Monday, May 11, 2009

Cooking 101 :: A Series

I glanced in the backseat and saw her eyes opened. I made a snap decision. I could still get there, get in, and get out before she lost it. I jumped on the opportunity and turned the car towards WalMart.

Unbuckling Sashi from her carseat, I mentally ran through the list of items I needed to complete my meal. All the ingredients awaited me at home with the exception of three things. I strapped Sashi into the cart and dashed into the store. Checking the items in my cart against the mental list, I grabbed what I needed and quickly headed toward home.

On a recent trip to the Bread Co, I stood motionless, staring blankly at the menu above my head. I wanted lunch. I didn't know what lunch I wanted. But I found myself standing in line at my favorite lunch spot, looking vacantly towards the words on the posterboards ahead of me, searching for that one mouth-watering delictible item that would satisfy my mealtime desires for that day. Keri, the friendly cashier, could be heard discussing a sandwich with a fellow indecisive patron beside me. "It comes on the croissant, but I had it on the country wheat, and it was delicious!" she oozed.

Hmm, I thought. Glowing reviews. 'Delicious,' eh? What are we talking about over there? I asked, "What sandwich is that, Keri?" She named the new chicken salad. I tried it minutes later on the traditional croissant. As I bit into the sandwich, I immediately knew. It might be better than my chicken salad. Sooner than I realized at that particular moment, I would indeed find out.

I brought in the bags from the store and quickly readied Sashi for her nap. I piled all the ingredients onto the counter in preparation. Pulling the chicken cooked the night before from the fridge, I smiled at how miserly I was being that day with my finances. No trip to the Bread Co. for me this day! Nope! I held my mental ground and told myself, "NO! I don't need to spend $6 on a sandwich out when I can make a sandwich just as good at home for a fraction of the cost!" Truth be told, it had cost more than the price of the sandwich to bring home the package of croissants, the celery, and the onion from WalMart. But, I reasoned, I'd be using up the aging grapes from my fridge - plus using the leftover chicken from the night before! And I could make more than one sandwich - three meals out of one! Certainly I was saving under those circumstances!

I cut into the precooked chicken. The knife caught slightly on the fleshy portion of the flank. Strange, I thought. That didn't feel right. I sliced the chicken again. With each consecutive cut, my mind grew more and more at ease. This is fine. This will be good. I mixed all the parts with abandon. After-all, this was the recipe for chicken salad that I had perfected. I took it from the Sunday paper and made it expertly mimic the salad at a regional grocer that locals love. Love love love that chicken salad. I piled it high onto my freshly cut croissant. Chips on the side. Positioned prettily on my plate - oh so proud was I for saving my money and not making that routine trip to buy lunch out.

One bite. One bite and I knew.
Bread Co's is better.

One bite. One bite and I knew.
That chicken wasn't cooked.

Three hours. Three hours later I knew.
Bread Co's is better. They cook their chicken.

My free advertisement:
Eat the new chicken salad sandwich at Bread Co. on a croissant with chips on the side.

But if you don't? If you don't, then

my public service announcement:

cuz food poisoning really sucks.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...