Last week, when my kids came bounding into the kitchen to ask what’s for dinner, I pointed to the platter on our counter and held back a laugh. As soon as they saw my Plumdelicious Pork Tenderloin, they immediately began begging for our default backup meal (chicken nuggets). Even my husband, who never complains about anything I cook, raised an eyebrow at the two brown curiosities waiting to be eaten.
The recipe had looked like a winner of a dinner. It had simple ingredients (pork, plums, cinnamon, ground allspice, etc.) and it was simple to prepare (rub the spices on the pork, then toss everything into the slow cooker). The photo next to the recipe promised all the culinary glory I could ever dream of. It was certain to be paradise on a fork.
My anticipation built throughout the afternoon as I caught whiffs of it while walking into the kitchen. The slow cooker’s lid rattled gently when its contents started to simmer, and the dense layer of condensation inside the lid taunted me by making me wait to see what divine deliciousness lay within.
I started thinking about which friends we should invite over the next time I made this meal, and I added it to my mental list of easy potluck dinners for neighborhood get-togethers. Because we usually host Christmas dinner at our house, I wondered if this dish, perhaps, was worthy of a spot on my Christmas menu.
After waiting for four long hours, the timer beeped and I walked toward the slow cooker, smiling as I inhaled the savory loveliness.
Then I opened the lid and peeked inside.
My Plumdelicious Pork Tenderloin had transformed from succulent supper into a horrific heap of scorched meat. The tenderloins looked dry, burned, and they had unfortunately conformed to the oval shape of the slow cooker.
So I did what anyone would do after having their dinner dreams crushed: I laughed and laughed… and laughed some more, then slapped it on a nice platter and announced that dinner was ready.
I still don’t know what went wrong. Maybe I cooked it too long? The recipe told me to cook it on high for four hours or until done. Until done? How am I supposed to know if it is done if the lid fogs over and I can’t remove the lid while it’s cooking without messing up the cooking time?
Even though this meal lacked in presentation, its flavor was phenomenal. I convinced my kids to try a bite—and they actually swallowed it!—so that was a big win. They probably would have eaten more if I had blindfolded them before dinner. My dear husband devoured it, although he isn’t the best indicator of the quality of my cooking because I’m nearly positive he would eat the leg of our kitchen table if I doused it with enough hot sauce.
I haven’t decided if I’m going to make Plumdelicious Pork Tenderloin again, but if I do, a name change is definitely in order.
The Top 3 Alternative Names For This Good Meal Gone Bad:
- BYOB (Bring Your Own Blindfold) Pork Tenderloin
- Bummer of a Plum Pork Tenderloin
- Plum-Ugly Pork Tenderloin
Disclaimer: To all my friends and family who read this, I sincerely hope you will continue to accept our dinner invitations despite this somewhat anomalous disaster. We always keep our freezer stocked with chicken nuggets. Just in case.
Do you have any good meals gone bad stories? I’d love to hear them! Leave a comment below to share. I won’t judge…
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