This was posted originally at my WordPress blog, here
I’m not sure I’ve mentioned it, but I’ve been learning how to cook lately. It’s the natural reaction to everybody else having a job and me just sitting around the house, using the Tubertubes to hunt for a job: I have time to cook, nobody else does.
However, there’s a small problem: Bridget is a picky eater1. I made a pot pie at which she turned up her nose because it used lima beans and mushrooms–it was great, by the way, but of course I could not convince her of that. Her biggest sensitivity is mushrooms. Obviously, she never played enough Mario as a kid.
This weekend, however, she’s in Nacogdoches visiting her fiancé (he works for the county there). Therefore, back at the ranch, we’re having mushrooms all weekend, as it’s one ingredient I’ve been wanting to use for some time. Interestingly, my mom’s always wanted to have sake, but never had the chance.
Tonight, therefore, I did something a bit different than the usual fare. I made a beef stir fry and a hot and sour soup, and paired it with a sake from Spec’s2, both of which involved the use of Shiitake mushrooms. The soup also involved tofu, which is also different for the family, as we’re not big soy eaters (at least at home).
The meal went over very well, and for half of the calories that a similar meal would have run if we had dined out. As I remarked, the only regrettable part of it was that Bridget wouldn’t eat a bit of it (though I might have been able to sneak the stir fry past her if I didn’t say anything).
Tomorrow will be similarly themed, though the mushrooms will take a more central role. I’m doing a portabello mushroom sandwich and stuffed mushrooms, the latter will be served as an hors d’ oudrve at Thanksgiving3.
1. This wasn’t always so. I went to college as a fussy eater who would order plain damn near everything. Today, I’ll eat almost anything once, unless it’s incredibly greasy4 or otherwise unappetising.
2. Sadly, not the Spec’s, just the neighborhood Spec’s. Houstonians will know what I mean, but for those out of town, it’s the one liquor store in town that you know has what you’re looking for–at least the one on Smith is.
3. With some modifications: one of our guests keeps kosher, and though the sausage it calls for is a turkey sausage, she wouldn’t eat it due to the fact that it looks similar–it’s the same reason she wouldn’t eat cornbread during Passover. Thus, I’m using ground turkey instead. Also, I’m omitting the Parmesan cheese.
4. There are a number of restaurants that I haven’t visited since returning from college for this very reason.