dys·func·tion /dɪsˈfʌŋkʃən/ [dis-fuhngk-shuhn]–noun
1. Medicine/Medical . malfunctioning, as of an organ or structure of the body. 2. any malfunctioning part or element: the dysfunctions of the country's economy. 3. Sociology . a consequence of a social practice or behavior pattern that undermines the stability of a social system.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Ham Dinner

My apartment has no oven.

When Boyfriend and I first came to look at this apartment it seemed perfect. It has a spacious front room with a shell of a closet; two good sized bedrooms that are separated by a giant door frame; decent sized bathroom; a big dual kitchen/living room; and a nice upstairs loft area that I use for my office (aka catch-all). I was talking to the landlord in the kitchen area when I realised that something seemed odd.

It took me a good minute too, until I realised it.

There was no oven.

Well, the price was right for the apartment, and being poor means I am less picky, so I took a look at Walmart and found the perfect solution.

The roaster oven.

The roaster oven is a magical little device that is pretty much a glorified crock pot. Instead of a high/medium/low dial it has all of the degrees that an oven would have. The inside comes out so if you use it as a crock pot to make roasts, etc. in then you can wash it afterwards, and if you desire to use it as an oven you place this nifty little rack on the bottom and put your baking sheets or casserole dishes on that.

Mine is like this, except black, and from this decade.

This is what I used to make The Ham Dinner in.

The first time I had Boyfriend’s Mom over we decided to make a big ham dinner. It was going to be the first time that I met her, and I was SUPER nervous. SUPER SUPER nervous. For you see, I am madly in love with Boyfriend and wish to be with him forever, therefore it was important to me to make a good impression.

“Why yes Mrs. Boyfriend’s Mom, I do live in the ghetto and have two children that aren’t your son’s...but look how nice my apartment is on the inside! I clean it very well and can make nice fancy dinners to feed to you and your son. Isn’t that impressive? Don’t you think better of me now? Obviously I just made some poor choices earlier in life and have to live in the ghetto for a while to dig myself out of this hole, but I’m still a good person and the perfect girlfriend for your son. You respect me? All because of my lovely ham dinner? Well thank you, I appreciate that.”

That’s how it all went down in my head at least.

So I obsessed over the menu. Boyfriend and I added things bit by bit and came up with this lovely spread:

-Maple Ham, slow-cooked for five hours to perfection

-Carrots dimes, cooked in the ham juices for the last hour

-Garlic mashed potatoes

-Pasta salad

-Garden salad with homemade vinaigrette dressing
(other dressing also available)

-Warm French bread

-A variety of drinks

-Post-dinner tea

Boyfriend’s Mom said she was going to bring a pie. Strawberry rhubarb – My Favourite!

So we slaved for hours in the kitchen that day, all the while neurotically cleaning my apartment. Frantically washing dishes as we used them, timing things out so everything would be done and hot by the time they got there, and just generally bathing in the paranoia that Boyfriend’s Mom would not like me and that our relationship would crumble into dust because of it.

The mashed potatoes were mashed into perfection and Boyfriend was carving the ham; the garden salad had been divided into four little bowls and the bread was sliced; the pasta had been cooked and was cooling in the fridge with the dressing; and last minute I decided that it needed celery.

I frantically whipped out a cutting board and knife; washed the celery in the sink; and sat my butt on a chair next to a little end table to chop. I got one stalk in and jammed the knife down the side of my finger. All the way to the nail bed.

Celery + Knife = The Devil

Blood! First aid! Pressure!

I finished attending to my wounds in time to see their silhouettes walking up my porch. We answered the door and names were exchanged, hands were shook, and then Boyfriend went to help BF’s Mom’s boyfriend unload their truck.

This left Boyfriend’s Mom and I alone in my front hall.

*awkward silence*

“Can I uh, get you something to drink?” I asked innocently in an attempt to break the silence.

“No thanks, we just had dinner. I’m okay.” She replied.

Stunned I asked, “You already ate?”

I then turned and looked at the stove, covered in pots with various hot foods in them; the four little bowls filled with a fresh garden salad; and the half-cut celery sitting on the end table.

And my finger throbbed.

Apparently, somewhere along the lines there was a communication failure and they had eaten before they came over.

My little roaster over had slaved for five hours, and at the end of it all?

We all had tea and pie.

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