Day 235: Who needs an oven anyway?

August 23, 2007

Surprisingly enough, today included an emergency trip to Ikea for more countertop. That’s the third time in as many days that I have been hovering in the kitchen department. The staff used to say “make sure to bring in before and after photos once the kitchen’s finished”, now they say “what is it now?”. Och well, the end is maybe in sight. Today we got some countertop installed and some interior fittings in the cabinets- we have one small and one enormous pull-out cupboard which makes me very happy. I am easily pleased, evidently. Tomorrow we are apparently getting some tiles down on the the bathroom floor, which may mean that a toilet can be installed, one of these days. Woohoo.

Anyway, this evening we made Marinated Grilled Chicken Breasts with Zippy Chunky Salad and Garlic Dill Fries as quickly as we possibly could, given that we were both very tired and grumpy. The chicken was marinated for 5 minutes in olive oil, lemon juice, dried oregano, salt, pepper and garlic. We then cooked it on the pan, rather than grilling it. The salad began with a small crisis when we discovered that the Romaine lettuce in the bottom of the fridge was looking distinctly wet and slimy and highly inedible. We substituted baby spinach rather than racing out to the store, again. The other vegetables added to the bowl were cucumber, red onion, radishes, red pepper and green pepper. The salad dressing was made with plain yogurt, red wine vinegar, salt, pepper, lemon zest and parsley. The fries were microwaved in their mysterious little fake-foil-lined box, and they were better than anticipated. They were already ridiculously salty, so we skipped the extra salt, but we tossed them in the melted butter, dill and garlic as directed.

This meal was pretty satisfactory although nothing crazily exciting. The chicken was better than expected- in as much as it didn’t taste like an old boot. The marinade didn’t have long to penetrate the chicken, but the lemon juice did make some impact. The salad received mixed opinions- L thought it was pretty good, I picked out the peppers and cucumber but left most of the rest. Not being a fan of radishes, raw onion or yogurt based dressings, this was never going to be a huge hit. L thought that it was reasonable though; he liked the radishes as they added a little kick and crunch. The fries were actually fine when they came out of the oven microwave, but the garlic and dill butter just made them really soggy, which was a shame. The adding of butter to fries seems excessive, as we have concluded every time we have been instructed to do this.

Tomorrow we will be making Cornmeal-Crusted Catfish and Green Rice Pilaf, which sounds like nothing I would ever choose to make in a million years. Maybe it will be a surprise hit. Unfortunately it seems to call for both an oven and a food processor which seems like a challenge. Maybe sometime next week we might actually have an oven. Certainly by the following week. Or at least by Christmas. On a more positive note, having finally installed a mirror in the bathroom, tomorrow I will be getting a haircut, for the sake of the rest of the population. I certainly have big hair, it would seem. It would also seem that L and I are aging rapidly this month- we look rough.

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  • Reply Mel August 24, 2007 at 6:09 am

    G’day! I’ve just found your blog and I’m loving it! Given that you’re 2/3 of the way thru the project right now, I’ve got a little catching up to do….what I’ve read so far has been awesome. I wish we could get the same ingredients here (well, some of ’em anyway!). We don’t have Rachael Ray on TV here, but I’ve heard of her and I’ll keep my eye out for the book…..who knows, maybe an Aussie chef has done a similar thing!

    Anyway, I’m looking forward to being here for the rest of your journey.


  • Reply Jojo August 24, 2007 at 5:58 pm

    You deserve a medal for sticking with your project — big hair and rapid aging!?

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