Side Dish – Creamed Spinach


“You’re done,” my pottery teacher announced.

“Really? Just done? I can’t fix it?”

“No,” he insisted. “You’re done.” My misshapen cylinder globbed onto the pottery wheel, a hole in its side.

At my first pottery class, I had been trying to pull a “bead of clay” up the side of the pot. This means that while the pottery wheel is spinning, I was supposed to push out from the inside, and up from the bottom to gradually build the wall taller. But I pushed–or pulled–too hard. It was done.

What my pottery class is starting to teach me is that some mistakes can’t be undone. No corrections, no revisions. There is only starting over.

Creamed Spinach

So now I must announce my first fail. I usually like spinach. And when I first tasted creamed spinach a couple of weeks ago, I really liked it. So I thought I’d give this recipe a whirl.

I’m not exactly sure what happened. But here’s the story of it.

Instead of using butter, I cooked the onion in olive oil. Maybe that was my first mistake.

Then I added bacon, cooked it too. I put the spinach in a separate pan to boil (breaking my one-pan rule of cooking). I added the flour and milk–gradually–in equal amounts. Then I added the spinach. 

And that’s when it all fell apart. Or rather, stuck together. As in flour mush.

Remember making pinatas in 8th grade Spanish and using flour and water to make a thin glue? Well, that’s about how my creamed spinach tasted. 

I added water. Ew.

I tried adding more water. I added a little salt.

But, like my sad attempt at a clay pot, the creamed spinach–or whatever this concoction could be called–was done.

And the worst part of it? I was forced to throw bacon into the garbage. Sad. Very sad.


My sad creamed spinach

I’ll try again after I get to the grocery store, but for dinner, we had edamame instead. Much less likely to mess up.


I had another go–actually several other tries–at my basic cylinders at pottery class. Here’s a successful example, and along with it my hopes for better creamed spinach next week.



One response

  1. Julie, you are a brave, inspiring cook and writer! I have been there soo many times, it’s a travesty to throw good food in the garbage!!
    In the spirit of being a recovered vegetarian who is slowly learning to cook more meat, I grilled a flank steak tonight on our George Foreman grill. U thought I the creamed spinach story, this was way too tough and almost threw it out. But how can you justify throwing a steak in the garbage?!
    Love this blog and how it’s inspiring me to cook outside my comfort zone!!

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