Daddy's Christmas Angel

Friday, September 17, 2010

Woes of a Non-Cook, But Sometimes a Non-recipe Works

I've never claimed to be a cook. In fact, when I was growing up, my mother wouldn't let me near the kitchen until it was time to clean up.

Once when she was called away from home due to a family illness, Daddy had me make crab cakes. Since I had no idea what to do and formed the crab into big fat balls that didn't cook properly, we wound up dining out at the town's only restaurant. I didn't mind that but I felt guilty wasting the crab!

Earlier this week, my refrigerator was basically bare except for some thawed cooked home style pork ribs. Since we didn't want to go to the store, I decided to improvise. I put the meat in a large pot, turned the heat to medium and added three or four cups of water. I let this mixture come to a low boil and cook until the meat was hot. Then I went into my freezer and took out a bag of baby lima beans and a bag of sweet corn kernels which I added to the pot and let boil for a while.

Next I added a large can of diced tomatoes (from the pantry) into the mix. As this was heating, I decided some sweet onions would give it flavor, so I cut up two medium onions and threw them in.

Since I had put in so much liquid, the mixture was looking thin which prompted me to go to the refrigerator and pull out a box of potato flakes. I added a cup or so and let the soup (Brunswick stew?) continue to heat. Finally I ground some pepper with garlic into the thickened mix.

The result actually was delicious and because of the extra liquid/potato flakes, we have enough for several dinners. Served with a salad, this stew makes a great meal.

As I mentioned, I'm no cook and can never expect to replicate my creation. Still, just putting together ingredients I have on hand works in a pinch!


Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

You cook like my wife - improvise and just toss stuff in!

Mary said...

This is the kind of cooking I do. I'm great at putting things together but I never got the whole recipe thing --they just don't seem to wok for me.

Jim (and Karen) Overturf said...

It seems the years add knowledge to what tastes good, and what does not - I agree about recipes, I usually look at them and improvise (except for baked goods). I loved scrambled eggs as a child, and having watched my dad cook, throwing everything he liked into the pan, I decided I was going to make "breakfast."

Needless to say, that mess did NOT taste good, and because I wasted so many eggs, my mother made me eat the whole thing.

LOL! Live and learn!

Thanks for sharing your experience, Monti! You brought back some sweet memories!

Anne Randolph said...

Sounds delicious. Anne

DazyDayWriter said...

Monti, I like to do that too -- just improvise in the kitchen It saves time and the creativity is fun. I enjoyed your post! --Daisy