No, it’s not that kind of post. I could never choose just 3 favorites from Courtney’s delicious recipes. These are my top 3 recipes. When I was dating Courtney, she didn’t cook often, but I like to think that my cooking skills (or lack thereof) inspired her.
1. Our first Thanksgiving together
I decided I was going to impress Courtney with a “homemade” Thanksgiving dinner. I was going to bake a turkey, make my own gravy, mashed potatoes (boxed powder form) and serve canned corn on the side. I bought the turkey from the Dominick’s butcher who told me how long to cook it (it was like 6-8 hours or something). Since we were just dating at the time, we went our separate ways to family gatherings during the day. Before I left, I put the turkey in my oven. My family gave me gravy making lessons. 5 hours later, I came home to a smoky 2nd floor apartment, and when I opened the oven, black smoke started billowing out. I cooked the turkey on a baking sheet, and all of the juice was burning in the bottom of the oven. I walked out onto the balcony and left the door to the balcony open. A minute later, Courtney’s family pulled up to drop Courtney off. They didn’t know me very well at the time. Her dad got out of the car and asked if everything was okay, yelling upward to the 2nd story so I could hear him over the fire alarm in the background. I said it was just a problem with my oven, and for some reason, they let Courtney come in and drove away. The turkey was dry, the gravy was lumpy, but the wine was great!
2. My grandma’s meatloaf recipe
My grandma passed down the best meatloaf recipe. It was my favorite when I was a kid, as I used to request it for my birthday dinners. It starts with a meatloaf patty that is layered with ham, mozzarella cheese, rolled up, and baked. I just had to make this for Courtney! We got kind of a late start, like 10:00 PM. I figured we’d be eating in 45 minutes; I mean how long could it take to make a meatloaf anyway? As I read through the instructions and began to flatten the ground beef, I quickly realized we would not be eating for a while. But I had promised to make this meatloaf, and I was craving it too. Courtney politely offered to make us a snack while we waited. Being a bachelor, the only thing in my fridge was beer, ketchup, and BBQ sauce, and the only thing in my cupboard was a bag of Doritos that amounted to crumbs. She then suggested we order in, but I stubbornly insisted that we wait for the meatloaf. Finally, at 1:30 AM, we were eating. The worst part was I had messed up the recipe (or that old oven didn’t bake evenly), and it just didn’t taste right. We were so hungry we managed to shove down a few bites, then tossed it in the garbage and went to bed (she slept on the couch of course).
3. BBQ ribs on the hibachi grill
This one was an old standby. (1) Purchase pre-cooked, marinated, BBQ ribs from the grocery store. (2) Place on grill for 3 minutes per side. (3) Serve. I was proud of my second floor balcony that wasn’t big enough for a real grill. The Weber hibachi grill served me just fine. We each stood on the patio with a glass of wine as the ribs heated up on the grill. I went to flip them, and they stuck to the grill. The whole grill tipped over and the ribs were covered in ashes (that I probably hadn’t emptied in months). There was no way to get the ashes out of the BBQ sauce. Don’t worry, this time we weren’t brave enough to eat them.
It’s a wonder she said “yes”. I guess it really is just the thought that counts. And hey, she had no choice but to step up. I never expected all this though.