I’m sitting with my first cup of coffee noticing that after yesterday’s heavy grey gloom, the sun is actually brightening up my kitchen this morning, the patterns of light and shadows I love to watch definitely posing a distraction. Today would not be the best day for that. I promised myself I’d sit down,
slam out this post lovingly wax over all things food, and then get on with the last part of the birthday cake I started last night for my middle son who is older than I’d like to say this early in the morning before I’ve put my eyebrows on. Happy Birthday, Ryan!
He’s coming over for dinner tonight, and when I asked him what kind of cake he wanted, he said, “Chocolate with chocolate. You know, chocolate.” Yes, I know. Trust me. He’s wanted chocolate cake for his birthday for as long as I can remember, and in all these years, he’s probably not had the same chocolate cake twice. Not once has he complained or said, “Mom. Can’t you just make the cake you made last year?” He’d never do that. Neither would his brothers.
I’ve been lucky like that.
Not only have I been able to try whatever I’ve wanted, my boys have developed a open mind about food. Well, open most of the time. My middle son still jokes about his older brother’s questions about dinner. His plate would be set in front of him and he’d ask, “Does it have mushrooms? Are there bones in it?” It got to the point where, even when pasta was on the plate, he’d still as those questions.
The answer to those questions today is, “Yes, it has mushrooms. Lots of them. And no, it doesn’t have bones.”
I’m on a quest to remake many of the recipes that are buried in my early archives. It’s not because they aren’t good recipes, it’s more because the photos are just horrible. The only problem is, each time I begin to redo one, I change things, so can’t exactly redo the photos, right? The nice surprise is, sometimes, an already great recipe is even better.
Jamie Oliver’s “My Old Man’s Superb Chicken” is one of those recipes. The tender chicken wrapped around sauteed mushrooms and herbs, all wrapped in pastry, and enhanced by a creamy mustard sauce is heavenly. But I didn’t feel like messing around with pounding the chicken when it came right down to it, nor was I in the mood to wrap the puff pastry around the stuffed chicken this time. I went for a deconstructed version, almost deciding to bake the pastry squares and place the chicken on them, but have been avoiding bread at dinner if there is another starch on the plate (my husband is on a diet…). But who’s keeping track that there’s heavy cream in that sauce, hmmmm? I used half-n-half instead and it was perfect.
Add some roasted potatoes, and peas and dinner is served, plates are licked, smiles all ’round. Mushrooms, no bones, and many, many lovely memories.
Oh, and if you know anyone who’s interested in a young man who likes to talk, let me know. He’s available.
I’m just sayin’.