March 17th, 2008

summer reading

Scenes from a Dinner Table

My daughter takes a bite of chicken, makes a face, and reaches for her drink.

I ask if it's hot. She nods and I say, "Really? I took it out of the oven some time ago to cool."

She replies, "No, not hot like temperature-hot. Like, spicy hot."

Again I say, "Really? I didn't put anything spicy in it. I didn't add any pepper or anything like that."

My husband takes a bite and makes a face remarkably similar to the one my daughter made. He tells me it's salty.

"Salty?", I say in a voice of patent disbelief. "I didn't add any salt, either."

I take a bite. It's akin to taking a chunk out of a salt lick. It's unbelievably salty. I say, "Oh God, this is awful".

My daughter sticks out her tongue and says she feels like a slug. I laugh and say, "You mean, like the kind that have been sprinkled with salt and are shriveling up and dying?" Yes, like that.

We begin the breakdown: if I didn't use salt, what did I use? We had this Montreal spice mix that I thought was to be used as a rub; my husband had used it as such awhile back with no ill results. I added some shredded parmesan and garlic powder and lightly coated the outside of the chicken breasts in that mixture before baking.

At first my husband believed I'd used one of those marinade packets that clearly tell you to add oil and other things to the packet contents before marinating and he can't get over my stupidity. Finally he understands what I was talking about and pokes a wettened finger into the original baggy of the mix and has a taste. Yep, salty.

It tasted like it was made 100% of salt. And not even a normal table kind of salt, but a super high sodium kind of salt made purely for the purpose of sucking every bit of moisture out of something (I'm thinking Egyptian mummys).

So. Dinner was pasta, rolls, peas, cucumbers, olives and radishes. Oh, and angel food cake.

Sigh.

Another gustatorial triumph for Chez fiveandfour. Is it any wonder that I don't much like cooking?