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Home Cooking 56

Slumming it in the Kitchen

Father Kitchen | Oct 14, 201106:13 PM

It was my turn to cook yesterday in our monastery and I had a nice meal planned around French onion soup using Michael Ruhlman's brothless recipe from Lyon. A change in meal time sabotaged plans, as I had only a short time after evening services to get the meal on the table. I opted instead to slum it and, horrors, cook chicken breasts in a crock pot with the old standards of cream of mushroom soup, mushrooms, and wine. The community loved it--but all I could taste was MSG. And the carrots from frozen on the side tasted weird to me. (Do frozen carrots always taste weird?) I wished I had made Kraft macaroni and cheese and had fried slices of Spam with brown sugar and cloves--takes me back to Guam in the late forties, or Mom's "slum gullion" sloppy Joes made with ground chuck and chicken gumbo soup. It made me wonder, what are the fall back menus for people when there is no time or desire to do anything really good. How do other busy cooks go slumming in the kitchen?

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