Do you ever just make a really dumb mistake that has no rhyme or reason? Well, this is a story of one of those times. I like to think of myself as a fairly adept cook. I've cooked a lot, pretty much since living on my own in college, and have made countless pasta dishes in particular. A while ago Mike asked for Penne a la Vodka and I thought "no problem". I read the recipe over, gathered all my ingredients and started cooking away. Now envision it in real time:
Water boiling for pasta? Check
Sauce simmering on the stove? Check
Vodka out for the sauce? Check..or so I thought.
As the sauce gets nearer to being done, I taste the vodka sauce a few times just to see if it needs any more salt and pepper. At first it tastes a bit off. Not bad, just off somehow. I can't place my finger on what it is so I just throw in a few more spices and call it done. I haven't eaten Penne a la Vodka too often so I think its just an unfamiliar but perfectly normal taste.
I set the table, plate up the steaming pasta, and ladle some sauce on top. After pouring some drinks, I call Mike over the table, we say grace, and dig in.
|The "interesting" penne a la vodka with a side of sauteed swiss chard.|
If we only knew...
Now despite looking delicious, it still tastes off. Again, not bad just off. I ask Mike what he thinks. He says, "Yea it's okay. Not great but okay,".
I tell him that I followed the recipe exactly as it read so I don't know what could have gone wrong. Then he asks the question that makes it all go down hill.
Mike: "Did you use the Grey Goose Vodka?"
Me: "No, that's the good stuff so I used the other one".
Mike: "You mean the 42 degree one?".
Me: "Yea, the one with the white label."
Mike: "You mean the passion fruit vodka?".
Me: "What? Its not regular vodka? Oh (insert inappropriate word here)!".
Mike: "Well, at least we know why it tastes so weird!".
|The culprit that started it all.|
After that I have to admit that I just couldn't eat any more. Mike happily munched away, saying it didn't bother him too much. But me? Well, I just couldn't get past the oddly sweet flavor of the sauce. And this is coming from someone who usually adds a little sugar to their homemade spaghetti sauce. Despite that, passion fruit just doesn't belong in spaghetti sauce, period.
|My husband willingly eating the passion fruit penne. Bleh!|
|What I could stand to eat.|
|And my husband's clean plate.|
Lesson learned: no matter how thorough you think you are with reading recipes, and ingredients mind you, be prepared to have some major flukes every once in a while. And then be prepared to laugh and eat a big bowl of ice cream for dinner.