The Perks of a Dinner Disaster

Crockpot Dinner Flop

by Christie Perkins

Hm? I don’t remember getting chicken wrapped in butcher paper. But lately my memory was bobbing around only at the surface. Any recollections that ran deeper were quite sketchy. Chemo zapped brain cells took credit for all my memory loss moments.

I shrug. Flip, flop, crockpot 010

It’s the 2nd meal I cook in my brand new house.

This meal is so stinking easy it’s perfect for my lack of energy.  I just finished radiation the day before and the energy levels are drastically flopping and dropping. I lay down on the couch for a quick nap.

Dinner’s prepped, house is clean… there’s boxes but it’s clean, and I’m blissfully putting last year’s cancer kicking behind me. Ahh. I drift off to a much needed nap. The smell of new paint scrunches my face up in a smile.

I don’t know how long I nap but my nostrils are zapped by a stench. I scowl no, no, no, no! Not in my brand new house. I sit up and glance around the room. Immediately my eyes fall on the crockpot. It’s sweating. I wrinkle my nose.  Ewe, what is that?

I shrug. I better check it out.

I peer into the crockpot- looks good. And then I realized that was one beefy chicken.

Hm. I chalk it up to that my senses must have not bounced back from chemo. Will I ever be normal?

Don’t answer that.


More Confirmation that the Meal Stinks

Several hours later the door flies open.  My food dude enters in. The same question always flies out of his mouth when he gets home from school- Mom? What’s for dinner? But today his question darts elsewhere.

“What stinks?”

Well. Let’s just get right to the point here.

“I know,” I say with conviction then conclude with confidence, “it’s dinner.” I smirk a little because it smells disgusting and he’s adding carefully in his head that he gets to eat the stink. I add my agreeance, “That’s what I was thinking too.  It does stink.”

He smiles. At least we both know dinner isn’t going to go well tonight.

So. By dinner the air is heavy with stench. I can almost see the new paint balling up and peeling from the ceiling. I’m losing my appetite fast. I better check this out.

I open the lid and a poof of fish puffs into my face. I stand back. Fish? The stench hinted at that earlier but I never buy fish, not even tuna fish. So I excused it. I slide open the drawer and pull out a fork.

Stab, twist, gasp.

Oh, no.

Halibut? I didn’t even know that we owned the little guy. I remember the two goldfish that died but they were… much skinnier.


The Moment of Decision

At this point I’m too tired (from napping on the couch) to make a whole new meal. So, we flop out the colored plates and I see the kids eyeing me. I fill in their blank stares. “Yep, we’re going to eat it. Just plug your nose, it’ll go down easier,” I say.

My kids smile. They like that I hate this meal more than they do. I grab a fork and twist and stab and gag as I make it look casserole-like.

Plop, glop.

“It’s missionary training night,” I tell them. Really, I’m doing them a favor. Technically, they will be faced with weird food situations and they must learn to gag it down. I’m prepping them for missions. Yeah. That’s it. I’m growing men, not boys. Why not use this as sacred training grounds?


And, lets face it, it’s the lazy way to do dinner tonight. And I’m okay with that. Then something amazing happens.

“It stinks to high heaven but we are going to eat it anyway,” I say. I’m making a bigger fuss of the stomach thrusting meal than my boys are.

And they actually eat it. They actually eat it.


There’s a role reversal going on here. I’m complaining and they are pointing out the good things about the meal. It’s not that bad, Mom.

Yes it is. It’s actually quite disgusting. And I gag down half the plate before I’m allowed to leave the table.

It’s one of our most memorable family meal times. So, if your meals are boring, way too smooth sailing, and keeps the paint in mint condition… try that mystery meat wrapped in butcher paper.


Recipe for Crockpot Dinner Flop

Adapted from the Heavenly Family Recipes from the Enoch Utah Stake Cookbook
(if you’re going for the missionary training moment here goes…)

1 beefy looking chicken chunk (label it Halibut next time so your wife will know what the mystery meat is)
1 pkg. dry Italian dressing
2 cans cheapo cream of chicken soup
1 can cheapo cream of mushroom soup
1 (8 oz.) cream cheese box
(scratch that- don’t use the box just use the cream cheese)
1 nose plug

Directions to avoid:

First, pull the halibut from the freezer and assume that it is chicken. Wonder what the farmer has been feeding this chicken because it is humongous. Unwrap it from the questionable butcher paper. Plop.

Sprinkle Italian dressing on meat chunk. Open cans of cheapo soup. Plop. Plop. Plop. Add cream cheese. Put the lid on and take a nap but first grab that dresser you’ve been meaning to refurnish. (Important: Flop dresser on a drop cloth and within 16 1/2 feet radius from the crockpot.)

Attach nose plug apparatus to your nose, closing off all possibly entries for fish air to enter into your nostrils. Take a nap, breathe through your mouth.

Cook on high for approximately 5-6 hours.

Pass out nose plugs to the entire family and gag down the crockpot dinner flop. Enjoy some intense family bonding moments as you all encourage each other for one more bite. Realize that bad food builds better boys.

Get that warm little fuzzy.

You are making a difference. But the warm fuzzy flees when you think about tucking that back into the refrigerator. Don’t even take a chance with leftovers. It’s too risky. This is a once in a lifetime experience. Don’t want to ruin it by having an over abundance- if you know what I mean. Immediately discard any uneaten pieces. Save the whales some other day.

Oh. And scrape your dresser and begin that refurnishing job.



Next time your crockpot meal flops. Don’t throw it away use it for some fine missionary training moments. In the long run they will thank you. Or at least laugh at you. I’ll take either one.

My walls on the other hand- well that’s a different story.


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One thought on “The Perks of a Dinner Disaster

  1. Great memories! Looks like I need to plan a trip to Alaska for a new Halibut steak! Start saving your pesos Christie! 😉

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