Cooking is a challenge for me. My brain struggles with making sense of the whole thing…what is essential, what can be substituted, what is the dish missing, what flavors go together…all of that is a foreign language to me. Thank goodness I can call Kat and have her tell me how to rescue a meal. My kitchen skills are sorely lacking as well. Burning myself, cutting off hunks of skin, and dropping pans of food are pretty regular occurrences. My recent Facebook post illustrates my cooking situation.
I am trying to make dinner for my family a little more frequently than the not-ever-making it I have been doing. This is how it went tonight. 1. Lost the chicken broth lid under the fridge. 2. Turned off the stove long before the pasta was done cooking. 3. Turned on the stove when I noticed I had accidentally turned it off. Except I didn’t…when I went back to check it, it was still on OFF. 4. Dropped the vacuum on my ankle…the one that is having a really hard time staying in place. 5. Poured the spinach steaming water/juice all over the griddle, across the cabinet, and down the drawers where it finally made a puddle on the floor. 6. Lost over half of the pasta in the filthy sink when the colander tipped over. 7. Dropped the boiling hot pan still full of 1/8 of the pasta on my tile floor and scared one child half to death (didn’t break the tile though!) 8. Saved what pasta I could and poured the delicious spinach mixture all over the top. 9. Ate it with one silent child and one whiny child. So delightful. 10. Forgot about the water that must have spilled out of the pan and the whiny child slipped on it. 11. Ran out of food before husband got home from work to eat it. (since more than half of it got ruined in the filthy sink). 12. Now have to run children to Scouts, Young Women, pick up from Irish, get ready for iFamily and Primary Auxiliary Training tomorrow and have no time to make more food.
This is why I don’t cook. I have such high hopes and my skills don’t measure up. Pretty sure I could win $10K on America’s Funniest Home Videos if I just kept a video camera going in my kitchen at all times!
In spite of all that, I make really good fried rice. After trying for years to make my fried rice taste delicious, I found a recipe online that insisted on the importance of sesame oil. I had always used olive or coconut oil or NO oil in an effort to save money and surprise, surprise, it was pretty disgusting. Trust me, the sesame oil is essential. It is expensive, but it is essential! The original link of this recipe is dead in internet land or I would source it for you. I have changed it a little bit from the original, so now it is time to share this deliciousness with the world. This is exactly what I do and it feeds our family of six with enough leftovers for lunch the next day. I haven’t messed it up yet – it turns out fabulous every time!
- 9 TB Sesame Oil
- 3 Small Onions or 2 Large Onions, chopped (I usually do 2 large onions…less peeling for me!)
- 6 Cloves of Garlic, minced
- 3 C. Peas and Carrots (frozen bags)
- 6 Eggs, barely stirred, not whipped
- 9 C. Cooked Brown Rice
- Braggs Amino Acids (we use this in place of Soy Sauce)
Pour the sesame oil into a really big frying pan with high sides (I can use my 13″ frying pan, but I usually use my Tramontina 4 Qt. Braiser since the high sides hold the food in better.) and heat it up for a few minutes. Watch it so it doesn’t burn. Saute the onion and garlic and then add in the peas and carrot mixture. Scoot the vegetables to one side of the pan and try to get your oil to the other side of the pan and pour the eggs in on the oil side. Stir them gently until they are cooked. Add in the rice (carefully and slowly so it doesn’t spill all over the stove…there is a lot of it!). Pour the Braggs deliciousness all over it and carefully mix everything together. Add some more Braggs until it tastes as strong as you like it.
The original recipe called for chicken and it was fabulous, but I have only added that in once because it is delicious without it and I tend to be a meat hoarder, saving meat for those meals where it is absolutely necessary.
When I make it, I fill my rice cooker to the 10 C. setting (which makes 20+ cups) and use less than half for this dish. Then my children have leftover rice in the fridge for several days that they eat with milk, cinnamon, and honey.