Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Knives, Raspberries, and Cooking in the Dark

It's been the most interesting week so far.

Monday, I was back and forth across the city and then across the river too. Over in Cambridge, I almost did a victory dance in Shaw's when I found cupcake liners. Because I haven't been able to find cupcake liners in any Boston grocery store. Do Bostonians not make cupcakes? And then I spent three hours learning to cut in a Knife Skills class at the Cambridge School of Culinary Arts. Some of the class participants had truly gruesome stories about kitchen accidents -- one girl had almost sliced off a grape-sized portion of her palm with a mandoline -- and were motivated to avoid further injuries. Me? I just want to be comfortable with large, sharp knives. I want to chop vegetables quickly, efficiently, and uniformly. And I now know the absolute best way to cut a red pepper -- and  it's so cool. It's so cool that it's practically a party trick.

Tuesday, I was up to my elbows in raspberry puree. It's a long story why and where, so I'll save the details for another time. But as I blended an ice cream base and the raspberry puree, I accidentally (and thoroughly) soaked myself in puree. The reaction from those around me? "You look like you killed somebody!" Awesome. Later, as I headed to meet A for a cocktail, I looked down at my forearms, saw red splotches, and thought I'd broken out in hives. Nope. Just raspberry. Everywhere.

That brings us to today. The kitchen light blew out and the Internet and cable went down. Picture this: I'm quickly dicing celery (using my newfound appreciation for knives!) and cooking chicken on the stove I hate, in the dark, with Comcast on the phone. A dangerous combination.

But, a lightbulb was located, I went up on a kitchen chair, the kitchen light (covered by one of those huge glass bulbs with nails holding the whole thing together... you know the type) was replaced, and there was light. A few tense discussions with Comcast later, the Internet and TV reappeared.

And then I made chicken salad.

All-American Chicken Salad

2 whole chicken breasts (approx. 1.75 lb.), cooked and shredded
6 medium stalks of celery, diced
1/2 cup light mayonnaise
1 cup raisins
Salt and fresh lemon juice to taste

Combine all ingredients (except for the salt and lemon juice) and mix well. Season to taste.

Serves 2-3 people.

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