Monday, November 10, 2008

Maggie's go-to food dish is ...

At Mavens today the question is "what dish do people request you bring to gatherings?" I hesitate to answer this question because then people will know how lackluster my cooking skills are. For years I'd ask to bring the sodas, the chips, the rolls, until a lady pulled me aside and said I couldn't continue taking the easy things - those were for the single men.

I admit I got a bit riled up thinking that single men had all the time in the world to whip up a dish whereas I had poor health, two little kids, and husband working long hours to climb up the corporate ladder. But the lady running the food signups for the potlucks insisted I make something. I tried desserts, but there are always better desserts than mine. (Have you noticed that there tend to be great cooks in every group and that they always make the rest of us look bad?) I have a salad I like to make that's sweet and sour with toasted Ramen noodles and Craisens, but wouldn't you know someone here makes a better salad than mine.

I tried cutting up fruit, but that gets expensive, depending on the season, plus its labor intensive. I cheated for a while with hot wings from the Chinese place until I realized that there was always plenty of meat. Now I'm in vegetable mode, though the veggie combos put out by the chefs in my current potluck group are to die for.

In a pinch, I'll saute veggies or steam them. Not very imaginative but the dieters in our group usually go for my veggies.

On the other hand, I make to-die-for chicken soup, but I cook it prayerfully when folks are sick. Then they get the whole pot. If I want some, my rule is that I have to make a second pot for me. My soup is like a pot roast in that you cook it until the meat falls off the bone. Two tips for my soup. Start with chicken stock for water and always use a whole chicken with the bones. After a coupla hours of cooking, separate the bones out and return the chicken to the broth, along with some veges and a starch (rice, barley, pasta, dumplings) for some good eating.

I don't bring the soup to the potlucks because there are soup and chili people that are always in high demand and my healing soup doesn't like playing second fiddle.

Man, all this talking about food has made me hungry. I'm off to grab some lunch!

Maggie Toussaint

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