Have you ever had those moments, or maybe entire days, where you just don’t have the ingredients for something you were really wanting to make? Or worse, you’ve started making something and don’t have enough of an ingredient? But it’s just not possible, for one reason or another, to make it to the grocery store? What do you do? Do you shelve that idea and figure out something else to make? Do you make it without? Or do you, gulp, use a substitute ingredient? (I suppose the answers to those questions would depend a lot on what ingredient was missing!)
Well, this was my dilemma yesterday. Figuring out what to have for lunch is always a struggle for me because most of the time I’m not interested in whatever “kid friendly” meal I have just prepared for my son (and daughter on non-school days). Yesterday I was about to make another boring peanut butter and jelly sandwich when I remembered the new container of turkey slices I had gotten for my husband. Usually, I don’t like eating deli meat sandwiches, but it just sounded too good to pass up. And when I have a turkey sandwich, I love having lettuce on it. I pull out the turkey, but naturally, we don’t have lettuce.
Now, I know what you’re thinking. ‘Why didn’t you buy lettuce when you bought the container of turkey?’ And you would be right to ask that. But, like I said before, I’m not big on deli meat. So I don’t eat it very often. And for a while last summer, I was on a salad kick and always had tons of lettuce on hand. But I get sick of eating the same thing over and over. And like everything else, I soon tired of salads and haven’t bought lettuce in…well I guess a really long ass time because I can’t remember how long ago it was.
So, no lettuce for my turkey. But rather than let that spoil my craving for a turkey sandwich, I made it without and enjoyed it. For the most part.
I was also planning on roasting a chicken in the oven for supper last night. I was getting everything ready for it to go into the oven and I had a moment of panic. “Oh God, do we have chicken broth?” I opened the cupboard and looked on every shelf, even the ones I knew wouldn’t have it. Nothing. Crap.
See, I’m not a super cook, but I have found that when I put chicken broth in the bottom of my roasting pan and then baste the chicken while it’s cooking, it turns out pretty good. My husband is incredibly picky and hates when food is “too bland.” The chicken broth helps me with that. (I also rub the chicken, inside and out, with salt, but it’s just not enough on it’s own.) This would be the perfect time to pick up the phone, call the grocery store, and say, “Hi, I’m an idiot and forgot to buy something that I really need right now. Could you please deliver some chicken broth and some romaine lettuce? Thanks!” No such luck.
Time to get creative. I had to cook this chicken because it was getting too close to the expiration date for me to put it off any longer and I really, really wanted leftovers for chicken salad sandwiches. I lightly ground some pepper over the chicken and rubbed it and the salt in. I knew I had some beef broth from when I cooked a beef roast last week. I grabbed it out of the fridge and poured it in the bottom of the pan. I added extra water to dilute it some and maybe take away some of the “beefy” flavor. Then I worried I had put in too much water, so more beef broth went in. (I told you I’m not a great cook. “Top Chef” will definitely not be calling me to audition any time soon.) Into the oven it went and I crossed my fingers.
After cooking and basting and waiting for my husband to get home, I got the chicken out of the pan and (after letting it sit for an appropriate time) started carving it. And I have to tell you, I did a pretty kickass job at carving. Even if it didn’t taste good, it sure looked good! I dished up the food and got everything on the table. The moment of truth…and it was actually pretty good! The skin tasted wonderful and while the meat didn’t have as much flavor as I would have liked, there were no complaints and no suggestions for improvement!
Hurray me! Supper was saved!
Have any of you been in this sort of predicament?