Wednesday, October 17, 2007

In which Mike's and my minds think alike

Monday, Mike and I were IMing about what to have for dinner. "It'll be something with vegetables," I told him. "Or... maybe a stirfry?"

"Yeah!" he replied excitedly. "A stirfry!"

We had a package of rice noodles at home specifically for this purpose, and I've had not so great luck with them in the past. They've always been undercooked, more crunchy super al dente than actually properly edible. So I decided to try a new plan of attack. I put them in the pot, added water, brought it to a boil, then simmered them for five minutes. Meanwhile, I made up a vegetable stirfry with sweet and sour sauce and a few appropriate spices. When the noodles were done, I drained them. That should have been my first warning. They sat in the colander looking as solid-yet-piecey as a brain. But I persevered. Into the stirfry they went, with the last of the sweet and sour sauce. And then the stirring. The noodles began to come apart, disintegrate into mush. Hmm... I thought to myself. Maybe I went too far the other direction.

I served it. Something wasn't right. The vegetables tasted fine, but they were surrounded by this blandish, textureless, goo. I remembered then that I hadn't put salt in the water for the noodles. And there was something else. The smell. It was... And yet I bravely marched on, through half a plate. Finally I turned to Mike.

"You know what this smells like?" I asked him.

"What?" he asked, not looking up where he was pushing things around his plate.

"A farm."

He burst out laughing. "I'm so glad you said it and not me!"

Yes, that's right. I'd produced a stirfry that smelled like cow manure.

We picked out as many vegetables as we could, because they actually tasted okay if you could get them out of the mush and the smell, and formed the noodle goo into a little mountain on my plate, where it jiggled when you tapped it. Then we made toast with cheese (cheddar for Mike, brie for me).

Thankfully there was a lot of food left over from the party, or we might have had to resort to the takeout menu again. I haven't had very good luck with stirfries lately. The last two I've produced have been either too salty for human consumption (even Mike!), or smelling like farm byproducts. I think it may be time to reevaluate my cooking skills. Since we've moved to Edmonton, I've managed to serve four relatively inedible meals (luckily not to guests!), and one where I neglected to peel the shrimp (sorry, Dad), whereas in Calgary, I don't remember doing that once. Maybe something about the northern climes has sucked a bit of my already limited cooking skill away. Or maybe I just need to follow more recipes until I get the hang of things...



Mike says,

I'm glad she's the one that said it and not me... cause I sat there the whole time thinking that it smelt like cow poop. Then she said it. I had to laugh it was so funny. Tho the veggies still tasted good.


shameless plug (but i dont expect you to drive all the way to Regina to come to mine) time your are thinking stirfry, think Wok Box, less mess and they smell good to hear of your gooey mess!!

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