Just Like Home

by Fresh and Frugal

I forgot I hadn’t posted this on Tuesday, but saved it in anticipation of photos. Here you go!

Sorry for the shoddy photos, but I still haven’t found my camera in the process of unpacking from Madison (which is going more slowly than surely).  Honestly though, I couldn’t help making a real, grown-up, just-like-home dinner tonight.

More rain. Rain, rain, rain, rain, rain. Whose idea were hurricanes, anyway? It looks like a leak is starting in my roof (what is this?! Two apartments in a row?!), and after a long, soggy day at work and after the first midterm of my graduate career, I’m ready to sit back and do a little reading and relax tonight. After all, the night is still young, and the wine bottle has just been opened. What an occasion for celebration.

Anyway, to make a long story short, I love the basic and traditional structure of my mom’s dishes: 1/4 meat, 1/3 veg, and the rest is usually some sort of carb, whether rolls or pasta or rice or bread.  So when I came home from work a little early today, I flipped on the tube and there was Ina, noshing on bread and olives and salami, tomatoes and brie. And wine. That was all it took for me to flip off the tv and dive into the kitchen for my go-to comfort food: veg, carbs, and a slab of (chicken) meat with a nice tall glass of wine. While this isn’t a post with an official recipe (I know, twice in a row!), it is a statement about good, healthy comfort food and the turning of seasons. I can’t wait for Thanksgiving and the chance to see the entire Thompson family, to have a beer with Uncle Bill and a gin-and-tonic with Grandma. Football, sweaters, screaming kids, catching up… What isn’t to love about autumn? Hopefully I’ll have the money to make a proper pumpkin or pecan pie soon. What a fantastic introduction to autumn would that be?

Quick idea of what I did: defrost the chicken. Throw shallots, rosemary and garlic in a little olive oil on medium heat until soft, and then add the chicken and cover with a lid (keeps it tender). Throw on some orzo, and just before you think it’s finished, add some asparagus and blanch it in the hot orzo water. The chicken and orzo and asparagus should all be finished at the same time this way, and the whole meal takes maybe 20-30 minutes. Enjoy!