Tuesday, January 6, 2009

A Good Day

Carrying on with my theme that I am a closet schizophrenic, I hereby announce that today is a Good Day. I drone on and on (not at huge length here yet, but give me time) about the fact that all I have from which to derive fulfillment is my job, and it's a job, and I want a family. HOWEVER. Today something small happened at said job that so delighted me that I will be walking on air at least the rest of the day, possibly all week (but no promises).

How to explain. Well, see, I've been working on a piece of writing for my boss that will probably be published. It was all his idea, and he has the big name, especially in this field, but I worked really hard on it. And although I understood the contrary when I started, I found out today that he may publish it with me listed as a co-author! I just enjoyed the writing, but getting my name on the by-line would be HUGE. I don't have anything published yet, and I really should, and I think this is a really good piece. I'm SO EXCITED.

Suffused with the resulting glow, I arrived home this evening with the energy to tackle my latest project: attempting to make one of the fabulous soups served at the absolutely best lunch place in the entire world. (It is not worth a trip to downtown Detroit, but it will redeem one that could not otherwise be avoided.) This particular attempt was directed at their Greek Lemon Chicken soup.* (I have already made copies of the African Peanut Chicken - a very good copy if I do say so myself - and the Creamy Chicken and Wild Rice, a decent copy.) It worked beautifully, with some help from my Joy of Cooking, the (amateur) cook's Bible and encyclopedia. I've lost the patience for obedience in cooking (I still largely obey in baking) and largely flit about on sometimes-successful inspiration, but Joy anchors me in good sense and good solid science. With apologies to all deserving parties, here is the recipe:

In large pot, combine:
  • 1 cup uncooked white rice
  • 8 cups water and 4 chicken bouillon cubes
    OR 8 cups tasty chicken stock
  • approx. 1 t cornstarch (optional - makes it thicker)
  • some fun seasonings - I used 1/8 t cracked pepper and 1/4 t dried oregano, or you could do parsley

Cook according to usual rice directions even though you have too much liquid. In other words, with normal rice, bring to boil, then cover and cook 15 minutes on low. Your silly Minute Rice has directions on the back.

Meanwhile, dice approximately one pound of chicken breast fillet and cook it just until done through (i.e. no pink). Mild seasoning optional. (For example, you might start with a tablespoon of butter and add two tablespoons of ranch or other creamy dressing when it's about half done.)

When the time on the rice is up, whisk together:

  • 4 raw eggs
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice (or, juice of two lemons; or, one
    plastic lemon full)

Take a few spoonfuls of the hot broth (you know, that the rice is in) and stir it into the egg. Then pour the egg into the broth and rice and stir quickly. Then add the chicken and heat everything on very low heat for maybe five minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

It seems to me that cooking adventures - not cooking in general, but cooking adventures - are properly associated with soldiering through the valleys of life. I cite two pieces of evidence for this proposition: this blog that I shamelessly stole from Stirrup Queen Mel's "favorite blog" link, and this Frasier episode (in three parts). You should watch it. Especially if, like Frasier, you're in mourning.

*This is properly called Avgolemono. ~The Internet

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