Wednesday, June 8, 2011

When your dinner goes up in flames....

I don't know how Martha does it.  I have the best of intentions.  I try to have it all together. 

The sad fact is that I'm far from Martha.  We have three library books from Emma's school that we just can't find.  Our hallway bathroom floor is littered with 3 school binders, 4 barbies, a barbie slide, and a dirty pair of socks.  I spilled powdered sugar all over my kitchen this morning.  I still haven't cleaned it up.  My laundry pile is pretty much overflowing. 

In my quest to serve a picture perfect dinner for my family last night, this is what happened. 

I had such high hopes.  I found these cedar planks on sale yesterday and thought I'd try to make cedar-planed smoked salmon.  I also wanted to try some new potatoes on the grill.  I followed the directions on the cedar planks, even though I was a little dismayed to learn that they were a one-time tool.  I soaked them for two hours, flipped them after 3 minutes, and put my salmon and potatoes on top. 

I'm still not quite sure what happened - but instead of freaking out, I just scooped the salmon and potatoes into baking dishes and put them in the oven.  I avoided the flames and removed the planks from the grill and deposited them onto our patio.  They continued to burn and smolder for at least an hour.  One time use, indeed. 

In the end, our dinner was delicious and rather pretty - but sometimes with cooking you just have to go with the flow.  And, if you're expecting everything to be perfect on the first try - don't even start. 

The salmon and potatoes were smoky and very tasty - but I'm going to google the Alton Brown method of cedar planking fish.  I vaguely remember seeing a Good Eats episode where he bought a cedar plank at a hardware store. 

The reason I have powdered sugar all over my kitchen is because I thought I was retrieving an unopened bag of it from my cupboard - it was already opened.  But, it was worth it.  Betty Crocker's Pound Cake, Lemon. I simply added lemon extract in place of the vanilla and then folded in 1 T of lemon peel.  Topped with a powdered sugar and lemon juice glaze.  It reminds me of Martha until I walk into my kitchen. 



  1. I'm sorry -I'm laughing. Aside from the fact Im an ignorant Aussie and had never heard of cooking anything on a plank (we put the smoked chips under the grill here ) it brought back memories of an unfortunate incident we had with an exploding weber barbecue a number of years ago that involved the loss of some eyebrows. You're right -sometimes you just have to go with the flow in cooking.

    Your dinner DOES indeed look yummy!

    And Im hiding this post from Mr. P lest he should want to try cooking on a plank himself...

  2. Aww, too bad! I have some cedar planks to try but I'm stealing my brother's method, soak overnight! LOL

    It looks great, regardless and don't worry about the powdered sugar, one more day and all the socks will have picked it up and spread it evenly through out the house. You'll never know where the original spill was. hehe

  3. I'm impressed you even TRIED to cook with the cedar planks. I would've let everything char and declared EMFH...Every Man For Himself...Night. Your dinner looks scrumptious.

    PS...As I'm typing this I can see a dustball in the corner by the bookshelf. Must've missed that today when sweeping. ;o)

  4. I'm laughing with you, not at you. I have heard of cooking on a plank, but never tried it and now never will. It seems to be the same principle as cooking satay on the BBQ and using wooden skewers. I soak them overnight and every time they burn. Not quite as spectacular as your plank, I must say, but they burn. I now use metal skewers.
    I regularly empty contents of packets on the floor - unintentionally, I'm just a klutz, and if I don't do it, I live with someone else who does it regularly!