07 July 2006

Someone's in the kitchen with Dinah

I may not be the Iron Chef (I certainly can’t arrange their peacock presentations and can’t make an entire meal from appetizer to dessert from beets), but I do enjoy experimenting in the kitchen when the food muse visits.
A few months ago, Chris and I had spent our Friday night at Dallas Museum of Art’s Date Night. We enjoyed John Cage’s music in the foyer, played with DuChamp’s pieces in the show, and attended a cooking demonstration of chicken pot pie, inspired by Jasper Johns’ “Target.” They sent us home with recipes in hand, and it became my duty to mimic the tasty pastry. A veritable disaster. I had neglected to buy chicken stock. No problemo! my creativity cried, I live for substitutions! White wine will do just fine. As for the apparent diminished amount of fennel for which the recipe called, I’ll double it. I donned my super-chef hat and cooked away, whistling while I worked. I ladled the filling into the pie shell, licking my fingers with the excess. Hmm. Odd. What is that funny bitter twang taste? No matter. I’m sure it will bake away, I prayed with fingers crossed. I grated the Romano cheese (my own addition to the recipe) over the mixture with a restaurant looking grater that, unfortunately, fell apart into the pie with every few turns of the handle. I peeled the second pie shell from its aluminum ready-to-bake pan to top the pie, only to have it melt in my hands. Perhaps it had been out of the freezer just a bit too long. I rolled and pressed and stretched, but to no avail. I threw the mess over the top of the chicken filling, deeming it a piece of abstract art with a message about our rent society, and into the oven it went.
Ding! We dished the comestible and took a bite. We had spoken too soon when we thanked God for this particular provision. I pursed my lips to keep from spitting out the offending matter. My husband bravely shoveled several bites with a forced smile, but in the end the pie landed heavily in the trash. As for our grumbling stomachs, we settled on our local Phó eatery.
My cooking lessons for the day: too much of a good thing is still too much, and not every item can be aptly substituted for another.


tranthegirl said...

Aaaah... but you forgot to mention that you did not give up there but tried making chix pot pie the next day... to success (even w/ a from scratch crust). Voila!

J Hearne said...

congrats on your eventual success.

White wine for Chicken stock, though?