Thursday, July 12, 2012

Well Bop Me on the Head

It's a never-ending process, it seems, to provide food that one actually wants to eat and which is not filled with stuff one shouldn't be eating. Let's face it. You work a whole day, stumble home and probably have chores to do. As hungry as you are, Chicken Kiev is NOT on the list of things you want to do that night. Some nights, chicken anything isn't what you want to prepare unless it's breaded, frozen and can be dumped onto a cookie sheet and baked for 20 minutes. With the heat sapping any get up and go out of me, I also don't want to turn on the oven and have the air conditioning have to work extra hard to get a purely optional heat source out of the house.

For me, dinner is a conundrum. I love to cook. I have three recipe boxes, not to mention one and a half shelves of cookbooks and a stack on top of the bookcase and a box of untried recipes in the office. But the thought of actually doing it at the end of the day can make me reach for the cereal instead. That's not a good idea.

As it usually happens, I was in the basement looking for something else and saw, on the shelf, my crock pot. I remember when this was THE thing to ask for when you got married. No newly formed household was complete without one and you were extra cool if you had a crock pot with a removable pot.

The removable pot was what we had for years. It was a heavy thing. I don't remember how it broke, but it did. Since this was before the days of wide-spread Internet and eBay, there wasn't a way to replace it. You simply bought a new unit. This one was a Christmas gift, some years ago, from my mother. It is not a two-piece pot.

It was dusty from years on the shelf. I know I used it after getting it but it sits on the shelf in the basement because I just don't have room in my kitchen for something of this size. It becomes "out of sight, out of mind". I looked at this and thought, "Why am I not using this?" Why? Because I forgot about it. So, I brought it upstairs, washed it off and looked through my one crock pot cookbook for something I could make with the ingredients I had on hand.

On Sunday, I made Nutty Chicken Breasts. You're supposed to put this peanut butter spread on one side of a chicken breast and then roll the thing up. Yeah, right. I think the breast probably should be pounded a bit flatter than what you get in the store and the peanut spread went all over my hands instead of sticking to the chicken. After struggling with this for many minutes, I decided to dump the spread into the sauce, mix the whole thing together in the pot and add the chicken. I don't know what I was doing wrong, but my impromptu method yielded a very delectable chicken breast. I made rice and peas to go with it. It was really good and I made 3 breasts which yielded lunch for 2 days.

I technically don't have a place for this upstairs. If I do a hard examination of what I keep under the kitchen sink, I could stick it there. This weekend, I'm going to make stew. Stew is one of those things that gets better 24 hours after you make it.

Set it and forget it. Yeah, I like that idea of cooking.

Beverage:  English Breakfast tea


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