Coconut chicken corn chowder, and some pictures that do not do it justice.

I have talked about food and its importance as a tool of expressing love and home, but I would be remiss if I forgot to mention in all that idyll that while I most certainly cook because it is the way in which I convey my awkward affection, I also do it because I want you to like me.

Food is my way of bribing you to ignore the film of flour and cat hair that covers most of my apartment floor, or the weird jumble of things that might come out of my mouth when I mean to say something else but am tired and have had no caffeine today but three glasses of wine already. It’s how I welcome new friends, and how I hope to keep their attention, thus preventing it from wandering to the less-than-savoury elements of my home’s decor.

And recently, though less recently than he will admit (and my badgering has been relentless, so he put up an admirable fight), Paul has found himself a girlfriend, whom he has kept secret from us, as if he doesn’t know full well that I like to know all the things. And when I finally shouted about it in a crowded restaurant this week, begging “Why, Paul? WHY?!” he broke down and offered to bring her to meet us. Mostly to meet me.

I promised that we’d have chicken and corn chowder and that I’d wear real pants, not something in Spongebob-covered flannel. I want her to like me. When you want someone to like you, the best way is to create a feeling of warmth, and more often than not that should involve coconut milk. Cheese is also very good for buying anyone’s affection, but in this case I served it in a side dish (I should give you the biscuit recipe sometime), which still counts.

The recipe that follows is the sort of thing you’d serve if you were inviting someone new in, because it’s warm and comforting with its familiar elements, and because it’s also not what they’d expect when you tell them over the phone that you’re serving them chicken and corn chowder. Also, the name of the dish is a spectacular piece of alliteration, so bonus points for that.

Coconut chicken corn chowder

(Serves four.)

  • 2 tbsp. vegetable oil
  • 2 tbsp. minced fresh ginger
  • 2 tbsp. minced shallot
  • 4 to 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp. dried lemongrass, crumbled
  • 3 cups fresh or frozen corn, divided
  • 2 cups diced sweet potatoes
  • 4 cups chicken stock
  • 1 14 oz. can coconut milk
  • 2 cups diced cooked (preferably leftover) chicken
  • 1 lime, zest and juice
  • 1 tbsp. fish sauce
  • 1 tbsp. sriracha (or to taste)
  • 1 large red bell pepper, diced
  • 3 tbsp. chopped fresh basil
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Heat oil in the bottom of a large, heavy-bottomed pot set over medium-high heat. Add ginger, shallot, garlic, and lemongrass and sauté quickly, until golden. Add sweet potatoes and one cup of corn. Add stock. Scrape the bottom of the pot with a wooden spoon to scrape off any browned bits. Add coconut milk. And then chicken.

Add fish sauce, lime zest and juice, and sriracha.

Bring to a gentle boil, then turn heat down a couple of notches, so that the pot returns to a simmer. Simmer for ten to 15 minutes, until sweet potatoes are fork-tender.

Add remaining corn and the red pepper. Simmer for five minutes. Then stir in most of the basil, except for a little bit which you will sprinkle over top of it all at the end for colour.

Taste. Adjust seasonings as needed. Inhale. Feel wonderful. Serve hot, with baking powder biscuits.

Take better pictures than this. And then turn your attention to Paul’s new girlfriend, who happens to be quite lovely (and also likes cats), and make a mental note to remind him in the car on the way to Powell River this weekend that he ought to remember from now on that you will continue to like to know all the things.

I hope she likes us.

Roasting a chicken is a very good idea.

Roast chicken, in theory, is the perfect food for penny-pinching households. Depending of the size of the bird and your household, you can make a single roast chicken span several (or 17?!) different meals AND end up with a freezer full of homemade chicken stock. It’s economy in a roasting pan. Sort of. I say “in theory” because for some reason, a four-pound roasting chicken that’s led a happy life, playing outside and eating real food and not taking antibiotics, costs $15 to $25 here, depending on whether you buy it at the supermarket or your favourite local butcher. Which, I guess if you can get five meals out of it is still pretty reasonable, but the initial investment can seem pretty steep, especially if you are buying other things.

Maybe that’s just me?

