I turn the movie National Treasure on, turn the TV towards the kitchen again and start. I probably should be alone in the kitchen with no distractions, just me and the food, one on one. Taking in the smells and sights and making a connection with the food. But the food intimidates me, so I bring the third party movie along. I am getting better at this; I only had to make 3 calls to Gretchen, Jeff’s mom, for clarification of the recipe. Once again one can of cream of chicken soup is relative. The other problem was I have never cooked real bacon in my whole life….I have just done the microwave stuff. So I had a few questions about how to cook the bacon. Also, the recipe called for ½ can of milk, I had no idea that they sold cans of milk…it turns out they don’t. The one can was referring to pouring the milk in the cream of chicken soup can (how resourceful and less dishes!). The grocery store was okay today, my first stop was Starbucks and that made the trip a whole lot easier. So I am home, cooking with Max, watching Nick Cage do the impossible, as always. The potato chowder is time intensive. I started frying one pound of bacon, which took 4 shifts in my largest frying pan. As the bacon cooked I chopped….and chopped….and chopped; three large onions and 5 russet potatoes (peeled first). Max went after the bacon, so I tried to appease him with onion pieces. He figured our real soon that bacon was much better than onion and the spray bottle came out.
As soon as the chopping had commenced and I turned to fermented grapes to ease the wrist pain, I started to sauté the onions. I read the recipe as; cooking the onions in two cups of water, instead of sauté the onions and then add two cups of water. Minor detail, minor snag. I drain out the water, and start to actually sauté the onions. I thought this would be a nice break to start the Weight Watchers Key Lime Pie, from Grandma. This recipe is easy and quick [man, Nick Cage is a bad liar, I bet he does know where the treasure is]. So I start working on the Key Lime and, in the process, totally forget about the onions. I return eventually to find a CRISIS! The bottom layer of onion is charred and burnt to the pan. DANG IT! I jump into action and whip out another sauté pan, trying to put the top onions into it. As expected, some little burnt pieces make it into my new pan, so while still hot (I am not sure what my urgency was) I try to pick out burnt pieces. Ouch! More wine please! I then put the potatoes in a strainer and rinse them until most of the burnt pieces fall away and decide that this is going to have to be good enough.
So the Key Lime pie is finished within minutes and put in the fridge to cool. I keep an eye on the onions this time and complete the recipe. The one pound of bacon turns into ¾ pound of bacon. It’s not the best idea to cook hungry. Also, Max takes advantage of the onion crisis and is found munching away on the bacon…I can’t be that mad….smart kitty. [Come on, Nick Cage is too goofy looking to get that girl!] The chowder must simmer for one hour covered and one hour uncovered, so I have two hours to relax.
Max and I are fat and happy off of the bacon. I am finishing the movie and Max is doing the dishes in the sink with his tongue. I will let you know how the Chowder and Key Lime Pie taste. Max would let you know too if he could, I will take his silence as a yum.