Back in October of 2013, I decided to try a Pinterest recipe I found for orange chicken. Nathan and I had recently moved to Poplar Bluff and hadn’t found a Chinese restaurant we liked. As a newly married woman who loves to cook, I took it upon myself to make my favorite Chinese dish. What I didn’t know, was this dish would lead to the first and only time I cried over a meal. Nathan was coaching football at the time and didn’t get home till late. I had a few hours to prepare dinner and decided to try out this dish. Getting out my brand new crockpot and all the ingredients, I started following the directions one step at a time. It wasn’t until the dish was finished cooking, that I realized I had messed up two important steps. First, the crockpot was suppose to be set to low, I had it on high. (New crockpot, never used before. My excuse and I am sticking to it!) Second, the recipe called for 8 oz of frozen orange concentrate and I poured in the entire container. All 16 oz worth! Needless to say, the dish ended up being scorched and the orange flavoring was very, very strong. Still thinking this meal would be the best Chinese food we had ever eaten, I served it to Nathan. If you know my husband, within the first two minutes of eating anything someone has made, he compliments the meal. We were going on five minutes and he hadn’t said anything to me. The dinner was disgusting and I knew he agreed, but he wouldn’t say it out loud. I tried to get him to acknowledge how terrible it was, but as the kind husband he is, he lied to protect my feelings. Of course, that made it worse. I didn’t want him to force himself to eat something that was so disgusting. I picked up both our plates and threw our dinner in the trash and stormed outside. As I went on a walk to calm down, I called my mom and was crying on the phone to her. She was able to help me see the humor in this disastrous dinner and I returned to the house. When I walked in, Nathan was sitting and eating a bowl of cereal. He stopped mid bite and gave me an “oh busted” face. I went into our room and started crying again. I felt so embarrassed and ashamed. Nathan grew up getting these amazing home cooked meals from his mom, and I wanted to do the same for him as his wife. I felt like I had failed him. His dinner ended up being Froot Loops, major fail! He came in to our room, held me and let me cry about my failure at Chinese cuisine. It has now been almost four years and every time I try a new recipe, Nathan likes to tell the story of the Orange Chicken Disaster of 2013. Looking back, the situation is pretty hysterical. Here I am trying to be Betty Homemaker and serve my husband a great dish, and instead of him being honest with me, he eats the scorched mess. Luckily, we are able to look back on this memory and laugh about it. Though, Nathan has made me promise to never attempt another orange chicken recipe again. I have learned a few lessons since that disastrous meal. The first lesson, always read directions carefully. The second and most important lesson, don’t be so hard on yourself. We all make mistakes. As long as you learn from those mistakes, you continue to better yourself!
P.S. We are going out for Chinese food this weekend. Nathan doesn’t know it yet!