Saturday, April 05, 2008

The story of my casserole

Tonight I made a yummy chicken/rice/green chili casserole. I really wanted to use brown rice but I couldn't remember if the rest of the casserole was yummy enough to cover it up. We have a lot of chicken around here to use up and by the way, if anyone is making a whole chicken soon and can take pity on us, please save me the bones. I'll come pick them up. Ashley and I had our parent/teacher conference yesterday and we accidentally volunteered to help the teacher do a fake fossil project. I thought we were just volunteering to give him a gift card to Office Mart and next thing I know I'm searching the internet to see if anyone would sell me a bag of chicken bones. And the answer is no. Anyway, everytime I use this casserole recipe I can't help but remember where I got it.

Years ago Ashley and I were house/petsitting and I found this and several other really nice recipes from the woman's stack of healthy cooking magazines. It's handwritten so everytime I read it I have to squint and wonder what is egg sw? Then I remember it was egg "sub" but I never remember how many actual eggs I use. Anyway -

This woman was/is super nice. One of the nicest. She had 2 or 3 cats and a dog. She gave us a bunch of instructions about feeding which we mostly forgot but we did recall that she told us they would all only eat their own food. I know better than this, but she seemed sure. Anyway, it should have been no surprise at all that feeding time was complete and utter chaos. And it was complete and utter chaos twice a day.

I don't think all the animals were really old but there was this one cat that was simply ancient. She looked flat, like road kill. I do remember that all the animals seemed a little crazy and you know things are bad when Ashley's complaining because Ashley LOVES animals. He's the sweetest to them. Things were beginning to feel a little out of control, not just because of the animals (mostly but not only), but we also couldn't remember the feeding instructions, the owner was out of phone contact, and everyone was eating something different - Except they weren't!!! It was beginning to look like maybe we had some extra cans even though we were slinging food everywhere and it seemed impossible but they were eating everything we threw at them. I considered throwing food away to make it look like we knew what we were doing.
I found the whole thing exasperating, but maybe a little funny, until the day we came home and found that the dog had eaten the crotch out of my underwear. That was it for me. I told that dog I'm not talking to you anymore, you can't do something like that and expect to stay friends.

On the last night there Ashley got up in the dark of the morning and was gone awhile. I remembered to ask him what that was about when we got up and he said the old cat sat by his side of the bed and pawed at his arm for about an hour. And I believe him. He felt like he was being tortured so he got up to feed her.

And then I got a delicious recipe from the magazines.

This recipe also reminds me of the time I made it for a potluck at work and there was a HUGE storm in New York. I sat on the freeway not moving for so long I grated cheese in my car. On my way home I drove two people who couldn't take the subway because of closures and Shira ate the cheese off the grater while we waited in more bad traffic because she thought we couldn't see what she was doing back there.

And that is the story of my casserole.

I wonder if we were to be around crazy pets now if we would even notice since having a little kid around has made us much more immune to chaos. This week I went to get ice out of the maker and I got frozen hash browns. I told Ashley and he just said okay. I didn't bother to make another drink because so what, potatoes don't really taste like much. Ashley dumped out the tray and told me one more glass and someone would have had a cup full of ground beef, too. Next time we can just throw in some peas and make it a Shepherd's Pie dispenser.

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