Feeling Strangely Fine

Today was starting to look like one of those days where I was going to come home and rant about my annoying co-workers, stress over my Field Experience and my fears that the teacher I talked to today won't take me (and what the #$!@ is my school doing when she doesn't have the CV and intro letter I slaved over?), sob about the very embarrassing moment in the convenient store where PMS-induced clumsiness had me knocking a (paid for) cup of soda off the counter and all over my new red shoes (but praise the kind cashier who told me it was O.K., let me get more soda, and handed me a candy bar as I sniffled), scream about being denied compensation for extra work I've been doing since a co-worker left in February, whine about all the rush hour traffic I sat in thanks to a fire and an accident within the vicinity of the office, and call myself an idiot for almost forgetting I needed my car inspected this month (hello, May 29th, idiot).

Somehow it got out of my system by the end of dinner. I threw myself into my cooking and managed to pull off dinner considering the fact that--again, thanks, PMS--I broke the cardinal cooking rule of reading the recipe before I started making it. You know, so I'd realize it serves six and requires six cups of chicken broth. I didn't even have two. (Must've hallucinated that second can in the cabinet.) So originally I was going to make this*--although now I realize forgot to buy pepper, too--duh! But I realized that the risotto recipe I had was similar and sounded more interesting. So for shallots I subbed onion, for portobellos I subbed regular mushrooms, for fresh tarragon and parsley I tossed in poultry seasoning and some Italian salt-free blend, and for the chicken broth. . . Well, it was interesting. I had one can of broth. That was 14 oz. The first addition required four cups. So I made up the rest with water, pouring it first into the can to pick up any residual broth, and then doing the math to bring it up to 32. Then, as that phase of cooking was happening, I scoured my cabinets and found a can of Healthy Choice Chicken with Rice soup (hey, the first ingredient is chicken broth!). I strained it into a measuring cup. I had one cup, and I needed one more cup, so--you guessed it--more water.

Of course, I also skipped the Parmegiano cheese--although it occurs to me I do have a little bit of sheep's milk Romano in the fridge. That'll be perfect on leftovers. I have plenty of those, including one serving I froze. Overall, it turned out surprisingly well. Even if I had to wait until 8:30 for it to be done. But I don't need to complain right now. Yay.

BTW, I've been enjoying the comments on the previous posts, and that has made me very happy, too. If anyone had told me a year ago I'd be blogging and enjoying my kitchen again, I probably would've laughed derisively at such a prediction. Good surprises are always welcome, and in the case of posting this week and trying new stuff in the kitchen, successes from taking chances are way cool.

*The original recipe I saved from the package, as well as the risotto one, actually involved sausage links. I've never seen their sausage in a "roll," and I'm not sure why they don't have the risotto recipe online. I'll post it if anyone wants to have a look.


Ashley said…
I LOVE improvising.

I made peanut butter chocolate cupcakes yesterday and substituted a grand total of FIVE ingredients.

I mean,you can't always have ALL The ingredients on hand, GEEZ!
Kate P said…
I have the greatest leeway with improvising dinner b/c I don't have to serve it to anybody else. There was the one time I didn't have mushrooms, and all I had on hand was frozen spinach, and it turned the entire recipe green. That was a little hard to look at for four days straight.

But I did grate a little sheep-romano into some leftovers tonight--even better. It probably needed a little lift in the flavor dept.

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