Ambition and Messes

So sometimes I have ambition to try cooking new foods, as in my attempts at cooking the food are new, not the food itself. This weekend I somehow had more ambition than normal. I decided to try two different recipes that I haven’t done before. I decided to make salmon loaf on Saturday with instant mashed potatoes and sliced beets. By the way, the beets came out of a can. I don’t have that level of ambition yet. So I decided to try cooking salmon loaf for the first time. On Sunday, I made blueberry dump cake for dessert. Now while I have made dump cakes before, I had not yet made a blueberry one.

So Saturday first. I had been thinking about what I wanted to eat this coming week and I realized that I kind of wanted some salmon loaf. Now I should mention that I am one of the few people I know of that enjoy salmon loaf. I have fond memories of eating it as a kid. In fact, I used to try looking for the little round bones you find in the canned salmon. Yes, salmon loaf calls for canned salmon. This may be heresy to some people. Yeah, I don’t care. So back to the cooking. I was trying to follow my mom’s recipe for salmon loaf. Unfortunately, I didn’t have the spices/herbs she mentions, (tarragon and marjoram for example). So I substituted with thyme and some other herb I think. It wasn’t bad just didn’t taste the same. I also happened to forget to grease/spray the bowl first. However, since I mixed everything in the glass bowl that I cooked in, it seems to have greased the bowl by itself with the oil from the salmon. Not sure but so far I haven’t had any issues getting the salmon loaf out. Yeah, the bowl is now just sitting in the refrigerator with some saran wrap on top (aka cling film). Since I don’t have a dishwasher, I really try to not make that many dishes to wash. I hate doing dishes. It is probably my least favorite chore. But I digress.

Sunday was a bit more fun. I decided to make blueberry dump cake for dessert instead of the slightly more ambitious job of making pumpkin bread. I really want to try making some but I didn’t feel like washing that amount of dishes just yet. So blueberry dump cake it was. Now dump cake is probably the simplest baked dessert that I can think of. You take some fruit or pie filling. Put it in the bottom of a baking pan. Now if you are using pie filling, you can skip to the next bit. But if you are using frozen fruit like cherries or blueberries, you will need gelatin and cornstarch. You can also just use cornstarch by itself, which is what I did with this attempt. You will also need to add some sugar to make sure that it is sweet enough. Sugar is an absolute requirement if you are using sour cherries.

Over the top of the fruit, you dump one box of cake mix. I usually use white cake mix. Swirl it in a little bit. Finally you put a stick of butter on top by slicing the stick and evenly distributing those slices over the entire pan. Now I should mention for my non-American readers that a stick of butter is only a half cup or about 113 grams of butter. From what I understand, there are sticks of butter that are the equivalent of two cups of butter. No, we are not that crazy. So back to the cooking. As I said earlier, I thought that making blueberry dump cake would be less of a mess to clean up. Somehow life can get in the way.

So while making the dump cake was relatively mess free, the actually baking was not. You see while I had tall enough sides on the pan that it wasn’t going to bubble over, I had failed to inspect the pan before using if for the first time in a while. I have a feeling that this pan is the one that I used to make cherry dump cake in. That pan I terribly misused and probably etched a hole in it with the acid from the cherries. This pan that I cooked the blueberry dump cake in, definitely had a hole in it. Unfortunately I did not realize this until the dump cake had pretty much stopped dripping through the pan onto the bottom of my oven. Yeah, I will have a fun time scrapping that out before the next time I need to use my oven. Oh well. Overall, the dump cake turned out okay in terms of flavor and texture. All things considered, I am pretty happy with how everything turned out this weekend. I was surprisingly ambitious with my cooking and despite my best intentions, I will have a mess to clean up. Have you ever cooked in a pan with a hole in it? Have you ever made dump cake or salmon loaf before? Did you like it? Please answer below with your comments and thanks for reading.

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