As you all know, Friday was the Royal Wedding. (I think you’d have to be blackout drunk for the past 4 months to be unaware of it). Anyway, although I’m not a huge Anglophile (Absolutely Fabulous and Morrissey excluded), I wanted to make something decidedly British in honor of Kate and William’s nuptials. But the problem is that Dinner is Served! doesn’t include any English cuisine.
The closest one was #19 Glazed Rock Cornish Game Hens. I made my selection based on this logic: Prince William’s stepmother, Camilla Parker-Bowles, is the Duchess of Cornwall. Cornwall is a county in Great Britain and Cornish is a minority language spoken there. Therefore this is English food!* In addition, currant jelly sounds a bit Anglo to me, right? And for the sour cream bit, I used an English cucumber. So it’s an English meal for an English oh-my-god-do-you-remember-where-you-were-when event!
I began #19 with the Lemon Pudding Cake.
I think I have made it crystal clear in previous posts that I am not a baker. It requires an attention to detail and timing and measurements of which I am not capable. At least not while simultaneously preparing 4 other dishes and drinking white wine. Baking is a science while cooking allows a little more wiggle room because as you’re cooking you can right some wrongs. But you can’t un-fuck a fucked-up baked good. Am I right?
Ah, let the chaos begin…
So at 5:45 I put the Lemon Pudding Cake into the oven for the prescribed 48 minutes. I had a bit of down time so I cleaned all the mixing bowls from the batter, and put together the Cucumber Slices in Sour Cream. I sliced the English cucumber and white onions into super-thin slices, and then mixed the sour cream, sugar, vinegar, and dill for the dressing. At 6:15, I salted the slices and left them to drain.
I still had a few minutes left before the cake emerged from the oven in all its glory. So I got the hens ready for roasting. Per #19’s directions, I washed and dried the hens. I put butter and rosemary into the wee birds’ bodies. I used a half tbsp light butter in each and melted one tbsp to brush on the skin. I apparently have no spatial relation skills because it took me putting the roasting rack and the birds in four separate pans (every single one that I own) until realizing that only the largest would accommodate the rack.
Oh! It’s 6:30! Time for the pudding cake to come out of the oven! And oh shit!
Backstory: OK, so if you read Betty’s recipe, it explicitly states to use a 13×9 pan that is NOT dark or non-stick. So of course dark and non-stick are the only baking pans I have. So I got some of those disposable aluminum pans. Yeah, they had one that said on it “13×9 baking pan,” but I bought the cake pan with the lid because I figured that I would take the leftovers to work on Monday. The lid would be key for transportation! Well, this was a mistake. I knew it as soon as I poured both the cake and pudding mixtures into the pan.
Look at the above photo. A recipe for disaster, no? It didn’t look good. And then, it looked even worse.
Speaking of the Blob…I was unaware that The Blob had its own theme song, but it is fabulous. I want it to play every time Brian the Cat enters a room. I want to hear it in every elevator. I want to do the Wagon Wheel Watusi to it. I just absolutely adore it.
So the Lemon Pudding Cake was a bit of a FAIL. Not at all pretty. The taste and consistency were OK, but I love lemon desserts and this was no lemon bar. It was heavy and dense. Too much cake, not enough pudding. In every way it was just too much. I don’t believe I can put the blame solely on me, nor Betty Crocker, nor my use of all fat-free dairy products. It was just a perfect storm of fail. An aside: the cake got better the longer it sat in the fridge.
Regardless, the cake was done!
I mixed the sour cream dressing onto the onions and cucumber and put it into the refrigerator to chill. Another aside: I think that the sour cream cucumbers were ultimately the most successful element of #19.
Let’s move forward! On to the hens!
I like roasted things because, for the most part, I throw them in the oven and they cook unattended. I just baste every once in a while. Which is just what I did here. I had the hens in a 350 degree oven for 70 minutes and intermittently slapped some light butter/currant jelly mix on them. Honestly, there is nothing of note to say about the hens. They came, I glazed, they cooked. If I had one complaint it’s just that they didn’t brown as much as I would’ve liked, although I tried! While the Rice-A-Roni was cooking I bumped up the oven temp in the hopes of a nice, golden brown glaze. Yeah, it didn’t happen.
Rice-a-Roni (chicken flavored) is pretty much self-explanatory. I used the microwave method and made it “healthier” by subbing a smaller amount of olive oil for margarine/butter. Again, there is nothing of note about the Rice-A-Roni.
I didn’t make green beans. I had a bag of arugula in the fridge and served that with salt, pepper, and some white balsamic vinegar.
So here it is. 8:00pm. #19. Served.
Post-cake, I’m becoming rather bored about this meal. Which, looking back on it, is how I felt about the royal wedding as well. Yeah, it went off without a hitch. No one stepped on Kate’s dress (which was to die for. I will wear one quite similar in my imaginary wedding). Neither Kate or Will botched the other’s name during the ceremony. Damn, there wasn’t any civil disobedience or streakers. It was rather dull, no?
The only exception was this:
Which reminded me of this:
So perhaps I should have prepared #6 Deviled Rock Lobster Tails instead? Or at the very least nuked a box of Super Pretzels.
In closing, congrats to you, Kate and Will. Let us know when you’re preggers.
One last thing!!! If you haven’t participated in the poll to determine what my 20th Dinner is Served! meal will be, click here to cast your vote and decide my fate. I will prepare the chosen meal next weekend. Cheers!