Sometimes A Win is a Win

I made a big dinner two nights ago.  It was supposed to be an amazing blog post based on a recipe I’ve made a few times before – pasta with a bacon mushroom béchamel sauce and sauteed veggies.

But this time it was an absolute disaster.

It started out good – bacon and a Dutch oven.  What could go wrong, right?

Everything, apparently.

I wanted to have a bit of bacon flavor in the veggies.  That didn’t work.  Greasy, burned bacon grit quickly coated my beautiful bell pepper and zucchini.  I ended up rinsing the veggies out in the colander.  It semi-salvaged the operation.

Next in Operation: Kill Dinner, I mistimed the beautiful Tinkyada pasta.  It was a mushy mess.  I rinsed it in cold water to stop the cooking process, which made it a cold, mushy mess.

And the béchamel sauce took a lot longer to thicken.  By the time it finished, the veggies were cold and didn’t reheat like I thought they would when intersected the hot sauce.

The cold pasta probably had something to do that. 

The mushroom flavor didn’t infuse into the sauce like I hoped.  Then my camera’s battery died, so now I can’t even salvage a tutorial on making a gluten-free roux out of the whole mess.  It was a total fail.

We ate it for dinner because A – we have a food budget and B – I didn’t have time to make anything else.  Shockingly, the next day when I was forced to eat it for lunch, the microwave didn’t magically transform the food into a culinary masterpiece.  It was still gross.  And mushy.  And a little lukewarm – but that one was my fault.  I guess I didn’t put it in the microwave long enough.

After we ate our icky dinner, we had to go straight to Bible study.  No time to clean the kitchen.  We got home and went to bed, and then got up and went to work the next morning.  (After I cleaned cat diarrhea off the floor).

Sorry – TMI.

And so yesterday when I got home, I was faced with an ethical dilemma: clean the kitchen or make dinner for The Professor, who was on the way home from a long day of teaching all day at school and then going to the local community college where he teaches a college class – because he’s an amazing provider like that. 

I chose making dinner.

And slightly redeemed myself with a half bag of sweet potato fries and a quick grilled chicken salad with apples, pecans, Parmesan cheese and a walnut-pomegranate balsamic vinaigrette recipe I’ve been tweaking for a post on fall salad dressings.

It was really good.  But then my kitchen looked like this.

Nights like these cause me to pause and redefine my definition of wins.  Some nights, you get the whole kitchen clean – floors mopped and everything.  And other nights, you’re lucky to get the perishables put back in the fridge and the dishwasher running. 

That’s okay because a win is a win.

Sometimes a win is making an edible dinner.  And that’s okay, because a win is a win.

My kitchen doesn’t look like this anymore, but it’s not perfect.  I’m okay with that.  I’ll take my wins where I can get them.


  1. Sarah,
    I love this post. It is such a wonderful reminder. When long days as a first year teacher leave me with an even longer list of things to do, I get frustrated. I think I need to write a post-it note for myself that says, “A win is a win”. Thank you. I needed this. Oh, and I love your blog.

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