May 2nd, 2003

Mama Deb

(no subject)

Okay. I have my new microwave taking up a considerable amount of countertop real estate. So far, I've used it to melt cheese on wasa bread.

I know I'll use it to make vegetables, both fresh and frozen, and to reheat leftovers and defrost frozen things, and probably to make some convenience foods. My mom makes iced tea with hers, and that strikes me as useful as well.

I have a microwave cookbook (okay, I have two, but they're the same one - the one my mother-in-law gave me when I was first married, and the one she just gave me in honor of the new toy because in twelve years she forgot she already gave it to me. The only difference is that the new one is paperback.), but it's from 1987. Anyway, I'm not really a cookbook user.

Does any one do any sort of real cooking with them?

(no subject)

Tonight, it's chicken stew.

This is because we have a lunch invitation tomorrow. I don't have to make two meals, and I don't have to worry about heating the second one or not.

I was going to make chicken filet chunks saute'd in olive oil with mushrooms. I really was, although I flirted with both the idea of lamb and of beef. Even though chicken cooked that way often ends up rather dry, even in the sauce.

And then I saw that there were pullets on sale. Pullets are *old*. Pullets like long, slow cooking. And I could buy them quartered. I put back the potatoes, grabbed a box of mushrooms and I was set.

After I got home, I took the pullet quarters down. I skinned them, took out all the bones and cut off hte wings. And put all of that - the skin, the fat, the wings and the bones, with whatever meat clung to them (the trick is, of course, to use your hands. Never neglect the use of the hands in cooking. Also, never neglect to wash them before and after.) in a pot of water, which I then boiled.

This made a basic chicken stock. I let it simmer for a couple of hours. Meanwhile, the meat sat in the fridge in a steel bowl soaking in red wine. Why red wine? Because that's what I had open. When I decided the stock was done, I strained it off and rinsed off the pot.

Then I chopped up some onions and tossed them in the same pot in olive oil, and then put in a bag of peeled carrots and half a bunch of celery, leaves and all, all chopped. Also, bay leaves and dried basil because I couldn't find parsley. Probably should have put in pepper corns. I'll do that now.

Okay. Done.

At that point in the cooking process, I like adding some water. But since I made the stock and all, I added that instead. Just a couple of ladles. And I tossed in the mushrooms and then the meat, wine and all. And it's simmering along now.

I'll make a pot of noodles later on, and I'll serve the stew over them.

It's not a fancy dinner, and it's not hard, but it'll be comfortable.