Blood and Blisters or Val’s Adventures in Cooking

I am starting to think I should start my own cooking blog of what not to do in the kitchen. Don’t get me wrong. I love to cook. But sometimes I think cooking doesn’t love me. And really I have none of the qualities that it takes to do either. Let us examine three of the meals I cooked this week for what NOT to do…

1. Potatoes a la Val
I could write a cookbook on how to make meals out of new potatoes. I always keep a bag on hand because if nothing else they make an easy meal that usually goes well tossed with whatever else you have leftover in your fridge. This week I sliced them thin and baked them with leftover garlic, parmesan cheese, and rosemary…

Of course I didn’t cut the garlic small enough to do anything.

And I totally forgot to add any salt and pepper.

And then I totally got really hungry and, therefore, impatient, and, therefore, took them out of the oven way earlier than I should have so they were still slightly raw.


2. Chicken with tarragon cream sauce.
I seasoned this up just right. The chicken turned a perfect brown, crispy on the outside, juicy on the inside. I took it out of the oven after 40 minutes on 350 and 5 on 400…and then I turned the handle to not stick out…and burned the hell out of my hand.

I spent the entire night in horrific pain. We didn’t have ice at all so I kept getting Cokes from the fridge and held them until they went warm because it was the only thing that could stop the pain and if I wasn’t holding something cold it only took moments for my body to start shaking and for it to feel as if I would pass out completely. Heather gave me some Tylenol PM which did nothing for the pain but did help me fall asleep before 9pm so I could at least ignore the pain a bit…My hand is fine today, just very blitery.

The chicken did turn out lovely though. And yes, yes even in writhing pain I still take a moment to take a photo of my food.

Chicken with tarragon cream sauce


3. Chicken and dumplings.
I had some chicken left so I decided to make soup…Because soup does not go in the oven and therefore I figured my hands would be safe. What I was not prepared for was, when cutting into the chicken after it had boiled for a bit, to hear a pop and have a ton of blood splatter up. WTF? Undeterred, I cut around the bloody parts.

I also think I forgot to salt the dumplings. But whatever. It tasted yummy. And I have enough to feel about a million people.

Chicken and dumplings

And that was my week in cooking. In conclusion, I am still alive and Heather is still alive. So I guess I am doing something right.

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Hi, I'm Val. I spent most of my 20s in a standstill, unable to pick which path in life I wanted to take. I wanted the nomadic life of a traveler but also wanted the husband, the condo, and the kitten. Unable to decide which life I wanted more, I did nothing. When I turned 30 I’d had enough of putting my life on hold and decided to start “choosing my figs.” So, I quit my job, bought a one-way ticket to Europe, and traveled for three years. Now I'm back in Chicago, decorating my apartment in all the teal, petting my cats, and planning my next adventure.

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