More Food

Somehow Friday slipped past me a little too quickly, much like Thursday. I did work a lot, again, putting in another eight hours. I hope the three left to me for today are enough to gather the payroll, do my paperwork, and deliver it all. I guess only time will tell.

Predictably, I am really writing (for the first time in weeks actually dictating) this post on Friday to be ready for an early morning autopost by WordPress. As I spent the afternoon with paperwork and plans for ending our little Census operation here in and around Jackson County, dinner time approaches, so food is on my mind. Thus the title of today’s post.

One Brief Moment for Anniversary Romance…

Today’s post should actually be entitled something dramatically romantic, like “I Love You” or “Happy Anniversary, Honey” or “Twenty-eight Years of Paradise!” The reason for that, of course, is that today is our wedding anniversary, as I had suggested to you earlier. Instead we’ve got food.

And Now Back to the Good Stuff…

For supper yesterday/today, Janet and I enjoyed a casserole dish she introduced me to. So I guess it makes presenting the recipe for that dish vaguely appropriate. Vaguely appropriate, that is, if youʼre a bit off-center and desperate for something to write as I am. I don’t want to write about work (even though I’ve already mentioned it), and I don’t want to mindlessly continue presenting prose I should be polishing for sale. And I don’t have any deep and profound reflections on romance and married life just at the present moment, either (although I should). So it’s food.

I do like this dish, and Janet is the only reason that I am even aware of it, so it really is kind of appropriate for today (although she has other recipes — like her beef stroganoff or mushroom pasta or… — that are more romantic and therefore would have been wiser choices). Iʼll just have to reveal them later. Some day.

The casserole is normally called Chicken and Rice Casserole around here (only just about always without the word “Casserole”), and we like it pretty well. It is also simple and easy to prepare (and like most things I enjoy, capable of addition and improvisation — yeah, John the jazz chef). To make this casserole you need:

  • 1 cup of rice (we prefer brown)
  • 2 cans of cream soup mixed up with two cans of water (I use cream of mushroom and cream of chicken)
  • half a bag of frozen vegetables (Janet refuses to use the brands with lima beans included)
  • shreds or chunks of chicken (tearing up about 1½ to 2 chicken breasts, or less)
  • spices to your taste (I like: garlic powder, onion powder, pepper)
  • other ingredients you enjoy, such as canned or fresh mushrooms, diced onion, chopped spinach…

Preheat your oven to about 375°. In a 9 x 12 baking pan (or cake pan) — which I prepare with a light dose of non-stick cooking spray — scatter your cup of rice across the bottom, then add the frozen vegetables (you could actually use the whole bag) and the chicken bits and whatever other ingredients you wish to include. In a mixing bowl whisk the two cans of soup together with two can-fulls of water, added gradually, and your spices. Pour the soup over the ingredients in the baking pan and stir together evenly.

Place the pan in the oven and bake for almost an hour, at which time you should try to stir the still watery ingredients and then cook for another twenty minutes to half hour. (If you use white rice, it usually only takes about an hour altogether, so stir the dish about halfway through that time.) The dish is done when the rice has cooked and absorbed all the excess liquid. [Total brown rice cooking time — about ninety to a hundred minutes]

Although Janet and I can devour an entire pan of this, sad to report, these amounts should give you 4 to 6 servings.

Last night I only added spices and canned mushrooms to the basic (actual) recipe.

That’s what we ate for dinner Friday, the evening before our big anniversary, and it’s just about time for me to go and prepare it. We’ll see about a more romantic meal sometime this weekend. One thing Janet would like to do is to attend the Dubuque Renaissance Fair, which does look interesting (go on, fainthearts, click that link and see for yourselves). We’ll have to see how that fits in around the payroll delivery, grocery shopping, shopping shopping, and trying just to spend a little time together. (Which means that tomorrow may be the first day this year without a post from me. We’ll see…)

©2010 John Randolph Burrow, Magickal Monkey Enterprises, Ltd, S.A.

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