On Saturday evening, for the first time in a long time, I had a houseful of people to feed. There was Short and Cute Joe, Tootie and her friend, Jer and Newgz and my sisters, Sandy and Patsy.

Eight people plus myself. In my mind, that is a full house.

 


On Saturday evening, for the first time in a long time, I had a houseful of people to feed. There was Short and Cute Joe, Tootie and her friend, Jer and Newgz and my sisters, Sandy and Patsy.
Eight people plus myself. In my mind, that is a full house.
Purely by coincidence, I had actually planned ahead. I had, in stock, all the ingredients for a hearty meal. This doesn’t happen often. That’s why I?mention it.
Also purely by coincidence, I?had popped an apple crisp in the oven that afternoon (dessert!). And, there were pumpkin cookies cooling on the counter (more dessert!). Steve’s Farm Cookies were on deck but if those were baked and eaten prior to his homecoming, he would be really tweaked. Nix the Farm Cookies!
So anyway, it was decided Saturday morning that we would be having “that chicken rice thing” for supper that evening.
The instant rice, mushrooms, sour cream and “cream of” soups had been purchased. Poultry had been defrosted. We didn’t have the right kind of mustard, or enough of it. The mustard we did have on hand would have to do. Salt, pepper. Check. Check.
The only way to explain “that chicken rice thing”?is to describe it as an over-creamy chicken hotdish, not distinctly Minnesotan either. “That chicken rice thing”?does not contain egg noodles.
It has always been one of my kids’ favorite meals. I first made it, oh, about a gazillion years ago when we were living at Fort Bragg, N.C. I?saw the recipe on a Minute Rice box, gave it a try and, voila!, the kids were hooked.
The original recipe called for broccoli which, as a child, Jer refused to eat. He also refused cauliflower. Brussels sprouts??Spurned. If “that chicken rice thing”?had called for carrots or corn or peas, he might have eaten those. But broccoli??No way.
“That chicken rice thing” is the one recipe two of my three kids have asked for since moving out on their own. One of those two kids, the one who hated broccoli, claims he can make a better “that chicken rice thing” than I can.
Jer has been challenged to a cook-off. I shall prevail.
So anyway, on Saturday, I whipped together “that chicken rice thing,”?prayed the instant rice would puff and then cracked open three bags of frozen corn. Boil, drain, add butter, salt and lots of pepper. Done!
“Come and eat!”?
And the houseful ate. And it was good. It was really good!?
“It could use some more mustard, Mom,”?commented that broccoli-hating, cook-off challenged son of mine.
Okay, maybe Jer was right. “That chicken rice thing” could have used more mustard. But, hey, when it comes to cooking for a houseful of people, you work with what you’ve got. At least no one complained about there being too many mushrooms. There can never be too many mushrooms.
After all, I?can deal with people who don’t like broccoli. I?can handle people who spurn brussel sprouts. But if you don’t like mushrooms? Well, in my house, there’s only one thing to say about that:?
Get out.