I have been craving oxtails recently. You may wonder what does “oxtail” have to do with “mushroom” soup. It all comes down to my wife’s, Jan’s, gallbladder—or rather the lack of the same.
Tag Archives: Philosophy of Cooking
I made chicken stock yesterday, which always leaves me with the problem of what to do with the chicken bits I pick off the neck and back bones. I know that the professional chefs consider this meat “used up” after they have made a stock. They simply discard it as being tough, flavorless, and too much trouble to pick off the bones. As a home cook, I cannot help but think this is wasteful.
Eilene is having friends over tonight and one of them is a picky eater. If it is not Vietnamese or sweet she will not like it. I would make pho, but it takes a long time to make the stock. Jan suggested that she would like chicken teriyaki.
When I was leaving home as a youth, this is one of the first recipes I copied out of my mother’s card file. When Dad returned from Japan in the early ‘50s, he brought back a love of all things Japanese and many Japanese recipes. Mother was making chicken teriyaki when it was still an exotic foreign food in California. When most American families were getting hamburgers and hotdogs, we were getting chicken teriyaki and rice once a week. This is one of the comfort foods of my youth.
This meal started in a very different place than it ended. In the morning, I suggested to Jan that I make fish that night. Lately, that has meant fish tacos, but I am getting board with that. Jan suggested lobster rolls, but that is too expensive in California. I suggested Langoustine, which are kind of Italian mini-lobsters. When I got to the store, I found no Langoustine and there was not even any lobster.
Jan and Eilene have been on me to make meals are less heavy on the meat and starch. They want more vegetables. A simple green salad though is so boring.
Last weekend Eilene’s friends invaded the house for Fanime. This meant peaceful days, but a hungry horde descending upon the house at 10 PM. Eilene asked for fresh crackers as a snack when they arrived. While I was at the farmer’s market I saw some peaches. Peach jam and crackers seemed like just the thing for starving teenagers.
Jan, Miriam and Eilene are all going out for a girl’s massage evening. This is part of Miriam’s birthday week. After work, Jan has 20 minutes to eat dinner before she has to take Eilene to meet Miriam at the spa. Jan asked for soup and Eilene asked for minestrone.