Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Repulsion Cuisine

Around midnight one evening, laying in bed but not yet in asleep, I turned to the boy and said: "What's the opposite of fusion? Repulsion maybe?"

One of the many reasons I love this man is he always takes me seriously. He stopped and thought for twenty seconds. "Yeah, that sound good."

Earlier that day I'd been presented with a dilemma: What to make with potatoes. The potatoes were important. They were growing old, were probably already a little past-done, but salvageable. I knew I could make roast or skillet potatoes pretty easy. But while I had a ton of ground pork and could easily make Ma Po Tofu for the dozenth time, I just couldn't stomach the idea of Ma Po Tofu and Potatoes. That wasn't the kind of fusion cuisine I liked, it was more like repulsion cuisine.

I did have some drumsticks that the boy had purchased and then, like many grocery store inspirations of his, left to die in the freezer. The problem? I have this neurosis about chicken. I'm terrified of undercooking the pale pink meat. I'll eat it when others make it without batting an eye, but I fear my own abilities. Still, chicken and potatoes sounded much, much better than Ma Po Tofu and Potatoes.

Battling my fear, I paged through a new cookbook I'd picked up on the recommendation of a friend, Apples for Jam. Chicken Drumsticks and Wings with Orange Tomato Glaze caught my eye. I like the word glaze, so that was a good start. The basic ingredients were encouraging. The 2-2 1/2 hour cooking time sealed the deal. I could eat chicken that had cooked for that long.

Finally, I had a complete meal.

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