When my writer-daughter mentioned the other night that she had put up a new post on her blog, I realized that I haven’t posted anything for about two weeks. (News met with mild disapproval from said daughter.) Why is it that I can think of all sorts of wonderful topics when I’m in the shower, but not so much when I’m in front of my laptop?
For a while I though of talking about the icicles that are forming on our roof. I’m looking at a four footer right outside the window now. But then, what can you say about icicles? They’re pretty when the sun hits them. The ones on the west side of the house kind of glow in the sunset. They can be fun to play with, but they can also be dangerous – I tend to scoot past the eaves of the house when going in and out at this time of year.
Writer-daughter suggested I talk about the variety of dinners that I make. I hesitate to jump into the food blogging fray, but I do enjoy a good kitchen adventure. According to my friends and family I am a very good cook. Not to say I don’t have my flops (there was the hamburgers turned hockey pucks incident for example) but successes far outweigh the flops.
That night I had made pork chops and sauerkraut in my iron skillet. Since the sauerkraut was covering up the pork chops, the family had no idea what was for supper when they sat down to eat. They said grace anyway, followed by a common question: “was this a recipe?”
“Of coarse not.”
I have to admit that I haven’t mastered pork chops. They always seem to come out a little tough and overcooked. These weren’t so bad. I browned them quick, then piled the sauerkraut and onions on top with a little water, and stuck them in the oven to finish.
More often than not, when I do cook from a recipe, I don’t really follow it. That conversation usually goes something like, “was this from a recipe?”
“Well, yes. Except…”
I also don’t make a lot of repeats. There are a few standards that I make more or less the same every time: chili, potato salad, spaghetti sauce, whole-wheat bread, pizza, macaroni and cheese.
A long time ago I discovered that making up a menu, even just a week in advance, is a waste of time for our household. I often don’t know who’s going to be around for dinner as I’m beginning to cook. Things just change too much and food was being wasted. So what I do is how I operate in almost everything – I gather ingredients to keep on hand (or paints, or craft supplies, or yarn) and pull dinner together according to our mood and circumstances. It usually works.
I’ve been having a hard time figuring out how to wrap up this post. I’ll end with this: omurice. After watching Rooftop Prince (see What is it About Foreign Films?) in which the characters love to eat omurice, I found some recipes on the internet and fixed it for our Valentine’s Day dinner. It’s basically fried rice seasoned with ketchup, covered with a thin round of scrambled egg, and garnished with more ketchup.
I haven’t put ketchup on scrambled eggs since I was about five years old, but this was pretty good. Three out of six went for seconds, if that tells you anything. It’s also fun to make. You make something like a crepe with the egg, slide it into a bowl, plop the fried rice filling in there, then flip it over onto a plate. You tuck the edges under so you have a nice little package, then decorate it with ketchup.
The recipes I referenced are here: http://www.trifood.com/omurice.asp, and here: http://mykoreankitchen.com/2007/04/30/omelet-rice-omurice/.