“Too many cooks spoil the broth.” – Unknown, but both my grandmother and mother used to say it when one or the other got in their way in the kitchen. Perhaps that’s why I don’t like other people in my kitchen.
Everything tastes good when you’re camping beside the Snake River in Wyoming. –Photo by Kim Perrin.
Get Out of My Kitchen
Jean, my best friend in Tucson is a chef who worked in Europe when she was young and now teaches high school students to cook. Her food, which I sometimes get to share, both looks and tastes fantastic, especially her beef stew, which is the best I’ve ever tasted in my life.
Or watching wildlife with a good friend in Africa, which Kim and I did in 2007. — Photo by Pat Bean
But Jean, although she’s always giving me a hard time about my kitchen techniques – like the fact that I use my dishwasher to store plastic bags and not for washing dishes — likes my food. That makes me happy because I like nothing better than cooking for people.
I consider myself an inventive cook and rarely make the same dish exactly the same way twice. It usually depends on what’s on hand in the refrigerator and pantry, and what ingredient or leftover I need to use before it goes bad. I rarely throw food out, which is why at least once a week I make soup from odds and ends of veggies, meats and leftovers.
I call it Refrigerator soup. Thankfully I have an instinct about what ingredients will taste good together and it’s only once or twice a year that the mixed results don’t turn out tasty, well at least to me.
I also specialize – back from the days when I worked full-time out of the home and put dinner on the table for seven people every evening at 6 o’clock – in quickie meals*.
Still one of my favorites from those days is to mix Wolf Chili (I prefer no beans) with Hormel Beef Tamales (including the juice) in a casserole dish, throw some cheese on top, and pop it in the oven until it’s hot and bubbly. Sometimes I also throw in onions.
I fixed the dish for Jean once – and she loved it. Now when she gets a craving for it, she asks me to make it again, as she only makes food from scratch. Chefs, you see, don’t open cans. Just us cooks do that.
Bean Pat: The ospreys have returned http://tinyurl.com/jp2pwlh This one’s for bird lovers, or anyone for that matter.
Blog pick of the Day. Check it out.
*Two other tasty, quick meals from cans.
Noodles and Tomatoes: 1 can Campbell’s Chicken Noodle Soup, 1 can tomatoes with chilies, and a generous splash of sour cream. A great late-night treat.
Red Beans and Rice: Cook three slices of chopped bacon with one small onion, then add two cups cooked rice and one can Ranch Style Beans and red pepper or chili powder to taste.