You know what living by myself means? I can make supper at whatever time I feel like. A very bachelor(ette)-esque thing to say, I know, but when I’m trying to work around a crazy journalistic schedule it’s something I’m highly grateful for!
Another great supper-related perk is that I can make whatever I want. Even if it’s an experimental dish….
A few days ago I decided to try out my new(-to-me) crock pot (or slow cooker, for the brand-conscious among us). In order to do this, I opened up my fancy-schmancy new (really, new, this time) crock pot recipe book. It’s chock-full of taste-tested recipes and one of them caught my eye: Chicken with Applesauce.
Reason 1: It’s chicken.
Reason 2: It’s applesauce.
Reason 3: It has very few other ingredients.
Reason 4: It’s chicken. (This cannot be stressed enough.)
Therefore, I spent most of my lunch break that day preparing the recipe—browning the chicken, slicing it up into smaller pieces, and dumping together the applesauce, barbecue sauce, and… well there were other things that went into it, but obviously they weren’t that important. And I turned the crock pot on and left, confident that a delicious rice-topper would await me upon my return from work in the evening.
I told the sports editor I was planning to eat chicken with applesauce and he said I could keep it. Well, I thought it sounded like a nice combination. *shrug*
Once I got home from work (or rather, from the bulk of the workday), I checked it—the chicken smelled wonderful and just a little stuff had stuck to the sides of the crock pot (easily removed in cleaning, no doubt).
The appearance was a little odd—but in my experience, anything made to go on top of rice is like that; and besides, I’m used to eating weird-looking things. (It comes with having traveled to foreign countries.) At any rate, after inspecting the chicken I embarked upon the second experimental food adventure of the day: making rice.
You must realize, my poor mother has never learned the secret to making rice on the stove without it all sticking to the bottom of the pan. She always makes it in the microwave, setting it at whatever partial percentage the microwave cookbook prescribes and letting the rice puff up that way.
Me, I have a microwave that has two settings: on, and off. Not exactly conducive to cooking rice.
So I looked at the back of the rice bag and figured I would just try it on the stove to see what happened. If worse came to worse, I’d still have at least some rice to eat, I figured, and soaking a pan in water for a few hours does wonders for sticky food. (I know this by experience. Eggs and potatoes stick really bad and so do some cheese dishes. Oh, and burned hamburger and burned pancakes and… well just about anything burned.)
Water, butter and rice were dumped into a small saucepan and cooked exactly according to the directions on the rice bag, and what do you know?
Nothing stuck. In fact, the rice was pretty tasty and only a teensy bit soggy (well maybe not soggy, but a little over-moist would be more accurate). I haven’t yet solved this mystery. But it was convenient not to have to soak the saucepan.
And the resulting 7 p.m. meal was quite satisfactory!