Hubby went away. Will be away for 20 days. He is the resident cook. Heck, not just the resident cook. He is cordon bleu, a cooking superstar, with legendary chef-like prowess.
Many have passed through our door, the invited – and those who invited themselves – testing him, and finding themselves impressed. Always.
So I was naturally apprehensive. With him away, we might grow hungry.
In panic, I sat down to list all the places in Vancouver we could eat at. Then I stopped. Frowned. Led to a different path by my thoughts.
I started to list down all the food I loved to eat as a child, food my mom would cook, food that I missed. Food from a time long ago, comforting, heart-satisfying. From memories that have not been a part of my recent life.
The life starred in by the hubby-chef.
As I listed down my favourite food from my childhood, I was seized by an idea. Why not cook them while hubby is away? With no one to critique my cooking, I should be okay.
I then realized that couples can forget they used to be individual persons growing up in different households and naturally loving different things. When I became one with hubby, the edges became blurred, and he took over the food side. I naturally (and happily) deferred to him and his taste because he had superior talents in this arena. And it made him calmer (so he says), and happy.
I love it when he is happy.
But now, there is a threat: my children and I will want for food. Or grow really big (if we eat out all the time).
The thought intruded again: why not cook?
I sat down and channeled my inner goddess. Not sure why I turned to chicken macaroni soup. It was probably the rain. And I so wanted to be comforted.
I went to Connie Veneracion’s website, as I am wont to do when faced with a recipe predicament. I trusted her. She always made good food, and has never failed me during those once-in-a-blue-moon moments when I wanted to cook. (I do have these sometimes)
I saw her recipe for Macaroni Soup. I followed it to the letter but replaced ground lean pork with chicken. Rotisserie chicken, specifically, which we just had for lunch.
You see, I never saw the point of boiling chicken breast to make, say, chicken salad sandwich. Leftover rotisserie chicken (Costco’s is the best, I found) mixed with mayo, onions, salt, pepper, celery – left overnight in the fridge – have always done the trick. Because it’s already flavoured and slow-cooked-to-tender, it made for a great shortcut.
And surprisingly (or not), the soup was good. Great even. My son exclaimed, “We never had this before! My tummy is happy!”
And so was I. So was I.
A small respite this rainy day until we get our chef-love-of-our-life-happy-cook back again.