Tuesday, October 25, 2011

I'm Back, With Dinner

I know, I know.  It's been forever.  I was busy, then I wasn't, and all through it, I really didn't feel like talking.  I think that's when you're supposed to talk the most, because if you don't, you might blow up, but I just felt like everything I would say would end up being nonsense or just emotional words strung together without the makings of sentences.  So I took some time away.

In the last month, I've worked and sewn.  I've gotten my car back and enjoyed driving every second.  I picked apples, used my camera (haven't done that in months), and bought saddle shoes.  It's been a month, pretty much.

Lately, food has been on my mind a lot.  Granted, it's always on my mind: I make our dinners, and some of our breakfasts and lunches, so I tend to be always either planning a meal, making a meal, or cleaning up after a meal.  This makes me sound too domesticated, right?  Remember the days when I couldn't afford rice?  Yeah, I do too, and those days were awful.  I'd walk around Publix and think about what my $10 could buy me--would I get graham crackers or black beans?  What could last longer?  Looking back, I really appreciate that I went through those times, because it taught me that food wouldn't always be there.  I grew up in a family that didn't have to worry about food.  My parents struggled before they had us, and after that, we always had a full pantry.  Living on my own made me realize that sacrifices need to be made sometimes--which led to eating one Pop-Tart for lunch and the other for dinner some days.

Now that I'm in a relationship and we both make enough money to afford both rent and food (and occasionally fabric, beer, magazines and shoes), I'm able to look through my cookbooks and actually take action instead of dream or ask my mom to make it for me when I come home next.  This is home now, and if I want something made, I need to make it myself.

I'm not saying this is going to become a food blog.  I'm not writing this to become the next Smitten Kitchen or Orangette or one of the other millions of food blogs.  This is just on my mind now.  I need to feed my (small) family.  Sewing will still creep in.  Love will still creep in.  I will most certainly have another mini breakdown before the year is over.  But right now, this is what's in my head.

Monday's Dinner

So originally we were going to have roast chicken last night, a first for me.  However, after thawing overnight, the bird still wasn't completely workable.  Oh, and the giblets?  They were loose but frozen to the walls of the bird's cavity.  Let the vomiting commence.

Thankfully we had some pork chops in the freezer. I threw them into some hot water to defrost and got the rest of my life together.

For my pork chops, I've never really followed a recipe.  To be honest with you, until we moved in together, I hated pork chops.  My mom always baked them and they were always dry and blech.  Then Nick and I decided they were super cheap and easy.  I sprinkle salt, pepper and garlic powder on each side once they're thawed and let them sit on a plate or in a dish for 45 minutes to an hour before cooking.  When it's time, I heat up my grill pan (because we don't have a grill) and start grilling them.  They normally require 5-7 minutes per side--you really have to watch, because depending on thickness and how hot your stove gets, it really varies.

I also made cranberry sauce.  I love the whole berry stuff that comes in a can, but I noticed the bags of fresh cranberries were on sale at Harris Teeter, so what the hell?  Why not make some of my own?  The recipe is on the back of the bag, but basically, you make a simple syrup (1 cup water and 1 cup sugar, boiled) and then boil the cranberries in it for 10 minutes.  They'll be whole but soft and starting to become mushy.  They also become neon red.  This is a good method if you like more sour foods, because they're quite tart but also delicious.
The dark side of the moon: simple syrup

Warm cranberry sauce.  Let cool to room temperature, then keep in fridge until ready to eat.
Finally, I bought a huge container of wild rice in September, so I've been trying to make my way through that.  I made Everyday Food's Wild Rice with Mushrooms and Parsley as our other side.  The recipe is at that link; it really couldn't be easier.  I used some leftover baby bella mushrooms we had after making pizza Friday (about six?) and dried parsley instead of fresh because we didn't have fresh.  I also threw in a small handful of parmesean cheese before serving--I mixed it in and let it sit on low heat for a few minutes while Nick changed out of his work clothes.  It wasn't enough to really change the overall taste but I think it was a nice addition.

After dinner, we sat on the couch and talked about Christmas and our future dream house and watched How I Met Your Mother.  We're a pretty boring couple, but I think it suits us.

Sorry if you hate food blogs.  Give me a couple months, I'll be back into the swing of things eventually.

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