Spicing up the mundane

How many of you, like me, have picked out food – either in a store, eatery or takeaway – expecting it to be one thing, only for it to turn out to be vastly different from what was envisaged? It seems with grub it’s not necessarily all in the name.
Now, I would never claim to be a Keith Floyd (though dining and a jar are always adored!) and it would probably range somewhere between chaos and disaster to let these wheels loose in a kitchen. That is one of the great pities of circumstance as cooking is something that would be delightfully engaged in were it possible.

Not quite Keith Flyod

Indeed it was, albeit for a brief period back in the day. The scones one somehow managed to produce in Home Ec in transition year in days of yore – albeit with a bit of collaboration from others for the physically unmanageable parts of the job – will always be a source of pride. As will the key rack made in woodwork, for that matter!
Anyway, whether the somewhat rekindled interest in cookery etc is down to watching programmes on same, talking about delicacies over a drop of the black stuff at night or the bit of involvement lower down in the food chain is unclear. And probably irrelevant. The fact is that a recent shopping disappointment set the mind to work.
When Chicken Maryland was selected, expectation was that there’d be some element of fancy filling therein. Primarily because it sounded American and they’re never usually behind the door about these things. Taste buds here are fairly open minded, unless a dish is noticeably polluted with garlic or mustard anything will be given a go.
Ample disappointment prevailed, mind you, when it was discovered that Chicken Maryland is – essentially – a fancy name for a piece of the poultry covered in breadcrumbs. Not that there’s anything in the slightest wrong with the latter, just that more was expected!
So much so that the brain set about concocting ways to improve the situation. Most likely inspired by that episode of The Simpsons where, in desperation for a drink, Homer J uses everything at his disposal – up to and including cough syrup – to manufacture a beverage for himself.
Such lengths were not – thankfully – resorted to in the pertinent case, but, all told, the experimentation turned out rather well. Some will no doubt question the validity of yours truly claiming credit for the results as others were actually operating the kitchen machinery, but, somebody somewhere had to originally come up with recipes used by people around the world every day – even Chicken Maryland.
Well, here’s what transpired in this case. Some time ago, a dish was encountered in a display case that ended up going down a treat – chicken, sprinkled with lemon juice and cracked black pepper. For whatever reason – most likely lack of uptake despite my best efforts – it wasn’t on the go for too long.
Following the Maryland misadventure, it was decided to recreate the nosh up referred to earlier – albeit with my mother actually putting things together and getting them ready! As was said earlier, for whatever reason, the mind often tends to be full of food ideas. Thus arrives the piece you are now reading. More are sure to follow.
A tweaked version of the lemon/black pepper combination didn’t take long to manifest itself. Inventiveness was borne out of necessity. With the body not in the best of shape, the original ensemble was deemed to be too acidic. In its stead, mixed herbs were combined with the pepper and the results were equally delectable.

As good as all that has been to this point, there may be more to come. If ambitions are anything to go by, some method of growing lettuce, scallions and God knows what else at manageable levels from this seat will be arrived at. Watch this space!

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