Friday, December 10, 2010

The Dangers of Insomnia

My new soup cookbook
Standing in line at Kmart the other day behind some woman trying to cash a third-party, out-of-state check to buy jingle bells that she insisted were on sale (I'm great at picking lines), I'd read through all the decorating magazines and was working my way through the tabloids when I caught sight of this.


I LOVE soup! And now that I'm unemployed, I actually have the time to make some. So I bought a copy.

The first recipe I tried turned out great - it was a steak and potato soup (the cover recipe of course) and was I was feeling pretty good about my cooking skills which are a little shaky despite the fact that:

1. My one sister is a gourmet cook with an actual following...

2. My other sister bakes treats that bring grown men to their knees...

3. Even my niece can make a Yorkshire Pudding that causes arm-wrestling matches to break out at the dinner table...

4. Oh...and...yeah...I used to be a Home Ec teacher...not that that helps in the slightest.

I think my problem is that the gene that leads to good cooking skills has a partner gene for eating skills. So while I missed out on the former, I am loaded with the the latter.

And I get a little impatient (okay lazy) sometimes and decide to use what I have on hand instead of running to the store for actual ingredients (yes, Alex, I know the maple syrup instead of vanilla cookies I made for Thanksgiving are a prime example of this).

So anyway, I couldn't sleep last night. I was tired enough but just couldn't get it to "take" so I decided to watch TV.

No real shock to you I know, but I am addicted to two channels - HGTV and the Food Network. Now HGTV in the middle of the night isn't ideal because if you get inspired, you're not allowed to use any power tools until after 8 AM (don't ask me how I know that - and they never actually gave me the ticket).

But the Food Network is a whole other ball of inspiration.

And they make it look soooo easy. A dab of this...a splash of that...use some great phrases like, "the heat hides behind it and then blooms in your mouth" or "it's multi-layered spicing" and you're a chef.

So making my new recipe for "In a Hurry Chicken Curry" with only 6 ingredients should be simple...except we didn't actually have any chicken. But everyone knows (on the Food Network they know) that it is perfectly acceptable to substitute:

The frozen ground turkey for the chicken thighs
The frozen broccoli in cheese sauce for the frozen stewing vegetables
The heavy accent of late-night chef for the actual cooking knowledge

This is what it was supposed to look like:
Looks very yummy in the cookbook doesn't it?
I started with the frozen veg I had on hand and some leftover potatoes.

Frozen broccoli with cheese sauce lumps and potatoes

Then I added the turkey and some onions.

With turkey and onions awaiting the curry
I had a little trouble measuring the curry as I used my measuring spoons for my last hair color experiment and have decided that they are no longer "food safe". I used a regular kitchen teaspoon and spilled a bunch of the curry - a very Julia Child moment really.

The final result (with dumplings) didn't look too bad on Dave's mum's wedding plates...
I have a not-so-secret love for dumplings

Of course eating it was another matter entirely...

It needed more curry, more salt and maybe...more chicken.


  1. This is one of the reasons we are friends :) I made soup yesterday and just kept randomly adding things until it was edible. Can o crushed tomatos? Sure! Beets, why not? Bacon left over from breakfast, Yum...and so on...

  2. YEESSSS!!! How did it taste? I'm batting .500 on random soups right now - the Christmas goulash was not a hit...