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Location: Clearwater, South Carolina, United States

Friday, January 27, 2006

kitchen

The kitchen is a very fascinating room of the house, mostly because it’s where all the food is located. Not being a total stranger to the workings of the appliances located in that area, I can put together some basic meals and/or meal items. My forte is the old style classic breakfast of grits, eggs, bacon, etc. With other meals, I am a helper, the wife tells me what to do and how much to put in and I do it.

Recalling old memories, my Dad was somewhat of a cook and had several specialties that he mostly prepared on Saturdays and/or when Mom was working outside the home. His cooking usually centered around chili and many variations of vegetable soup, dependant upon what was available in the frig, and was usually a bit heavy on the pepper. There were a couple of items that only he made for the family. One was chop suey, mostly of the chicken type, and the other I remember was his chicken dressing. Mom didn’t even make this latter item because Dad’s was so good.

Since my retirement, I have become more interested in trying out some recipes and have done that to a limited degree. One of my latest is for chicken chow mien, without the chow mien noodles, so really I’m not sure what to call it – maybe chicken chow rice. Anyway, it is from a recipe I found on the Internet, modified to suit my taste. The first time I tried it, the results turned out to be edible, but not great – even though served on rice. The second time was a bit better but still not great – I think I cooked my Chinese veggies too long.

After that I developed a yen (probably from the Chinese food) for chili. Finding recipes in two different books, I blended the two according to my taste and proceeded in the direction of being a chili creator. Recently and during this process as well, I have learned a couple of odd things about kitchen stuff. One thing is that a person cannot take a toast pan out of a hot oven without an oven mitt or equivalent.

The biggest lesson learned though was when I was exiting the pantry with a container of dried beans. My wife informed me – “you know you have to cook those before you put them in chili”. I was grateful for the information, but a tiny bit chagrinned that she felt it was necessary. :)

The beans were slow cooked for the evening and then continued cooking next morning. It was important to me to have the beans cooked well enough that they were mostly bean gravy – still identifiable as beans, but very, very well cooked. The meat was browned with the onions and spices and refrigerated overnight. The morning brought a visit to the grocery for a bell pepper and other items. Then the green pepper, the beans and the meat with spices were put together and allowed to simmer and blend their tantalizing flavors together.

The finished product became my midday meal and though it might be deemed a bit bland for most chili aficionados, it was mostly wonderful to me. One of the basic needs of mankind is to create - and I created, even if it was just a food product. I find nothing unmanly about being able to create in the kitchen – that way I won’t starve if the wife has to be away. Now I just need to learn how to clean up the place when I’m through.

No matter how many great ingredients we have in our lives, it is still a recipe for disaster if we leave God out – this is true for Christians as well, since we need Him every moment. ec

10 Comments:

Blogger bubba said...

Creating with food is a wonderful thing. I am the cook and have yet tried the chili thing. Wife is an expert. I just back away slowly when chili is meantioned.

1/27/2006 10:24:00 AM  
Blogger grannyfiddler said...

i've just come from a battery of annual blood tests, etc. for my yearly checkup. and haven't eaten yet since last night. your post is reminding me it's time to break my fast.

being gluten-free, chili is high on my list of favorites. i like it with corn and black olives added.

1/27/2006 12:15:00 PM  
Blogger Bonita said...

Be sure to soak those beans overnight, it improves your ability to digest them. Rinse the water several times, too.

Yes, the cleaning up part is not my husbands cup-0-tea, I usually have to do it, as he is not very thorough. He will clean, then I will do all the touch-ups, spending at least 30 minutes attacking what he overlooked.

1/27/2006 02:24:00 PM  
Blogger mreddie said...

bubba - The kitchen is not an unknown place to me but I'm definitely not the main cook. :)

grannyfiddler - I've seen some interesting recipes on line and several with corn but I don't think I saw any with black olives - sounds good though.

bonita - You might say I am the rough work cleaner and she is the fine tuner. :) ec

1/27/2006 06:08:00 PM  
Blogger Merle said...

MR Eddie ~~ A tasty post this one.
It is great to try out new recipes. I remember visiting Peter when he had not been on his own for long and he served up
Pea and Ham Soup which was delicious, as well as other tasty
offerings.

Thanks for your comment, poor old
rooster should learn to be quieter!! Have a nice weekend.

1/27/2006 08:33:00 PM  
Blogger mreddie said...

merle - Not much better to me than soup on a cold day. About the rooster, you might say that his own advertising got him in hot water - literally. :) ec

1/27/2006 08:49:00 PM  
Blogger Sometimes Saintly Nick said...

I was run out of my kitchen today as a visiting friend created her version of lasagna. It was worth not being able to get a Coke from the frig for a couple of hours.

1/27/2006 11:59:00 PM  
Blogger Michelle said...

Mr eddie, what time do you want me over for the Chicken Chow mein??!!

1/28/2006 03:12:00 AM  
Blogger mreddie said...

SSN - It is usually better when someone else plans it and cooks it - could be some exceptions, depending on the quality of the finished product. :)

michelle - That chicken dish is long gone - today it's just chicken and rice with black beans on the side. My older daughter is named Michele also. She is the mother of two of our little grunt monkeys (grand kids). ec

1/28/2006 10:08:00 AM  
Blogger grannyfiddler said...

who said anything about a recipe?

1/30/2006 01:35:00 PM  

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