Thursday, October 09, 2008

Home Alone Cooking

Why is it that I get so domestic when Thanksgiving rolls around? It gets to be October and all I want to do is bake, and cook (and sometimes paint clay pots).

I'm home alone for part of this week; Chris and Derek are on the mainland at a teachers' convention until tomorrow. I haven't been particularly productive with my homework, and the house is still a little gross (okay, at least I've done laundry today, but no dishes), but I've been experimenting in the kitchen.

It was the inaugural usage of my vintage le Creuset dutch oven! Well, "inaugural" as in "first time I used it properly as a dutch oven after I found out what it was, and didn't just use it as servingware because I didn't know it was valuable, useful enamelled cast iron".* And so I attempted braised chicken! And succeeded! And didn't use a recipe! And I used beef broth (and a touch of balsamic vinegar) because I didn't have chicken broth, and it turned out perfectly. Amazingly. I did roasted potatoes in the accompanying au gratin pan (it looks like this), and threw carrots and zucchini in the pot with the chicken, and it was all perfect with the rich gravy and everything.

So I'm all pleased with myself. I just had better write down how I made that, because I have a habit of making something good once, and then forgetting how I made it and then it's gross every time after that. I should just make new things all the time and not try to make the same thing twice. Except for banana cream pie: cornstarch puddings are clearly my white whale.

* My mother-in-law bought the dutch oven and au gratin pan as a set from a garage sale, back when Chris first started university.


C said...

i am so jealous of your le creuset! those dutch ovens are so useful. i have a great recipe for cassoulet if you want. mmm, chicken and sausage and beans, how can you go wrong? it even sounds all authentic like.

Queen of West Procrastination said...

Ooooh. I've been wanting to try cassoulet, now that I know I have a dutch oven. I'll need that recipe.

May-B said...

I tried making banana cream pie once. It looked like a fried egg. The whip cream didn't set and I put a dollop of pudding on the top of it for effect. It slid down the side of the pie until it looked like an egg. Tasted great.

KerulLibrary said...

Creative cooking as procrastination! Fabulous!

I'm a (new) doctoral student, too, Maryanne. Looking forward to more of your posts.

I also wanted to say that not all procrastination (or productivity, for that matter) is created equal, though.

It can sometimes be good to procrastinate - it can lead to less struggle, delay (counter-intuitive, but true), and more optimal functioning.

There's a new book out titled Productive Procrastination, and it describes how to do it, how to tell productive from destructive procrastination, and how to end the destruction kind. (Yes, it's available on Learn more about the concept of Procrastivity at Wishing you optimal procrastivity!