It probably is. I’m very cheap. Roast chicken, for me, has become synonymous with warmth and comfort and all that is wholesome. I don’t know how that happened – I don’t roast that many chickens. On occasion, I have roasted some pretty terrible ones. And Nick is pretty sure he doesn’t like roast chicken, but can’t explain why he never wants it. Maybe he ate too many roast chickens as a child – I still bear ill-will to all manner of Shepherd’s Pie (my parents think I’m joking when I tell them where they’re retiring … and it’s my sane young word against theirs that they’re not a danger to themselves and others … *insert sinister laugh here*), so I can understand if that’s the case, I guess.

I did not have too many roast chickens as a child, and may never have too many roast chickens. I even like the weirdly coloured, unnecessarily salty rotisserie chickens you buy from the supermarket. Love them. We used to get those sometimes and Dad would cut them up and we’d stuff the meat in white buns with Mississippi Sauce (which I can’t find a link to online … it’s a honey-mustard mayo-based sauce, and if you put a jar in front of me I’d eat the whole thing like pudding and then ask for seconds). It was very good.

When I got to be an “adult,” I thought roast chicken was something I should know how to make. I subsequently over-cooked, under-cooked, over-seasoned, and just plain wasted a series of chickens, never knowing where to quit with the spices and seasonings and fancy crap. A proper roast chicken is not complicated. It would be a few years before I’d figure that out.

And you don’t even need a recipe, though there are some good ones here, here, and here. Take a chicken, a fat, salt and pepper, and a spice or herb (optional), rub the first with the latter, and then place in a pan, maybe with some veggies, and cook uncovered in the oven until the internal temperature of the bird reaches 160°F to 165°F. It will take about an hour and a half, give or take, and will require an oven temperature about 400°F, which is also flexible.

Anyway. I mentioned the other day that Nick’s sister Jess, her husband Mark, and their adorable toddling daughter Elise were here for dinner, having driven from Winnipeg a week and a half prior. In my experience with vacations and driving long distances, the default food choices can wreak all kinds of interesting havoc on your digestive system. Their experience was no different, and then on top of that there was camping (read: hot dogs and chips for three days), and they were due to start their long drive back to Winnipeg yesterday. They needed wholesome.

So, roast chicken. And potatoes.

And catching up and laughing and Elise chasing the cat and the cat not minding and good wine and fresh local strawberries for dessert.

Nick liked the chicken. It turned out moist with crisp skin, which is how a roast chicken is supposed to turn out. We all had seconds. We talked about Winnipeg, and Montreal, and how Nick and I really ought to move because it’s so expensive here and roasting chickens doesn’t seem to cost as much when the cost of living isn’t so high. Our rent for our apartment is twice what they pay every month on their mortgage, for their house. We talked about the years between where we are and when we get there. The cat could have her own room if we packed up and went east.

But most of all, we watched Elise, who ages six months between each visit, and who is just freaking adorable. Also we talked about the cat a lot because we’re a little weird. Non-fussy dinners like roast chicken make it so that you can really enjoy your company, which is perhaps the most wholesome thing about it. And if you drink much too much when your company is over, as can happen from time to time, a roast chicken makes a marvellous hangover soup the next evening.

Ten-minute sweet yellow curry.

It was supposed to be Rib Week, and indeed that’s how the week started off, but then I felt an obligation to perform and then some other stuff happened and I decided to hell with it, and stuck the rest of the ribs Nick bought into the freezer for another week. Today we had chicken in an easy ten-minute curry, because I am working on a few freelance writing projects before going back to work and have less time this week than I thought I would.

Don’t let the long list of ingredients put you off. It’s not that much, really, and it really does all come together by the time the rice is cooked. Which leaves you time for other important things, like drinking wine and watching What Would Brian Boitano Make?

Sweet yellow curry

  • 1 cup diced mango (about one mango)
  • 1 banana, sliced into rounds
  • 1 large shallot (or small onion), chopped
  • 1 tbsp. chopped fresh ginger
  • 3 cloves garlic, smashed
  • Zest and juice of one lime
  • 2 tsp. sriracha (or the hot sauce of your choice)
  • 1 tsp. fish sauce
  • 1 bunch green onions, light green and white part separated from darker greens
  • 1 398mL (14 oz.) can coconut milk
  • 1 tbsp. canola or vegetable oil
  • 2 tsp. sesame oil
  • 1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken thighs
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1 tsp. turmeric
  • 1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp. ground coriander
  • 1/4 tsp. nutmeg
  • 2 red bell peppers, chopped
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 1/2 cup chopped cilantro

In a food processor or blender, combine the mango, banana, shallot, ginger, garlic, lime juice and zest, fish sauce, sriracha, white & light green part of green onions, and coconut milk. Pulse or blend until smooth. Set aside.

