Wednesday, January 16th, 2008

Three Days Into the Semester

treeless.JPG…and already a class cancellation. I told you I chose my classes carefully. I visited an old friend today. With the exception of one new recipe that I tried (and forgot to take a picture of or write about) I am still in my little cooking slump. Wednesdays are busy so I was trying to get something hot on the table before I had to dash out to class. Ordinarily I would leave at 6:00 to return at 7:30 leaving Ben to his own dinner defenses but this afternoon was relatively slow so I had no excuses. I pulled out some ground beef and decided on shepherd’s pie. I used to make it all the time when we had the apartment on Baltimore Avenue but I got out of the habit at some point. Probably because it’s so heavy on the meat and potatoes. Shepherd’s pie isn’t something that Ben reminisces abut from childhood but for me it’s definitely comfort food. Over time he’s come to appreciate it for it’s comfort food value too but seriously, the meat and potato quotient adds several points in its favor.

Usually I just brown the meat, season it and dump in a can of creamed cord. Mmmm, sophisticated. I did things a little differently today because I don’t stock creamed corn regularly anymore. I just seasoned the meat as usual, sprinkled some flour over and stirred in some chicken stock. I cooked it until it was the consistency that I wanted and then added some frozen corn. That’s all great, but the best part was that on a whim I hauled out my pressure cooker. I peeled and cut up the potatoes, added a half cup of water, brought it up to temp and the potatoes were ready to mash in no kidding 5 minutes. It left me thinking wow and duh. I don’t know why I don’t use the pressure cooker more. I’m going to have to get back on the horse. The thing is that the texture of the potatoes was so good. My guess is it’s probably because the cooking process is more like steaming than boiling. I also threw in a clove of garlic with the potatoes and mashed it right in with them when they were done and they were quite tasty. That said, after eating total crap for the last couple of days I finally feel satisfied and thusly happy.

My alternate title for this post was taking the initiative because Ben finally got the ball rolling on taking the tree down. I swear since the needles don’t fall off we would have been happy to leave it there for another four weeks. We’re all happy to have the space back and Chase has found a new cubby.

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