Tuesday, July 29, 2008

A meal like mom's

I find myself noticing more and more ways that I'm becoming like my mom. For instance, I often scoop up a box of Frosties (Kellogg's Frosted Flakes) when I'm craving a bowl and rarely eat them after I've gotten my fix. There's something about those sugary flakes with milk that reminds me of hanging at home with mom. As I start to open up to the world of baking, I notice that it brings about a sort of reflective nostalgia to be in the kitchen baking a cake for no reason at all. My mom used to (and still does) always do that.

"Why are you making cookies, mom?"
"Oh, just because. I felt like having some oatmeal raisin cookies."

I can't wait to get my hands on some oats to try my hand at her soft and gooey oatmeal cookies! A lot of my mom's cooking comes from improvising with what's on hand. I'm not really good at that yet, and I haven't been cooking long enough to know what to sub if I'm missing an ingredient for a recipe or something. Last week, I really wanted to make some rice with the drumsticks I bought for baking. My mom often makes baked chicken rubbed simply with a bit of salt, pepper and flour and serves it with freshly steamed rice and corn or some other vegetable. Even though it's a meal she probably threw together one day out of what she found in the fridge and pantry, it's one of my favorite and most nostalgic meals. As I was preparing to make the rice, I noticed there were still a couple of delicious sun-dried tomatoes swimming in their jar and I decided they needed to be rescued from their loneliness. Trying to recall how my mom makes her famous Spanish rice, I attempted my own version of rice by adding the oil from the tomatoes, the tomatoes chopped and some purple onion along with a few spices. As the smells started to mingle and the pan sizzled, a wave of memory hit me and I was transported to my mom's kitchen, sniffing the air, humming an "mmmmmm" and telling her how good her rice always smells.

The meal turned out perfectly and I know my mom would have loved the rice - it was really amazing. Still, being the ever-so-impatient lid-lifter, I couldn't make the rice cook fast enough! I giggled to myself as I thought of her telling me to "quit lifting the lid because it's almost ready!"



Mom and I always go for the crunchy bits of meat and skin leftover. :)

Gui and I finished the entire pan of rice - it was that good.

The broccoli was great, but next time we're having corn.

8 comments:

ellemabelle said...

man that looks great!

Irisa said...

Dang GURL! I never knew you were so domestic! That all looks YUMMMY!!! :)

lulu said...

Your Mom's inspiration is stretching to my kitchen. This recipe is on queu for this week. I can't wait!

Keep sharing the cooking experiences. You are diversifying my menus.

Thanks!

Candy said...

i love you! As Will walked over to see my computer screen, he shouted "EAT?" at the pic of your meal!

Evolutionary Revolutionary said...

The rice thing!! My sister and can never seem to get the rice to not stick to the pan. My mom and my aunt though? PERFECT EVERY TIME.

Dang that looks good. I'm going to have my mom make Arros con Pollo soon...

Bluefish said...

I'm drooling again...it looks so delicious.

JV said...

Sarah: Thank you for the compliments? How did you know I was thinking about you the other day while at the grocery store. I saw the huge cylinder container of Quaker Oats and I thought, "I must get this for Sarah to bake some delicious oatmeal cookies."

You know me so well. Yes, do not lift the lid or stir the rice EVER! Just lower the flame when it is almost dried out.

I love you....thank you for reminding me of why I love to cook...for those who love to eat.

PS: Yes, I do have Frosted Flakes (Tony, the Tiger only), Rice Krispies, Fruit Loops in my pantry. (Post made me mad when they took the sugar out of Alphabets just so they could "look good" to the sugar free moms...aaaarrrggghhh.

Yu Ming Lui said...

Sounds awesome - will definitely try this dinner idea :-)