Friday, August 21, 2009

Cooking by Guesstimate

Today I'm winging it for dinner. I like to boil two whole chickens and debone them, separately and freezing the meat for future dinners. Favorite uses are Amish Chicken (noodles, mushrooms, white sauce, and mozzarella) and Senora Chicken (a Tex-Mex casserole), or chicken pot pie (homemade crust is always so wonderful). But today I had scribbled down in my advance planning that I would make chicken casserole today, but I didn't have a particular one in mind.

So I'm making one up. I'm going for a creamy casserole with noodles - that always works well with the family. I think I'll use cream of chicken soup as the base, and stir in a dab of cream cheese, just a chunk or two. And I think I'll top it with bread crumbs tossed with melted butter. Yes, I added some saltine cracker crumbs too. And of course salt and pepper in the crumbs, maybe some thyme and rosemary too.

My grandma would approve, I think. My mom has told me more than once how Grandma thought cookbooks to be a bit of an annoyance - always wanting you to measure this or that exactly. She cooked by the method of "you use a little bit of this and about this much of that..." and she had all her recipes memorized like that.

And I went to her house once to bake cookies that she had mentioned recalling from her childhood - molasses cookies - and I had found a recipe in my beloved Fannie Farmer, and so I went, cookbook in hand, and baked cookies for Grandma. But yes, I have to follow recipes most days. Especially for baking.

But this whole casserole thing is pretty forgiving. And fun to experiment with. The pasta is about done. I should see if I have some broccoli. Or would that be too cliché? Hmm...

No comments: