Something smells good.

I know what the teeming dozens have been missing with the dearth of long Sunday-night entries! The dinner report!

Well, I’m glad you asked. Alan’s been hankering for red beans and rice lately, New Orleans-style. To satisfy this, I bought a single can of kidney beans on my last swing through Kroger. Contemplating this wan item at 4:30, it just didn’t seem like it would fill the bill. But! I had a package of chicken thighs, and some crushed red pepper, and the usual this, that and the other thing of a well-stocked kitchen. So I…

…browned the thighs and set them aside. Into the pan went a handful each of chopped onion, carrot and lettuce, a little thyme, salt, pepper and the aforementioned crushed red. When that softened up, I threw the thighs back in the pan and added the kidney beans, a can of diced tomatoes in their juice, a lot more crushed red pepper and enough chicken broth to mostly cover it. Let it simmer for about a half hour, during which I cooked me up a cup or two of white rice. In that time, the chicken stuff thickened a bit and got all spicy-flavory. Ladled it over the white rice, and served it with knife, fork and spoon. I’m calling it Sorta Cajun Chicken Stew But Not.

Yes, it was delicious. I’m firmly committed to chicken thighs now, rather than the insipid, omnipresent breast. Thighs are where the flava is.

I’m talking about dinner to avoid talking about all the work I didn’t get done this weekend, although the bathroom is clean, the rest of the house is relatively so and I learned the Turkish word for “hat” (shapka — no promises on the spelling). The latest came at a birthday party for one of the Fellow children, a Turkish boy a year younger than Kate who is already multilingual, and after only six weeks in the U.S., is rapidly losing the British accent he arrived with. The other kids at the party were Italian and Argentine, with Kate the only Yank, and guess what the extent of her foreign-language vocabulary is? Yes, uno through diez en Espanol. The scorching shame! Does this ever end, I beseech you, fellow parents?

No, I didn’t think so. Note to self: Start Kate in foreign language classes, and soon.

On the other hand, even excellent facility in a tongue other than your own doesn’t guarantee success. “Who’s ready for sausages?” our Turkish host asked the assembled children, and was faced with expressions ranging from blank stares to open revulsion.

“Who wants a hot dog?” Alan asked a beat later, and everyone under the age of 10 responded enthusiastically. Such a subtle difference, and yet it made all the difference.

Who wants leftover Sorta Cajun Chicken Stew But Not? Yeah, I thought so.

Posted at 8:22 pm in Uncategorized |

3 responses to “Something smells good.”

  1. ashley said on February 8, 2004 at 11:08 pm

    RB&R with no holy trinity? Sacrilege!

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  2. ashley said on February 9, 2004 at 3:48 am

    Oh, and my lovely Katerina is being raised bilingual, which is kind of forcing pops to learn Czech. Yet another useless language.

    Me, I’m gonna work on my Espanol, as I want to retire to Costa Rica sooner rather than later. Francais is fairly useless there…and nobody mention Haiti as an alternative…good.

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  3. Michael G said on February 9, 2004 at 9:22 am

    Thighs are great on the barbie. They don’t dry out like breasts can and they do have more flavor. Try alternating bits of chicken on skewers with shrimp and other items of your choice. You can have the drum sticks.

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