Chop chicken thighs, and smash each piece with a meat mallet or rolling pin until flattened. Flattening the meat tenderizes it, and it cooks much faster because it’s not so thick.

In a large pan over medium-high heat, sauté chicken in canola and sesame oil. Add bell peppers. Let cook for a minute or two until the chicken browns, stirring frequently. Once chicken has browned, add cumin, turmeric, pepper, coriander, and nutmeg, stirring chicken and bell peppers to coat in spices.

Pour mango-coconut milk mixture into the pan, scraping the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon to remove any browned bits, and stirring to incorporate all of the spices. The colour will be fantastic, possibly alarmingly bright. Reduce to medium heat, and bring to a gentle simmer to warm the sauce through.

Stir in the green part of the green onions (chopped) and the frozen peas. Simmer for five minutes, stirring occasionally. Before serving taste to check your seasoning, adjust as needed, then add cilantro. Serve over jasmine rice.

Seriously – this whole thing takes, like, ten minutes. It’s got a delicate sweetness, but not cloyingly or oppressively so, and gently spicy. It’s fragrant, and all kinds of good for you. Anything that colour has to be good for you.

Hi, I’m dying. I thought chicken noodle soup would help.

And it did help, a little, the chicken noodle soup. It’s too early to know whether it will come back to surprise me again later.

It’s been a fun couple of days – yesterday I was really excited because I was going to come straight home from work and make a mofongo with poached eggs and avocado salsa, but midway through the day I broke my molar in half on some candy at the office. I rushed out to the suburbs, where my dentist could see me last-minute. I have a silver tooth now, in the back. It’s very shiny.

So I didn’t get my mofongo, because I was only allowed to eat soup or oatmeal, soft, non-chewing foods, so we had soup. And then, about 10:30 that night, after Nick had been a puke monster for a number of hours already, the sickness took hold of me as well. It’s not swine flu, I don’t think, because I don’t smell bacon, but it’s unpleasant nevertheless. So, I didn’t get my mofongo again.

I feel like a Pepto Bismol ad. If the Pepto Bismol was spiked with laxatives and poison. And if the cameraman was beating my face with a hammer.

I mulled some wine and took some pills and made some chicken noodle soup, so hopefully I’ll survive the night. Here’s the recipe. It’s just exactly what you’ll need when you feel like I do, and, if we’ve been in contact recently, you’ll probably feel like I do soon enough.

Chicken noodle soup

  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1/2 lb. chicken thighs, bone-in and skin-on (three to four)
  • 1 medium onion, quartered with peel left on
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed with skins left on
  • 1 small leek, greens separated
  • 1 sprig fresh thyme or 1/2 tsp. dried
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tbsp. salt
  • 2 tsp. olive oil
  • 1 cup carrots (about two, quartered and chopped)
  • 1 cup chopped celery
  • 1 cup chopped leek, the white part
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 1 cup broad egg noodles
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

In a medium pot, heat olive oil and add chicken, onions, and garlic, browning lightly. Add in about six cups of water, and the leek tops, the thyme, the bay leaves, and the salt. Bring to a boil, and then reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, uncovered, for 25 minutes.

Stock, in its early stages.Remove chicken from pot and set aside to cool. Put pot in fridge, uncovered, and let cool for about 30 minutes.

In a large pot, heat 2 tsp. olive oil, and stir in carrots, celery, and leek until sweaty and glistening. You know, like you there with that fever. I know chicken soup might not be the best thing to help break a fever, but no one ever felt better eating cold chicken soup, and the Slurpee machine at the gas station is no longer operating.

Shred the chicken, disposing of the skin and bones.

