Monday, August 8, 2011

Adaptability Is The Key...In Food, Life and Surfing

Did you ever have one of those days where nothing seems to be going right, THEN you have to make dinner on top of it all?  Talk about Mercury in Retrograde! I've learned the hard way, the very hard way, to read the signs of a bad day.

Sometimes Duck and Cover can be a very handy tool.

Unless of course cooking's creative process works as a relaxant....which it does for me most of the time. Then I can go all out and produce something wonderful.  But if it starts to go south, I've learned to adapt.

Take a couple of nights had been a long day; running errands, helping a friend, coming home and trying to do the many things needing to be done.  A lot of the day went okay, at least in the outside world.  Once home, when it was time to tend to my personal things, it all went to crap.

I just missed a very important call, one I'd waited all week to receive and would have to wait 'til the following Monday to get back in touch.   Phone tag, I'm It!  The washing machine decided to have one of it's spells....heck, at that age I'd feel the same way!

The cat box, one of those automatic LitterMaid gizmos, finally died....after seven years of that sort of work, wouldn't you? 

The microwave stopped working mid-cycle, which isn't so bad but I REALLY wanted that cup of reheated coffee!  The oven-a slow one to begin with-decided to not cooperate with my plans for simple baked chicken,  and God only knows what happened to the rice!

"Okay," I said to myself in the middle of the kitchen, "this sucks.  What to do?"  The food had to be saved,
all else would follow. 

The chicken was salvageable, thanks to a nice cast iron skillet and some quick chopping.  Suddenly we were having stir fry. A couple veggies thrown in for color, flavor, texture and nutrition helped round out the dish.

The rice was another matter. It needed some TLC-read Technically Ludicrous Creativity-but I managed to get it un-sticky and un-gloopy by stir frying it too, using some release spray rather than saturating it with butter or grease. Not sure what went wrong with it in the first place, probably too much water or not enough cooking time....or maybe it needed rinsing. Rice can be tricky.

At least the food disaster was averted!  As for the other things, the microwave still needs to be replaced (another seven year old appliance-bought around the same time as the cat box), but I don't depend on it as a primary cooking source so we can wait 'til we save up the money....which may be a while.

The cat box too will need replacing....but we do have one of those "regular" ones for our kitty for the time being. (He is NOT amused).  I guess we're all making adjustments.

Today's entry isn't a recipe, so much as a method....but I wanted to illustrate one of the main points in Cooking and Life - adaptability. It's the true key to survival.  Be it making a meal, planning your next big conquest or just catching a wave on your ready for anything, 'cos it's bound to happen.

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