Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Improvisation

I made dinner tonight. Yes, I know this is hardly earth shattering news: "wife cooks dinner". But it isn't the norm at our house. My husband is an excellent cook. He has quite a reputation among our family and friends for his culinary masterpieces. He reads a lot about "cooking science", which makes him very good at cooking without any recipe to guide him, and it almost always turns out fantastic. Lucky me! So I usually let him do the lion's share of meal prep around here. I figure it all works out in the end -- for example, I am the only one who has ever cleaned the cat boxes. PDM is always after me to cook more, but cannot seem to resist what I will call "back seat cooking" when I do. Tonight was no exception. He claims that it is a learning experience and he is just trying to help. I say he sucks the fun out of cooking, except that I don't find cooking all that fun. I guess it comes across as too much criticism and makes me not want to cook because apparently I am not all that great at it.

A funny thing happened with tonight's meal. We had some chicken thighs and the plan was that we'd use those somehow. PDM got home around 7pm and didn't feel like cooking, so I volunteered. I figured we could make "southwestern chicken stew" which is good with thigh meat, except we didn't exactly have all the necessary ingredients. We did a quick inventory. Since PDM is such a good improvisational chef, I decided to run my potential substitutions by him. The big one was fine by him - needed a 28 oz can of whole tomatoes; had a 14 oz can of diced tomatoes and a jar of chipotle salsa. Sure, that'll work. But the recipe also called for some corn, and we didn't have any. PDM throws out a suggestion - "hey, we have lima beans in the freezer". I take this to mean "we should use those lima beans in place of the corn." But what he really meant was the equivalent of "hey, we have some dog turds we could use." PDM does not like lima beans. Not even a tiny little bit. But since I like them and didn't get the joke, into the stew they went. And it all worked out very well. The stew was delicious, and PDM finally found a way he can eat lima beans without gagging. According to him "they really work in this", and it was a sincere statement. At least I think so. He might have just been trying to increase the odds that I will cook more in the future. You never can tell.

8 comments:

Kathleen said...

I'm so with PDM on his assessment of lima beans. The difference here is that never in a million years would there be lima beans in my freezer. Vile nasty little suckers. I almost gagged just thinking about them.

fermicat said...

But these are cute little baby lima beans. I love 'em!

Now butterbeans are a different story. It's like eating a plate full of dust. Bleah.

trinamick said...

Are lima beans the green ones or are they the white ones you cook with ham? I never can remember. If they're flat or green, I hate them.

I'm all about improvisation. I rarely have all the right ingredients in my house, so it all becomes cook's surprise.

Some of the best cooks I know are guys. Now if they would just learn to do dishes as well.

fermicat said...

These beans are flat and green, so you must hate them as much as PDM does.

I don't mind doing the dishes, and he does his share. If only he would help out with the cat box...

wa11z said...

I hate lima beans! Just hearing the name made me "smell" them in my head. Is that synesthesia? Anyway, PDM is right -- lima beans are the worst.

LL said...

Oh... there's worse. Much worse.

And that recipe really didn't sound too bad, except for the tomatoes... :hork:

Kathleen said...

No such thing as Cute Little Baby lima beans.

bc said...

I hate lima beans and chickpeas. I cant think of anything good to put them in to make them taste better.