatoes. After all, they grow in the ground, where bugs crawl all over them before they even get to my pantry.

I wish I could say I went outside, saved the potatoes and made a killer pot pie. Because potatoes would have balanced the carrots and parsnips perfectly. Instead, my worn out brain said, "Nope. I'm sure parsnips, carrot, onion and meat pie will be just fine." Meanwhile, my girly emotions said, "This pie is going to suck." Then, my two year old woke up and decided to use me as a jungle gym from which she could grab at the pie dough (which I was simultaneously trying to roll out). Between the roach dance and the pie grabbing, I realized there wasn't enough time to back a full pot pie so I switched to empanadas.

Have you ever tried to roll out empanadas with a two year old grabbing the dough straight off the cutting board? I confess I lost my cool at this point. I was so tired from taking care of everyone else without a break for so long. I could barely stand. I still had the creepy feeling that cockroaches must be roaming my kitchen freely if I found one in my potatoes. I felt incompetant because I hadn't planned my grocery menu better (an unreasonable expectation since I'd not left the house in 4 days!) and hated that I was too cowardly to face the cockroach to rescue my potatoes. My little monkey was grabbing the few bits of food I had left on the board for our dinner and considering I didn't actually want parsnip pie for dinner anyway, I can honestly admit I really didn't want snotty parsnip pie for dinner.

My patience reached its end. I am ashamed to admit I shouted, "NO!!! Stop grabbing the dough!!" At a two year old. Who wanted to "help" mommy.

She burst into tears. And so did I. I gave up on the pie, picked her up and sat down with her, both of us blubbering profusely. She - because I hurt her. Me - because dinner was going to suck and most of all - because I was being a jerk.

It was this amazing reality that my cyclist husband rode into that evening. A partially made (sure-to-taste-crappy) dinner and two of his girls in complete emotional disarray.

He quickly rescued us by taking our two year old on an adventure to the water store while I finished making dinner and pulled myself together.

And, when Dad and baby returned, she'd forgotten all about my horrible moment of rudeness and laughed and played with me.

The empanadas tasted weird but Rob ate them valiantly and pronounced them delicious. I knew he was lying because the girls wouldn't eat them. They ate bread and jam for dinner. Yep.

I know there will be days like this. There are a few things I need to learn. Like how to keep my cool when I'm tired and things aren't going my way. I hate hurting the people I love.

One thing, for sure, I will do differently.

I'm keeping my potatoes in the fridge from now on.


  1. hehehe
    A few months ago, we had these little gnats in our apartment and we started to smell this weird smell but couldn't identify the source. A little back story is that my roommate had a different roommate in our apartment until January 2010. Rach moved out, I moved in. So a few months ago (so, like late summer 2010) sarah and I were trying to find the source of the smell for a few days. One day I was digging around in the cupbooard and I found a bag of potatoes that had been Rachael's. I pulled them out to get to what I needed when I discovered that the potatoes were ROTTING. And COVERED in MAGGOTS. And they were no longer contained to the bag but all over the shelf.

    Source of fruit flies: identified.
    Dis. Gusting. Took forever to clean up.

  2. freakin' hilarious. I felt the roaches.

  3. EEWWW, Amy! So Gross. My mom has a similar story involving a sausage that rolled out of a freezer (unbeknownst to us) before we went on vacation for over a week. Can't even imagine cleaning that up!!

  4. How many times has this happened to everyone of us! Thank you for being real and bringing a smile to my face and heart.


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