True Confessions of a Tired Cook

After much hassle in making my broth (read below), I was able to enjoy this soup as the fruit of my hands.

The dinner table is an opportunity of creativity that I love filling with delicious meals. This blog has been a wonderful tool for me, allowing me to share some of my successes. But recently, I realized that you all don’t get to see the things that didn’t turn out quite so well. You don’t see my kitchen disasters. It’s time for a dose of reality!

Experimenting in the Kitchen

I have some wonderful recipes brewing for you all, but I am afraid that some of them are still in in the process of becoming perfected. This means that we have been eating different meals and desserts that didn’t quite turn out right. Sometimes this just means that I just had to adjust flour to water ratio at the last minute, or still need to experiment with oven time. Other times it means that it really didn’t turn out right. I share this to encourage you in your own pursuit in the kitchen. Cooking disasters happen to us all! In learning new skills and trying out new recipes, sometimes we have to learn from our mistakes.

We have learned to enjoy the “not quite right” meal here and there, because we recognize that it is a stepping stone to a better version in the future. For example, I probably made 8 cucumber salads before I perfected this one (which we have been eating a lot of lately!). The other versions were fine and we ate them with pleasure, but they always seemed to need a little tweaking.

Here’s some other pictures of recipes I am still working on creating.

The below picture is an sourdough soaked, upside down cake. It didn’t not cook right at all, so I had to flip it and cook the right side up before we could even eat it. It did actually taste pretty good, but I definitely need to figure out a better way to do things.
This picture is a raspberry sourdough cake. It turned out fairly well, but the cooking time/temperature was a little off. It got a little too browned on the top before it cooked in the middle.

This cake was actually very nice. It just didn’t turn out very cakey, it was a little bit more like a pudding cake. I almost shared it with you all, but wasn’t sure if I could explain it right, so it didn’t make the cut. It’s a Quinoa Carrot Cake, using cooked whole quinoa.

Tiredness Costs Me

Lately, my sleep as been more broken up because of my toddler who is adjusting to a new bed. As I have gotten more and more tired, I seem to be making more and more silly mistakes! Some of them laugh worthy, some of them not. As I have used some of my extra time in blackberry picking, I have had less time for other chores around the house (like laundry). But as it relates to the kitchen, I have realized these last few weeks that lack of sleep is costly! (Just when I am trying to come up with brilliant ideas for the Nourishing Portable Food Carnival!)

First Mistake

I have been buying chicken backs in large quantities from my local store. It’s been a great, frugal choice in making my own broth. That is… was until the bag of raw chicken backs leaked all over my fridge, causing me to throw out fresh produce. If you have ever had raw meat juice dripping down your fridge, you well know the agony of mind it causes! I kept wishing I had followed my earlier inclinations to be a vegetarian.

But after I sorrowfully threw out a few produce items, and I had scrubbed and sanitized my fridge (thank goodness for vinegar and hydrogen peroxide!), I got my chicken broth going. When it was all said and done, when the lovely smell of broth filled the kitchen, I had to say it was worth it. But I am definitely going to be better at bagging my chicken backs up from now on!

Second Mistake

I, being tired, decided to do things “smarter” in the kitchen and make up a large batch of our favorite dressing, instead of a small amount every other day. This is a great idea, and one that I do often. Or, at least, it is a good idea if you make sure that the lid properly fits and you don’t lean it on it’s side in the fridge. It’s a sad, sad sight to see expensive olive oil dressing spilled all over the bottom of the fridge. I tried not to dwell on how ironic it was that I was trying to “help” myself, but instead made an even bigger mess to clean up!

I also have noticed that being tired and foggy minded has effected my meal planning and my shopping. I have made a few mistakes there these last few weeks in that area as well, which have also cost a bit of extra money. We are working on getting more sleep, so hopefully my mistakes will lessen and I won’t cost myself extra hassle and money! My frugal tip for the day is: get your beauty rest. It’s the cheapest cosmetic and saves in the kitchen as well.

Meanwhile, there’s a little peek at the realities of my kitchen!

This post is part of Frugal Friday.

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I love beautiful and simple food that is nourishing to the body and the soul. I wrote Fresh: Nourishing Salads for All Seasons and Ladled: Nourishing Soups for All Seasons as another outlet of sharing this love of mine. I also love sharing practical tips on how to make a real food diet work on a real life budget. Find me online elsewhere by clicking on the icons below!

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  1. ahorne says

    The timing of your post is so funny to me – just this morning, I got up EXHAUSTED, and tried to take something out of the fridge. In the process, I knocked over the tea pitcher and spilled tea all over the floor. So I not only had to brew a fresh pitcher; I had to clean the floor as well!!

  2. momof4sweetsisters says

    Once or twice ( I don’t know how many chicks ago- I was very tired- a couple of years seem to be a blur)I had forgotten fresh chicken in our extra fridge. Once during a hurricane. The other time the weekend just got too busy. Get some sleep!

