Friday, September 17, 2010

The world's biggest chicken casserole

Sunday night I'm hosting a Bookish Frog (supporters of TCU Press) pot-luck to celebrate Grace & Gumption: The Cookbook. Contributors are to bring dishes made from recipes in their chapters, so we might have some interesting food. Really too bad Joyce Williams, who wrote about pioneer women, is in Switzerland celebrating her 50th wedding anniversary--I did so want stewed squirrel. I chose a chicken/spaghetti casserole that has everything but the kitchen sink.The recipe is from a Women's Club cookbook or some such years ago, so old that it calls for a No. 2 can of tomatoes. I had to Google that to find out how much and then I sort of guessed. Remember when that was how cans were measured? It made no sense.
Since my weekend is busy, I stewed the chicken last night and boned it; then this morning I put the whole thing together, except for the mushrooms and oregano which I forgot. I can do those on Sunday. But this recipe has everything: spaghetti, canned tomatoes, tomato paste, one large hen, onions, celery, chicken broth (after you boil the spaghetti in it), mushrooms, hard-boiled eggs (I couldn't do it--I diced up the whties but I threw the yolks away), and grated cheese. I was going to put the cheese on top, but  I decided the casserole probably needs it as a kind of binding/sauce agent. What I've got now, before the mushrooms, completely fills my large Dutch oven. No wonder it cooks for an hour and a half! Note: it called for canned mushrooms, which you then sauteed. Come again? I bought fresh mushrooms, will probably saute then tonight while watching Jacob.
Had lunch with an old friend today who really wanted a Reuben, so of course I took her to Carshon's. I gently asked if she wanted a whole sandwich, and she said no, probably a half. They don't do half orders on special sandwiches, so sacrificing good friend that I am, I offered to split it, though I did order so we got corned beef instead of pastrami and toasted instead of grilled. Honestly, how bad can half a Reuben be? Don't answer that. I got on the scales after lunch, and it wasn't good. But oh my that sandwich was delicious.
Jacob is here tonight. When he was a baby, someone sent a flower arrangement with a mid-sized stuffed frog. Somewhere along the way, he latched on to Froggie and became inseparable. Jordan has been back to that florist to order a whole stash of replacement Froggies. But tonight Jacob came to me in tears--he'd left Froggie in his mom's car. I was going to take him and go get it, but she said that wouldn't work because he'd see her company and want to come in. So Froggie mysteriously appeared on my porch a bit ago. Kids and their attachments are funny--Jordan had a quilted small blanket someone made for her, and I had to restuff it three times. I think it's still in the attic.
Busy weekend. I think I wear myself out planning how to handle such times. Yoga doesn't seem to help me relax and let it all flow, especially when a poor pitiful little kid, maybe six at best, interrupts by ringing the doorbell and saying "We need money for a walk-a-thon." He kept looking around like maybe his parents would come rescue him. I hate it when parents do that to their children! I just settled back down to finish my routine, got to the relaxation part, and Jacob and Jordan arrived earlier than she had predicted. But I'm still trying to go with the flow. And lots of advance planning.

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