Thursday, June 24, 2010
No Cooking While Tired Allowed
There should be a sign in my kitchen, reading: "Your nursing child is growth spurting. Hold still and order take out."
Tonight, I needed to use the chicken before it went bad. And I needed to cook up the last of last week's vegetables, so I could get started on the new ones. In the midst of this, I was tired enough that I forgot a cardinal rule of farm shares: just because you 'need' to use up ingredients from your CSA doesn't mean you should.
I had bok choy and broccoli left from last week's share, but I couldn't stand the idea of another stir fry, nor of heating up the kitchen for rice (I know, I know - I need a rice cooker). So, I pan fried the chicken, after salt, pepper and a quick dredge in flour. While the chicken came out moist, complemented well by the sauce made when the pan was deglazed with lemon juice and sherry, the vegetables had no business being served in combination with it. The vegetables tasted just fine with the sauce. However, someone put in oregano and capers with them for no reason, so every few bites, there would be a disjointed surprise of unmelodious, unbalanced flavor and texture. Utter fail.
I am reminded of the time that my brother made savory French toast to be served with sautéed calamari salad.
I'm not kidding. He was feeling inspired, so he served Italian, pickled calamari salad, that he had picked up at Perreca's and then heated through, on top of a savory French toast made with fresh thyme. His comment on how it turned out was, "Both were pretty good separately. They just weren't very good together." While I did not resort to squid this evening, I did ruin perfectly good vegetables, that I didn't feel like eating in the first place, that tasted for the first time this season like the derivatives of cabbage that they are. I should have just fallen asleep again, as was my inclination. Or, I should have remembered that when my culinary instincts are dulled because a child is eating my brain, I should just stick to my cookbooks.
Surprisingly enough, the meal was a hit with both of my small ones. Nomi was served chicken and cucumbers, so she was happy (she was served bok choy and broccoli as well, but that was a no go). Meanwhile, I used the new food mill for the first time, so Dina joined me in my chicken with bok choy dinner. I think she might have liked it more than I did. Truth: the food mill is the best purchase I've made in a while, it will have paid for itself by the end of the week and I highly recommend it.