  3. Stephanie @ Keeper of the Home says

    Oh Kimi, I’m sorry you’ve been so tired lately! You think once you get beyond the little baby stage they’ll actually sleep, but it’s certainly not always the case! 🙂

    I hear you on making mistakes due to being tired. I have been meal planning horribly (barely planning at all is more like it), and shopping without my usual detailed lists. This week I bought extra peppers and tomatoes I didn’t need, and a crazy amount of organic sour cream just because it was on sale, among other things. Creative cooking has not exactly been happening around here. My poor hubby has not had adequate lunches prepared.

    Sigh… I’m with you. I need some rest, so that I can get back to doing a good job in the kitchen!

  4. Rachel says

    I really enjoyed this post. I can totally empathize as I often find myself tired and sleep-deprived, and therefore at my worst. But my enjoyment wasn’t really from the “misery loves company” angle as much as it was from how much I appreciate the gentleness toward yourself that I perceive in your tone. Perhaps you have already punishingly bounced up and down on whatever raw nerve you struck by your mishaps, but you do not contine the self-flagellation at your own expense or at your readers’ expense in this matter-of-fact retelling. Thank you.

    I have a coworker who has retained a rallying cry, from her missionary days in Africa, toward interesting (though not company worthy), but well-intentioned, culinary inventions. She has my sister and I proclaiming, “It’s just the way we like it!” over meals that really are tasty, but not likely to be entered in a contest for “normal” eaters. The meal’s main value is in the nutritious, nourishing effort and the coming-together after long, tired days at school and work.

    I am never as inspired by a quicker, more cookbook-friendly restaurant (gourmet or not), or a cheap frozen dinner – two very tempting options at times. Again, I thank you for sharing.

  5. Bloggin' Mama says

    Your timing is wonderful! It’s good to know there are others out there with normal, sometimes hectic or sleep deprived lives. I wrote a post last week as to how absolutely overwhelmed with life I have been recently. It is compounded by the fact that I’m 35 weeks pregnant with #3 and the entire house has been sick with some flu-like virus…

    When people tell you life gets easier when your kids sleep thru the night, they’re only half correct because it only lasts for a while – until you have to move them to a new bed or they begin having night terrors or they get sick and mess up their sleep routines… Being a mom really is a tough job (well worth it, though)! Here’s praying you are able to get adequate rest soon.

  6. Michelle says

    I often wonder about all the gorgeous food and perfect recipes on all the food blogs. Last night I ate a tomato, avocado, and a bunch of kettlecorn. Oh, well. Thanks for your glimpse into the reality of food blogging!

  7. Kimi Harris says

    Thank you all for sharing your stories, and encouragement. 🙂 I actually got a good nights sleep the last few nights and am feeling SOOOOO much better. I just hope it lasts. 😉 And…I hope that I get more on top of things in the kitchen!

  8. Audra Krell says

    This is a great post. Love your authenticity and helpful tips and pictures. Sleep is the first thing we are willing to give up, it should be one of the first things we guard, for everyone’s sake!

  9. Rachael says

    That always seems to happen…right when you are trying so hard to save time and frustration, something spills or leaks or burns and costs you 3 X’s the time! I was so excited to buy extra produce last week but then I forgot to cook my lovely green beans before they started to get MOLDY! I salvaged a few, but was so bummed about my mistake. Thanks for sharing!

  10. Heather says

    Oh, this is so true. Not only do I make more mistakes when I’m tired, I am less able emotionally to deal with those mistakes. I always know I need a serious nap when I’m standing over the stove crying tears over burned cookies.

    I will be praying for your little one. New beds are always a big learning curve. 🙂

  11. Sophie says

    It’s good to hear that everybody has a bad cooking week now and again!

    My worst fridge leak was a really slowly dripping bottle of thai fish sauce. Not enough coming out for it to be visible but plenty for it to really stink!

  12. Ranee says

    Hello Kimi,

    Your writing has been an encouragement to me as I strive to feed our family healthful foods. We don’t follow the exact diet plan that you do, but we’re pretty close, so your recipes and food preparations are great for us.

    Because of that, I have given you an award on my blog. Thank you for sharing how you eat.

  13. Kimi Harris says

    Wow! Thank you so much for the award. That was so sweet of you. I am so glad that this site has been an encouragement to you. 🙂 Knowing that inspires me to keep writing!

  14. Kimberly says

    I know I am posting this a little late, but number one hit particularly close to home.
    My two year old pulled a plate of defrosting chicken thighs out of the fridge. When my husband put them back in, he neglected to re wrap them. The next day when I took them out to cook I realized chicken juice had dripped all over a newly purchased bag of organic medjool dates- $15 worth!
    I also considered becoming a vegetarian- but I did that for fourteen years and those chicken thighs were YUMMY at dinner!

  15. Susan R says

    I came across this older post when I searched ‘sprouted flour’ on your site. I just had to comment and say thank you for making me laugh. I hope you’ve been getting more sleep since then. 🙂

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