Skim the fat off the top of the stock, and strain into a measuring cup. You’ll probably need to do this a few times – you should have about six cups of stock. Add the stock to the sweaty vegetables. If you’re shy of six cups, you can use store-bought stock to make up the difference, but water is also fine. Stir in your lemon juice, and bring to a boil. Add your noodles and chicken, and boil for five to six minutes, until veggies and noodles are tender. Adjust your seasonings – I added another few teaspoons of salt.

Soup.Serve with crackers and ginger ale while you watch Star Trek, sweating in your underpants.

SDC12112Feel better. Don’t die. Also, this recipe makes a lot of soup so if you do end up losing most of it during the night, you’ll have leftovers for the next day, when hopefully you can keep down sustenance.


Curry in a hurry?

Curry pot.There’s quite a lot to be said for pantry staples, and meals that come together in a half-hour while you drink the last beer and contemplate hibernation.

While I am not one to advocate one product over another, and would certainly never deliberately push a brand at you, I think that everyone ought to own a few key things to help themselves along on nights when it’s been dark all day and you’re cold and even your skin under your clothes is damp and your lips are chapping like snakeskin. For times like those, you ought to own a jar of madras curry paste. If you get yours in one of those little Indian shops, even better, and probably cheaper too.

Sure, you could make your own curry paste, but the point sometimes is not artistry or chemistry – it’s eating, fast. And because life’s too short to eat bad food, it’s got to be convenience food that tastes like slow-cookery, because it’s also got to soothe. So, on nights like these, a warm tomato curry is what you need. You can use madras, or any other curry paste that pleases you – I recommend an Indian-style curry paste, like madras or tandoori, because it goes so nicely with tomatoes. All that cumin and coriander. Use a hot paste if you like – I keep this pretty mild though.

Easy tomato curry

  • 2 tbsp. butter
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 lb. cubed boneless chicken thighs
  • 2 tbsp. madras curry paste
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 398 mL/14 oz. can of tomato sauce (make sure it’s pure – no spices, garlic, or onion powder … read the back of the can!)
  • 1 398 mL/14 oz. can of coconut milk (not the low-fat kind – it’s too watery)
  • 2 cups chopped tomatoes
  • 1 tbsp. red chili flakes
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 2 cups whole spinach leaves

In a large pot over medium-high heat, melt butter and sauté onions until translucent. Add chicken, curry paste, and garlic. Brown chicken lightly.

Add your tomato sauce and coconut milk, scraping the bottom of the pan for any delicious brown bits as you do. Stir in the tomatoes and chili flakes, and reduce to medium. Simmer over medium heat for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Season to taste, and then, just before serving, stir in the spinach leaves. Serve over rice, preferably rice that’s flecked with a little bit of toasted coconut, and maybe tossed with a handful of peas. The curry will cook in the same amount of time as the rice. Easy, simple, nourishing, and delicious. Which is what you want on a Thursday in October, you know?

Tomato curry plate.

Eating chicken pot pie is like stuffing a blanket in the crack of a draughty door.

I don’t normally like pot pies, because they remind me a bit of those Swanson’s things that are filled with goop and stringy bits and, oh, let’s say “vegetables,” only you can’t tell which ones because vegetables aren’t shaped like that in real life, and what the hell, Swanson’s? I don’t like them, normally, but Nick does, and so I’ve had to devise a clever plan that will allow us all to enjoy the meal. That clever plan? Curry powder and biscuit dough, and large, hearty chunks to bite into. Nothing like those crappy little things you sometimes get talked into buying when your version of Nick comes shopping.

VegetablesAlso, I’m lazy and hate doing dishes and our sink is still kind of broken, so this whole thing takes place in a single pot, save for the mixing bowl you’ll use to mix the biscuit topping. One pot, hearty dish, kind of like a hug you eat. And when you’re chopping your vegetables, make sure you cut them so that they look like what they are.

Chicken Pot Pie

  • 2 tbsp. butter
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
  • 2 medium Russet potatoes, chopped into half-inch cubes
  • 1 1/2 cup chopped uncooked chicken (I prefer thighs, but chicken breast is okay too)
  • 2 carrots, sliced into rounds
  • 1 leek, chopped
  • 4 stalks of celery, including leaves
  • 1 cup frozen peas (or lima beans!)
  • 1 1/2 tsp. curry powder (the regular yellow stuff)
  • 1 1/2 tsp. salt, or to taste
  • 1 tsp. black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp. celery seed
  • 1/2 tsp. dried thyme
  • 1/2 tsp. nutmeg
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 1 cup milk


  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 4 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tbsp. sugar
  • 1/2 cup cold butter
  • 2/3 cup milk, also cold

Preheat the oven to 425°F.

