Monday, January 17, 2011

Baking Day

Although I promised myself not to make any New Year's Resolutions for this year, I have snuck in some things I'd like to do more of or do better. Not Resolutions, just toying with my interests.

One of these things is baking more and learning to be a good cook. I'm enjoying dreaming away cookbooks in hand. Some of them such as the older Betty Crocker Cookbook and an old Farm Journal Cookbook are a pleasure to read as well as cook from. I am also smitten by Cook's Magazine and the wonderful essays that accompany each recipe.

For today, I'm making Slow Cooker Chicken Chow Mien from my newest version of Betty. I love chow mien, but no longer enjoy the La Choy or other canned versions and thought I'd like to make my own.

What a brave new world of cooking and having to cut up chicken. I've seen my mother in law do it slick as anything.

I was supposed to use skinless boneless chicken thighs but they didn't have those, so I thought hmm, I'll just peel off the skin and remove the bone. Yoikes! It is revealed to me that I am a "supermarket carnivore". I can cook any meats that I can just cook without handling cold slippery meat and trying to de-bone it. The skin sure did not "just peel off" as I imagined.

As I worked, making faces, shuddering with revulsion and muttering "Mother of God", I came to the conclusion this process probably isn't for me.

However, once the little pieces were frying away in the pan, smelling lovely and looking tasty, I revised my thinking and thought if I like how this tastes I might be able to do the snipping part if I can truly find the skinless boneless stuff.

Also on the menu is chocolate chip cookies, just the classic Nestle's Tollhouse recipe. I got really spoiled over the holidays having baked goods at hand, and now a mere candy bar doesn't quite cut the mustard when I want chocolate or something sweet.

Lastly, since I did not make good on my hope to become a good bread baker last year, I'm diving in this year and am trying another Betty recipe for Four Grain Batter Bread.

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