Sometimes, even my best intentions go awry in the meal-planning department. This winter, with all of its trials and tribulations, has taken the stuffing out of me. As I stood in the kitchen on Sunday, I could not get inspired. I was thankful that there was not a passel of kids sitting and waiting for dinner - the dogs are easy. Feeding them is like Groundhog Day - the same thing, morning and night, day after day. That is, once I found the 'perfect' meal for Bertie. He is the only picky eater, dog-wise, that I have ever had. Usually, I am up to my knees in fur and moo-moo eyes while I'm in the kitchen. Bertie has only a mild interest in what I'm doing and whether it involves him. He is usually on the couch or sprawled, frog-like on the rug, looking in. After many fits and starts, we determined that he does not like his food mixed together, does not care for grain-free, organic, all natural canned food, will only occasionally eat an egg and only if it's NOT mixed about in his kibble, and will only eat poached or roasted chicken ON TOP of his kibble. Some broth is appreciated, but NOT MIXED IN. I could put wallpaper paste in the other dogs' dishes and they'd inhale it. They could care less what's in it and how it looks. The Hoovers go on and it's gone in a nanosecond. Not so the Spud. I must call him, get him started with a hand-fed morsel and then leave him. If I stand there, he expects me to peel grapes for him.
Anyhoo, back to my cooking inertia. I decided to make a pot of Jasmine rice and go from there. Then I rummaged through my freezer and came up with a couple of pieces of my favorite kielbasa (as Debra so aptly put it - pronounced KOO-bah-sa) from a Polish butcher shop on Long Island. I then fast-cooked a pan of adzuki beans. Let's say that I had to fast-cook the SECOND pan of beans, as the first were left too long on the stove and turned to paste. I'm not used to cooking such small beans, let alone having to actually pay attention for more than 10 minutes. The second pan got fast-cooked with a timer. At least I had the focus to not go outside of earshot of the timer and they turned out fine. I decided to try adzuki beans because they are supposed to be more 'gut friendly', so to speak. I may love beans but the feeling isn't exactly mutual, if you catch my drift...
I then sautéed some chopped red onion with some frozen chopped orange peppers I found in the freezer on the kielbasa search, and a great deal of minced garlic. When everything went limp, I added the diced kielbasa and some chili powder, cumin and black pepper. A few more minutes and in went the beans, then the rice. It was good - and there was lots of it! It held me for days.
I need spring.
I am currently working on finishing a pair of socks that my mother started - she has reached the point where knitting is no longer relaxing. At 93 with sight only in one eye, I say she can do whatever she wants and I'm glad to help. However, our knitting styles are very different. That woman knits so tightly you could carry water in her socks!
I definitely need spring. Soon.