In a pot that can be used on the stove and in the oven, melt the butter and brown the chicken with the onion and garlic over medium-high heat. Add the potatoes, and sauté for a minute or two before adding the carrot and leek. Sauté for another minute or two, until the veggies are brightly coloured and have begun to sweat. Add the celery, and then sprinkle the spices and flour over top. Mix well, scraping up any browned bits at the bottom of the pan.

Aromatic!Add the chicken stock and milk to deglaze, reduce to medium, and allow to simmer while you make the biscuit dough. You want the veggies to simmer and the liquid to reduce slightly and thicken, about five minutes, or until the potatoes can be just pierced with a fork. Stir in the peas. This is the thing I forgot, and I was annoyed, because the peas add a lovely punch of colour to the end result, and also I super love peas.

In a bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar. Blend well, and then cut the butter into the mix. You want to work the butter in with a knife at first, and then with your hands, pinching the butter and the flour in your fingers and squishing flakes back into the bowl. You want this to look a bit like the early stages of pie dough, with chunks of butter, in varying sizes. Gradually stir in the milk, and knead to make a dough.

Flatten and roll out to the approximate diameter of your pot. Mine looks to be ten or so inches in diameter, and the dough ended up being about an inch thick. It doesn’t have to be perfect – go for rustic, it’s much nicer. Nothing like Swanson’s. Press the dough into the pot gently. It doesn’t matter if there are little gaps – holes are a good thing. Keeps the juice from bubbling out all over your oven.

A little leakage? That's okay.Stab a slit into the centre, and place in the middle of your oven. Bake for 15 minutes.

Toasty/wonderful.Serve with a green salad, and a cold beer. Everything about this dish is warming, from the actual heat of the thing fresh out of the oven to the hint of curry and thyme, to the steaming biscuit topping that tastes like something your grandma would have served with soup. It’s rich and aromatic, and perfect for a crisp fall evening when you don’t want to do anything but finish a very good book, all huddled up in a blanket.

Like a hug, but you eat it. Would've been better with peas.

Cooking without Borders

Panna cotta in potAs it turns out, I’m quite a terrible photographer. I’m pretty sure with the pink camera, all my pictures would have been number-one Annie Liebowitz-esque, but it’s probably best not to dwell on that for too long. I made a lot to eat last night, and I tried to take pictures that would show how much fun it all was to make and how sumptuous it all was to eat, but everything turned out kind of blurry and sad. Apparently I have the shaky hands. Excellent for whisking, terrible for photo snapping.

Above? That’s a pot of milk and sugar and gelatin and vanilla bean, simmering until the sugar and gelatin was melted. We had panna cotta last night, because strawberries were on special and I had to use two more vanilla beans up before they dry out, standing in their lidless container. I used one, so anticipate one more vanilla bean recipe before too long. I’m starting with dessert this time, because panna cotta is among my favourite things to eat, and because I’m sure once you try it, it’ll be one of your favourite things too.

The recipe is adapted from The Williams-Sonoma Cookbook, an invaluable resource as I’ve come to find.

Panna Cotta

  • Butter (for greasing six ramekins)
  • 1 1/2 cups whole milk
  • 2 packages, or four teaspoons, unflavoured powdered gelatin
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 vanilla bean
  • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream (whipping cream)

Lightly grease six ramekins with butter. Set the cups on a small baking sheet.

Pour one third, or 1/2 cup of the milk into a small pot. Sprinkle the gelatin over top, and let sit for about three minutes. This is about where I stopped reading the recipe, and also where I began to do everything wrong … but it didn’t matter, because it turned out well anyway.

