Day 59: Distinctly different, but not in a good way

February 28, 2007


This evening we made Chicken in a Horseradish Pan Sauce over Orange and Herb Couscous. The central elements were parsley and orange zest in the couscous, and horseradish and mustard in the cream sauce. Unfortunately they just didn’t work together at all. The couscous was overly salty from the chicken stock, which didn’t complement the orange zest and parsley flavours. The competing elements worked against, not with, each other.

The Horseradish Pan Sauce sounded like something that L would really enjoy. Again, unfortunately this wasn’t the case. Somewhere between the mustard, onions, horseradish, thyme, half and half and chicken stock, the end result tasted a little like acrid sludge. And again, it clashed with the orange zest; the whole meal was a big disappointment.

I have a new respect for people who cook real meals, every night. Our kitchen always smells of stale cooking odours. After long days, cooking seems relentless rather than relaxing. It seems impossible to ever catch up on the cleaning and washing up. I always thought it would be great to spend more time with food. To write about it, think about it, test new recipes. At the moment, two months into the process, the food preoccupation seems overwhelming. How nice would it be to just have a bowl of cereal tomorrow night, or maybe cheese and crackers? Instead, we begin the three day balsamic vinegar/ rice pilaf run with Balsamic-Glazed Pork Chops with Arugula-Basil Rice Pilaf. The day after it’s Balsamic-Glazed Chicken.

You Might Also Like


  • Reply rachel February 28, 2007 at 10:56 pm

    3 things:
    1. dish washing is a major issue here too. i was dozens of dishes each day and we are only 2 people!

    2. try low sodium chicken broth. all that simmering really reduces it and leaves behind the salt if you use regular broth.

    3. do you have an stove exhaust fan? run that during cooking and it might help. i never thought to use mine in years past but it really does help, esp. if you are frying.

  • Reply Helen | One Year Project March 1, 2007 at 8:49 am

    -We have an exhaust fan that we run, but it doesn’t do a great deal- maybe we need to clean it! We’ll try some low sodium broth, that’s a good plan, thanks.
    -I am so sure that when this is all over and done with that we’ll find more joy in cooking simple food. Or possibly no food, ever again!

  • Reply Joannie March 1, 2007 at 8:40 am

    I cook dinner every night and my husband does the dishes. I don’t think it’s that big a deal. It’s a lot harder to cook every night when you’re always following a recipe. The time it takes to make dinner is longer b/c you have to constantly refer to the recipe. And you have to measure everything so there are more dishes. And so on and so forth. Throwing dinner together from simple ingredients (we have chicken, green beans, and mashed potatoes a lot) results in fewer dishes and shorter time. Maybe when the project is finished you’ll find more joy in cooking simpler food. I admire your willingness to stick with such a difficult project that is strictly voluntary!

  • Leave a Reply