For some reason, I've made a lot of failed dinners lately--things I never used to mess up that become nearly inedible, like tamale pie that has so much garlic you can't taste anything else. I'm still not sure how that happened.
Anyway, I managed a few successful meals this week. Tim has said for years that he loves corned beef and cabbage, and I've never made it successfully before this week. I've tried a few times, and it always came out yucky. I even asked Tim's mom how she did it, and she said, "Oh, I don't know. I think I boiled the beef until it became tender and then threw the cabbage into the pot and it soaked up all the grease."
Finally I decided I'd check my crock pot cookbook (Thanks, Chas! You've given me the best cookbooks I own!). I looked at three or four recipes in there and extracted the general gist of how you do it, and then successfully made corned beef and cabbage in the crock pot. Hooray! It was so yummy that all the kids who eat (Daniel really prefers toast and carrots for dinner most nights, regardless of what I made) ate a lot, and I had to force them to save some for Tim, who was rehearsing when dinner was ready. (The secret is to cook it with veggies UNDER the beef--onions if you use them, potatoes, carrots, and the cabbage, in that order, with the slab of corned beef on top).
Then today I really really wanted lasagne, but had no noodles. So I made some. Again, took out several recipes and got the gist of how you do it, and then I did it. Lasagne is easier than other noodles I've made from scratch because the noodles are so big. Anyway, it was the best lasagne I've ever made. The only thing that would have made it better would have been to use my homemade sauce I sometimes make. But even without, the home made noodles were tender and tasty. REALLY tasty. Again everyone but Dan ate a lot. Phew. Nice to have well-fed kids! Plus the recipe made enough for 3 pans of lasagne, so next time I don't have to make the noodles. They'll just be waiting in the fridge.
Success at last!