The deal is you’re supposed to add the rest of the milk and the sugar and heat it until the sugar and gelatin is dissolved, then take the pot off the stove and stir in the cream and vanilla. I added the cream as well, and the vanilla bean, which I’ve found needs a good whisking to make it less frog’s-eggs-goopy and stuck together. The recipe says that the panna cotta needs at least six hours to set, and that’s if the recipe is followed, so I got a little worried. When everything that needed to dissolve dissolved, I poured the mixture into six ramekins. I filled the baking sheet between the ramekins with ice cubes, and then added about a cup of ice-cold water, to speed up the cooling-down process.

Panna cotta, pre-set, in ramekinsIt worked, and the whole thing set in under four hours. Awesome. If I’d read through the rest of the recipe, which I usually think I’m too cool for, I would have found a very helpful hint about releasing these from their ramekins … apparently if you remove these from the fridge once set, you can place these on a towel warmed with hot water for up to two hours – this should loosen the bottoms and make them easier to get out. I didn’t have any trouble though – I ran a knife around the outsides and tipped them onto a plate. It worked just fine.

I topped these with a warm sauce of strawberries and blood orange juice, whipped cream, and sliced fresh strawberries.

Panna Cotta with StrawberriesThere were other things to eat last night, things like gomae, pork fried rice, firecracker shrimp tossed with avocados and cucumbers, edamame, sushi, and chicken wings marinaded in a delicious Sooin-inspired marinade. I couldn’t find a recipe that pleased me for the shrimp, so I made one up – I wrote it down as it developed.

Firecracker Shrimp with Avocado and Cucumber

  • 1 tbsp. butter, melted
  • 1 tsp. fresh finely minced ginger
  • 3 cloves finely minced garlic
  • 4 tsp. honey
  • 1 tbsp. soy sauce
  • 1 tsp. sesame oil
  • 1 lime, zested and juiced (half juice reserved)
  • 1 tsp. sambal oelek or hot sauce
  • 70 to 90 uncooked, peeled, and deveined shrimp
  • 1 avocado
  • 1/2 long English cucumber
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh scallions

Firecracker shrimp marinadeMix butter, ginger, garlic, honey, soy sauce, sesame oil, lime zest and juice of one half of the lime, and sambal oelek (or hot sauce). Add shrimp, and skewer – we ended up needing five skewers for these. If you’re using bamboo skewers, make sure to soak them in water for an hour or so before using.

Shrimp on skewersI threw these on the top rack of the barbecue on a sheet of tin foil and cooked them until they turned pink, turning them once to be sure they were cooked on both sides. It didn’t take long … eight minutes? That sounds about right.

When they come off the barbecue, toss them with the avocado and cucumber, the rest of the lime juice, and the cilantro and scallions.

Firecracker Shrimp with Avocado and CucumberI took some fairly inadequate pictures of the rest of the feast … I’ve included them here with captions!

Asparagus for sushi: On the grill.
Asparagus for sushi: On the grill.
Barbecued chicken for sushi. Weird? Yeah, I know. Nick really likes it.
Barbecued chicken for sushi. Weird? Yeah, I know. Nick really likes it.
Cheelful sushi! Loose and kind of crappy-looking sushi rolls on my favourite platter ever.
Cheelful sushi! Loose and kind of crappy-looking sushi rolls on my favourite platter ever.
Gomae up front, edamame in the back. Which sounds kind of ... awesome, like a terrible sexy euphemism.
Gomae up front, edamame in the back. Which sounds kind of … awesome, like a terrible sexy euphemism.
A blurry photo of some saucy wings.
A blurry photo of some saucy wings.
Pork fried rice, and evidence that it may be time for a new wooden spoon.
Pork fried rice, and evidence that it may be time for a new wooden spoon.
The Help: Nick loves dinner parties. LOVES THEM. See how happy he is?
The Help: Nick loves dinner parties. LOVES THEM. See how happy he is?

KFC delivers when I do not.

I meant to tell you about dinner tonight.

I thought I would get creative with the crap that I needed to use up before it died in the fridge. I had big ideas. High hopes, even. I spent all day thinking of succulent meatballs, rich tomato sauce fragrant with basil and black pepper, and pasta baked with a bubbly layer of cheese.

But the meatballs dehydrated, the sauce was runny and flat-tasting , and the basil took on a twinge that was vaguely reminiscent of poison. I burned the cheese.

So we ordered chicken. The wine was good.

Bulgogi update still to come. For now, I am sedated with trans fats and cheap sauvignon blanc.