Sunday, August 17, 2008

Julia Childs I am not.

I have this not-so-secret goal in life to create a dinner that when Mike eats it he says, "Wow! This is really good!!" To which I will simply shrug my shoulders and reply, "Just something I came up with on my own..."

There are two problems here: 1) Mike is just not an overly enthusiastic guy. A hearty, "Wow!" has a .1% chance of happening. 2) I cannot cook without a recipe. Experimenting usually results in the equivalent of a laboratory experiment blowing up.

Take last night: I had a recipe that I've tried in a crock pot for chicken and I had marked that we like it. Well, I had forgotten to defrost the chicken the previous day, so I decided that I'd just make it in the oven. I coated each chicken in ranch dressing which was originally not supposed to be coated...but go me! Then I cooked them. They actually came out looking fairly tasty. Then I had to finish up. So I looked at the rest of the recipe: onions (used the last one a couple nights ago...thought I had more. Decided to just skip it - kids don't like them anyway). Cream cheese - check. Chicken stock - check. Cream of chicken soup...thought I had that but it was cream of mushroom. So, I left that out too. Then I mixed what I did have together, added a little extra chicken stock for taste to make up for the loss of soup. Cooked some green beans and rice, and poof! Dinner was served.

I'm fairly certain that if we had taken a sodium-level test afterwards our numbers would have put us in the hospital. After the first bite I just apologized. Jake went to salt his chicken out of habit and Mike and I both yelled - STOP! We were afraid he'd have a heart-attack from salt overload. Instead we practically gave him one by scaring him.

Mike could see my disappointment so I think he was trying to be helpful when he said, "those were good." My gaze was elsewhere so when I looked at him, it was more a look that said, "are you off your rocker?" He said, "no...those...the green beans...they were good."

Those...I dumped those directly out of a can and heated them up. Jake's favorite part was the rice. The rice I dumped out of the box and into boiling water. Clearly these are signs that my goal is slightly unrealistic for me.

But, goal it is and goal it will remain. If anything my kids should have some great stories to tell to future generations.

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