It’s Valentine’s weekend; for most men it’s torture, but for my husband it means eating something we have never eaten before. My venture for this weekend was to make beef wellington. I have been mulling over it for two weeks. Twenty recipes later, I figured out how I would make my beef wellington. I took the best parts of other people’s recipes such as adding prosciutto, using both mushroom duxelles and adding pate. I omitted the whole mustard coating because basically I’m not too crazy over mustard. I ended up with a tenderloin beautifully wrapped in puff pastry, prosciutto, duxelles, and smeared with pate. Here’s the kicker though: I have a toaster oven! Our oven broke two years ago and we never bothered to replace it. I guess fixing our foundation and trying to have kids superseded the need for an oven. Byoung bought a toaster oven and told me to make do. So, here I am trying to stuff a 16-inch long wellington into a 12 inch space. I angled it and stuffed it in as best as I could and crossed my fingers. An hour later, there was grease spilling out of the oven because the wellington was hitting the glass. I wiped the grease away and poked the pastry dough to keep the wellington in the oven. In the end the wellington turned out fine, even though some parts ended up sticking to the tin foil.
I got to thinking how parallel this is to my own life. I would love to have a baker’s oven with confectioners setting, but I’m stuck with a $30 toaster oven. In the last two years, I have made cookies, cakes, steaks, and everything in miniscule scale in my toaster oven. My life is the same, I would love to upgrade everything in my house or even buy a new one. Yet, in the five+ years we have hosted a myriad of crawfish boils, birthday parties, Thanksgiving gatherings, and much-much more. As generic as it sounds, I realize it’s what you put into the oven that matters. If I had done nothing but used it to heat up leftover pizzas, tv dinners, and toast; I would get just that. But you know me by now… only a wellington will do!