Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Out of my Element

I've had this conversation with Karolyn several times. They are rice people---being Cajun and all. I'm not a rice person unless it's flavored like Rice a Roni or something. I do not like plain white rice. I like it just fine if you put gumbo over the top---or anything over the top, but plain, NO. It's just flavorless. Karolyn says they have rice and gravy all the time. That sounds fine to me, but I'm not sure her definition of gravy is the same as mine.

The conversation was about how they hardly ever do potatoes. What! That's almost blasphemous in my book! In fact, I always said that if I was ever stuck on a deserted island and could only pick one thing to eat for the rest of my life, it would be potatoes! You have your mashed, baked, fried, scalloped, au gratin, fries, twice baked, potato salad, etc. I can't imaging living without potatoes! Rice, not so much. When I go to a restaurant and it comes with wild rice or is served on rice pilaf, I always substitute potatoes.

That leads me to Friday night. Stephanie and Nicky were coming for Happy Hour. I invited them to stay for dinner after (I don't always cook). I asked her what they would like me to make (they are always eating healthy). She came back with, "Nicky is obsessed with those pork steaks you made from Sam's. How about those, baked sweet potatoes with "I can't believe it's not butter" and cinnamon along with green beans."

First of all, pork steaks are in no way healthy!! Secondly, pork steaks are not a "thing" here. You cannot find them. I just happened to find some at Sam's---once. I had no time to go to Sam's before the next day to even see if they had any.

I responded back to her, "How about chicken shish kebobs marinated in teriyaki sauce and some sort of rice?" That sounded pretty healthy to me. She liked that idea.

Now the first think you need to know is that I've never made shish kebobs in my life. Still, they look pretty easy. I can handle it. I went to the grocery store and bought chicken, teriyaki sauce/marinade, mushrooms, red bell pepper and onion. I had squash at home. Next, I headed to the aisle with the rice. All I can say is Oh My Gosh!
Apparently there are a whole lot of people that eat a whole lot of rice! I was so overwhelmed. How could I never have noticed that rice takes up a half of an aisle? I must have spent a half hour methodically (because I can't do anything without being methodical---lest I miss something) checking out each package.
I had it narrowed down to these two. The Knorr wasn't exactly rice, but I really like noodles too (that's my pasta background talking). The noodles were teriyaki flavored so I thought they sounded good. In the end, I decided on the Uncle Ben's because I figured--the uncle knows rice.

Fast forward, dinner. I marinated the chicken all day. About an hour before cooking, I marinated the vegetables and assembled the kebobs. They were pretty fun to make. Butch cooked them to perfection.

They were terrible! I felt like the chicken was good, but the vegetables were tasteless. Everyone else liked it just fine---all except the dang rice! It was downright disgusting! I didn't realize when I bought it that it was already some sort of prepared rice. I guess "Ready Rice" should have been my tip-off or the little microwave picture showing that it cooks in 90 seconds! It was just awful. I wonder who tested that---considering someone who doesn't even know rice---hated it!

Clearly, when it comes to rice, I'm out of my element! I'll just stick with potatoes (or pasta).

PS Yesterday, Connie and I played bridge at Richland. For lunch we had one or our favorite dishes---chicken crepes.
As you can see, the rice remained untouched! I was full after the crepes anyway!

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