Day 122: Some of the blandest food in the history of bland

May 2, 2007

This evening I made Chicken and Rice Stoup, which, as Rachael Ray explains, is supposed to be something between a soup and a stew. I’m not sure that there is such a thing as an in-between state; this started off as pretty soup-like, but as the cooking liquid simmered down, and the rice got fatter, this ended up like a stew. Either way, whatever it was supposed to be, it was some of the dullest food we have had this year.

If you were very sick, or had a severe intolerance to flavour in food, this might fit the bill. It is Blandy McBland. It’s a variation on yesterday’s meal, which was dull, but in comparison was a taste sensation; a flavour fiesta. Yesterday there was some white wine and lemon juice in with the salt, pepper and parsley, which gave a little zing to the meal. Today, aside from the rice, chicken and vegetables, there was chicken stock, thyme and a bay leaf in with the salt, pepper and parsley. It’s a really easy meal to make- the chicken, leeks, carrots, celery and thyme were fried in butter and olive oil. Chicken stock and a bay leaf were added to the pot, with the rice stirred in. Fifteen minutes later, the parsley was added with some salt and pepper. Easy, one-pot cooking. Unfortunately, it tasted as dull as it looked.

Ultimately this tasted like rice cooked in chicken stock, with some vegetables and chicken thrown in for good measure. It is certainly hearty and stodgy but it falls short of being comfort-food because it is so blah. Of course after the most beautiful warm day, coming home to a condo where the steam heating is inexplicably on- turning the house into an oven, the last thing you feel like eating is a hearty stew. This is the beginning of the too-hot-to-cook season, as we’ve always thought of it. This year we’re going to have to get another window air conditioning unit for the kitchen end of the house. Otherwise, this whole project will go disastrously off the rails. We’ve lived here for three summers, and each time we’ve just about survived the summer heat by eating salad and ice cream, and hanging out in front of our one, almost useless, ridiculously loud window unit in the lounge. The kitchen is like a furnace in the summer, and I once made the mistake of turning on the oven to bake a cake in summer, and it took days for the temperature to return to almost not unbearable. So, yes, more air conditioning is in our future. Of course we are also talking about trying to move house again, to make life with two children a little easier. Stairs on the inside of the house; it’s a novel concept. As is somewhere to put the stroller, and maybe a garage. Anyways, the thought of moving is far too overwhelming to even contemplate just now, so let’s put our heads back in the sand and change the subject.

Tomorrow we will be having Steaks with Two Tapenades, Arugula Salad, and Crusty Bread, the first of two consecutive steak meals. It actually sounds quite appetising, at least the crusty bread part.

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