For a while now I've been specializing in frozen-ingredients, well done, and one pot meals.
I still have the good intention of cooking more sophisticated meals and stuff my fridge and pantry with all the right ingredients. But more often than not, many of these ingredients end up slowly dying in the fridge or hiding on top shelves and I keep perfecting my specialization.
Yesterday I realized that the shredded cabbage (could-have-been cole slaw or cabbage soup) and steak (lean and clean, good for grilling, baking, stuffing) should be cooked or else. Meat and cabbage stew came to mind-easy, healthy, reheats well.
I sauteed onions and garlic, added the meat and spices, and lowered the flame to simmer. Then I realized that we no longer have plastic forks and plates. So I decided to go out and buy them. I checked on the meat-the onions and the meat let out lots of water, enough to cook for a good to be palatable and easily chewable for the younger generation.
After I left my house I realized that it was Sunday night. All the local stores were closed and I was too tired (lazy?) to drive for 15 min just to get disposable dishes. I called my sister who said she has some plastic forks to spare. I took the forks but then decided to come up for some tea...
To make the long story short, I came home an hour and 20 minutes later. The house was filled with the scent of cooking meat. Without taking off my coat I rushed to the kitchen, lifted the lid from the meat pot and saw that there was still had plenty of liquid left in the pot. Whew and thank Gd! The meat must be really tender now, cooking with lots of onions for over an hour. I added the cabbage, cooked the whole thing for another 20 minutes and went to bed.
I served the stew for dinner today. Hubby complimented me on the taste and the tenderness of the meat. I told him that I cooked it for a very long time, etc.
"Yea, you left the house with the meat on the stove. When I came to the kitchen, the pot was almost dry and I added a whole cup of water to it."
Thus, my successful simmer-lots-of-onions-with-thin-strips-of-meat stew ended up just another failed well done dish thanks to hubby's keen sense of smell. But in the end, we all (including now-picky Eh) enjoyed it and that's what matters.
Tomorrow's menu includes some Indian chicken which will be cooked right before dinner (and the chicken's will finish defrosting by tomorrow). So there is still hope for the return of gourmet meals...