It Came From The Freezer! …a #FoodPorn Mystery

“What are we having for dinner?”

It was a simple question, really. But I honestly had no idea. It was a busy day in the middle of a busy week. Neither of us had put much thought into food.

“Isn’t there some chili left in the freezer?”

Well, yes. It is quite possible that one of the unmarked containers in the freezer is the last of the chili. So I took what I thought was a quart of chili from the freezer and set it in the sink to start defrosting while I went about the rest of my afternoon.

freezer2pcWe spent much of our free time last week taking stock of what needs to be done around the house before winter settles in. Beyond the usual furnace check-up and window insulation, our kitchen needs painting and the bathtub faucet needs adjusting. So we’ve set aside a few days next week for the anticipated multiple trips to the home improvement store. As usual, I spent the day playing “catch-up”.

When Love got home, he inspected the container that was defrosting in the sink.

“Honey. Are you sure this is chili?

Well, no. I wasn’t entirely sure what was in the container. There are six other quart containers just like it in the freezer. Three of them are chicken stock, two are chicken noodle soup, and one is potato leek soup. All of them are a pale yellow. The one defrosting in the sink was a beef stock brown. So it was either chili or stew. — I told you guys I like to cook.

As I entered the kitchen, Love was holding the container an inch from his nose. His eyes squinted as he turned the mysterious concoction in his hand, trying to identify it’s contents. He pointed at some small shapes visible through the plastic.

“I think these are mushrooms.”

There’s only one way to find out. Let’s heat it up and give it a taste. So I emptied the slushy mixture into a sauce pan and set the heat to low while I finished up the project I was working on. Ten minutes later, Love called from the kitchen.

“I don’t think this is stew, either.”

Now I was really confused! I got to the kitchen and took a look. In the pot was a brown stock with mushrooms floating around and very little else. I could identify some chopped onions. Maybe. But nothing else. We stared at each other for a minute before bursting out into laughter. We threw the mystery sauce away and ate some leftovers for dinner instead.

I still can’t tell you what was in that container. I honestly have no idea.

Since both of us were still in the mood for chili, the next day I made a big pot of it. And if there’s any left for freezing, you can bet I’ll put a label on it.

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What’s On My #GayAgenda Today?

  1. Check on sick neighbor.
  2. Grocery shopping.
  3. Pick up medication at pharmacy for sick neighbor.
  4. Pay some bills.
  5. Drop off medication to sick neighbor.
  6. Do laundry
  7. Make dinner.
  8. Bring food to sick neighbor.
  9. Run dishwasher.
  10. Write a thank you note to the Denver Broncos for the great time last weekend. ;p  <—- HEY!!! How did THAT ONE get in there???

With the exception of the Denver Broncos note, this was my agenda from last Saturday. These things occupy my time pretty much most days. My sick neighbor is a sixty-three year old woman who is in the end stages of uterine cancer, which has spread through her body. Someday I’ll write a post about it, but not now. I’m just not ready to put all that into words. I wrote this list to demonstrate that my life is pretty much like everyone’s. — With the exception of looking out for my neighbor, which I believe anyone would do, my life is boring as hell.

Cooking, Grandma, Food, and Love

Like Pavlov’s dog, I think of my grandmother whenever I’m cooking.

I inherited my love of cooking from my grandmother. Some of my earliest memories involve helping her in the kitchen. She kept my little hands busy fetching ingredients from the pantry, rolling meatballs, or “tasting” the pasta to make sure it was al dente.

I’m pretty sure I was the only five year old who knew what al dente meant!

Food was how she expressed creativity and love. It was how she passed along wisdom to three of her grandchildren. Involving us in the process had the added benefit of keeping her abreast of what was happening in our lives.

What else are you supposed to do while you’re making pizzelles, but talk about school and friends?

Even as I’m cooking today, I can hear her voice, “Clean as you go.” She would insist that while I was waiting for the meat to brown or the water to boil, I could be cleaning the cutting board, the mixing bowl or the work surface.

food2Ingredients all lined up. One of the things I got from my grandmother is having ingredients prepped and ready.

Onions, wine & stock, tomato, flour, paprika & cayenne, tomato paste, fresh thyme, bay leaves, garlic, brown sugar & salt all wait their turn for “Onion Braised Brisket”

-o-

If it’s Sunday, I’m cooking. If I’m cooking, I’m thinking of my grandmother. 🙂

My favorite chef’s knife and I had a fight. The chef knife won. :\

The mercury hovered above the ninety degree mark on Sunday afternoon. The humidity was quickly approaching oppressive. It was Mother Nature’s way of showing us what she had in store in the coming months.

With summer on my mind, I got to thinking of the watermelon that’s been sitting in the fridge this last week. It was past time to slice that puppy up and enjoy the cool sweetness I knew awaited me.

I took out my favorite knife and prepared to go to work.

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My favorite knife is a ten inch work horse.
I use it for everything.

Now, I’ve had that chef’s knife for almost two decades. She and I have created many a memorable meal. She’s got a good weight, with a nice balance, and her handle fits my hand well. When I’m prepping dinner or chopping veggies, she’s an extension on my arm.

But today I was careless.

After I cut the watermelon in half, I placed the knife on the table so I could set one of the halves aside. This would ensure that the half I wasn’t working on would be out of the way.

The knife fell off the table.

I stepped back to let the knife fall.

But my hand was close enough to the blade that it made contact.

I watched in slow motion as steel sliced flesh.

Time was a blur.

  • Cold water.
  • Rinse the cut.
  • Wrap the cut.
  • Apply pressure.
  • Examine cut. (Probably needs stitches.)
  • Call neighbor. “I need a ride to the ER.”
  • Rinse cut in water again.
  • Dress cut.
  • Drive to ER. Sign in. Wait.
  • Answer questions. Wait.
  • Triage nurse. (Check blood pressure, temperature, and pulse.)
  • Wait some more.
  • Examination. Needle. “Ouch!”
  • Wait. “Feeling no pain.”
  • Clean laceration.
  • Sew it up.
  • Take pictures of cool stitches..
  • Here’s your bill. Off you go.
  • Home.

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Waiting for the shot they gave me to make my finger go numb.
Listening to the kid in the next stall brag about his sprained ankle.

I really want to thank the triage nurse for informing me that ACME has “Pre-Cut” watermelon for $4.99 lb. I thought that was very considerate of her.

And in case you’re wondering, the watermelon was fine. No, really. It was delicious! ;p

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Four Stitches?? That’s all I need?? Just Four Stitches?? :\

…and yes, I will most certainly use my favorite knife again.