So yesterday, for the second time in less than a week, I found myself fixing a comfort meal to bring to a friend. To be honest, taking comfort food usually sends me into a tailspin. Oh, I like to do it. It’s just that it causes anxiety around the old home place when I do. Frankly, I’m just not a great cook. My heart is Betty Crocker, but my hands are a little more Sara Lee. On top of that, we’re just not big casserole folks around here. Neither the husband nor the girls like their food all mushed together in one dish. We’re people of simple tastes – meat on the grill, veggies in the steamer, and a baked potato in the oven. Unfortunately, that kind of a meal just doesn’t travel well. So when I need to bring a mobile meal, I go into recipe hunt overdrive. You know, it’s very difficult to be a moderate cook when you’re a type “A” overachiever who is her own worst critic. I’m always afraid that my home cooked love offering leaves the hapless victims running from table to Subway with a pit stop at the dumpster along the way. That causes me anxiety.
I’ve tried so many combinations of the meal on wheels that I’ve lost count. Usually, I team up with my sister, who likes to cook, and we do a meal together. It’s those times when I have to fly solo, however, that cause me comfort meal consternation. That’s what I’ve had to do this week.
Enter the orange theme. I’ve decided that one of the best things about having a theme for the year is that it gives me a focus for trying new recipes. I am constantly checking my websites (love allrecipes.com), cookbooks, and magazines for interesting ways to use anything orange, either in color or flavor.
Well, eureka. I have found a really good meal to take to others… and it’s orange inspired.
The recipe that I took yesterday is for Orange Marmalade Chicken What I like about this meal is that it fulfills just about every qualification of a great meal upon the wheel.
*It’s easy; therefore even I can do it (check)
*It has very few ingredients (check), and…
*It has the type of ingredients which can be hoarded on the pantry shelf to be ready at a
moment’s notice (double check)
*It combines both the meat and side dish in one entrée, thereby eliminating the need for
yet another stressful decision. (check)
*It is pretty healthy and can be adapted to restricted diets (check)
*It can be taken uncooked since the bake time is less than 30 minutes (check)
*My finicky family of non mush meal eaters likes it (check)
Paired with these copper pennies (yes, more orange)
and a side salad, it’s a complete meal. OK, no dessert, but it’s a start. For my next thing, I’ll find a delicious orange inspired cake to go with it. Baby steps.
Now, if I can just get a better handle on the packaging and delivery thing…