How To Survive: Creative Cooking

Curious readers have asked how we survive in the food department up in the frozen north. In addition to expanding our diet to include exotic animals, we've also had to resort to some creative cooking. It's easy to want to choose starvation over boredom (from eating the same food over and over), so we occasionally try to spice things up with new recipes. Tonight I had an adventure with an Onion, Cheese, and Bacon Tart. Inspired by Adam at Amateur Gourmet and his brilliant attempt at the same recipe, I decided to give it a try (seriously, you should read his entry about making this tart and the accompanying comments; they are outrageously hilarious).

You can read the recipe via the above link if you want specifics, but these were my basic steps:

-Prepare to make said tart.

-Feel like a good wife for actually planning to make dinner.

- Reread the recipe and realize the dough has to chill for an hour. Realize I am way too hungry to wait that long.

-Heat up some leftovers and eat them. Spouse eats canned chili sprinkled with cheese.

-Make the crust and refrigerate overnight.

-Go to school.

-Come home tired but excited to make dinner.

-Remove dough from refrigerator, roll it out, and place it in pyrex pie dish.

-Vaguely recall the recipe stating that if you don't have pie crust weights, you can use dry beans to hold the shape of the tart crust while baking it.

-Dump a bunch of dry kidney beans into the crust.

-Remember that the recipe said "line crust with foil" before it mentioned adding beans.

-Feel like an idiot

-Scoop the beans out of the crust.

-Bake the crust.

-While the crust cools, slice an onion and sautee it in a frying pan.

-Substitute dried bacon for bacon because I don't have any bacon and don't know how to get any without having to auction off random body parts (because it's so expensive at the stores here).


-Marvel at how yummy it looks so far.

-Substitute 3/4 cup of powdered milk and 1/3 cup of butter for 1 cup of cream (thanks to the instructions at


-Realize that milk and butter don't exactly mix well together and look nothing like actual cream. Hope it turns out okay anyway.

-Pull down the spice box.

-Curse at the fact that although I have Dried Mandarin Orange Peel, Chinese Mustard Powder, and Curry Seasoning, I have no Nutmeg.

-Send spouse to the store for nutmeg. He agrees because he's so excited I'm cooking.

-Spouse calls from store because nutmeg costs an astounding ten dollars.

-Curse at high food prices in rural Alaska.

-Call two neighbors who don't have nutmeg.

-Curse in disbelief that NOBODY has ANY nutmeg.

-Remember that there is nutmeg in my classroom left over from my Explorers and Spices activity.

-Ask spouse nicely to please go to my classroom and locate the nutmeg in a box under my desk.

-Spouse is annoyed but complies (again with the gratitude about me actually cooking).

-Switch Ipod Playlist to Simon and Garfunkel.

-Rock out to "I am a Rock" and dance in circles around the kitchen waiting for Steve to come back.

-Be disappointed that he comes back so soon. Add nutmeg to the goopy mess.

-Be double disappointed that he turned off the Ipod in order to watch MacGyver on DVD.

-Resume Simon and Garfunkel via my laptop.

-Feel happy.

-Scoop onions into the crust.

-Sprinkle cheese over the top. Substitute cheddar cheese for Gruyère cheese because I've never heard of Gruyère cheese and certainly can't buy it in Shishmaref.

-Pour milk, butter, and precious nutmeg mixture over the top of everything.

-Scrape the remaining hunks of butter into the dish.


-Observe that tart does not look anything like the pictures on the website (the website version was free of the butter clumps because they used real cream).


-Put the tart in the oven at 7:55 pm. Be shocked at how late it is.


-Check the tart. Sigh in relief at the fact that the butter clumps have melted and nicely combined with other tart elements.

-Get sucked into watching MacGyver.

-Pull the tart out of the oven. Let it cool longer than necessary in order to finish episode of MacGyver.

-Serve dinner at 8:45 pm.

-Say, "Gee, I wonder why I don't cook more often, it only takes two and a half hours." (Insert sarcastic tone here.)

-Steve says, "I was thinking the same thing."

-Realize he was kidding before I punch his lights out.

-Eat tart. Tart is good.

-Watch Steve get a second piece of tart. Feel good about myself.

-Get offended that Steve put ketchup on tart, but don't let it ruin my night.

All in all, it was a very successful culinary experience. We were well fed, and we did not die of food boredom.