Is there any point in posting shit? I go back and forth on this a lot. Do my recipes need a point? My last post was about cooking my last meal in Hong Kong in my kitchen. If you are a cook, then you’ll know that the “my kitchen” part is important. Every cook wants to be dealt a good hand and being able to create in a familiar space with all your own tools is a good start.
Since my last meal, I’ve been living out of suitcase, crashing in temporary digs for a few weeks at a time. I’ve cooked since then, but nothing I’ve viewed as blog worthy. Or is it? Is there something to be said for making due, using other people’s kitchens, their nearly new pots and pans, their dull knives, their potato scrubber? Figuring out that they do not keep a regular stock of shallots, that they like to store their rice in the freezer, and that the tap needs to be twisted a little harder to the right so it doesn’t drip.
For me, all these things make a difference. It changes how I cook. What I cook. Or if I even decide to cook at all. I maybe don’t realise it at the time, but cooking becomes my way of creating some sort of familiarity and comfort for myself. All the while being mindful not to set something on fire or accidentally tip a bottle of prized olive oil out the window.
So it was about 8:30pm the night before a national holiday. I had a very important birthday party to attend the next day and wanted to bring a dish. I was going to make some junky Mexican snacks, but then when none of the ingredients I wanted were on hand, I found myself pacing the aisles trying to think of something on the fly. Considering all aspects of my life had now changed, from my transport to what plastic containers may or may not be at my disposable, I went with one of the simplest and also one of the first dishes I’d ever cooked -chicken salad.
I didn’t have a camera so I took all the photos on my iPad. And I stole (or borrowed) a few of the ingredients off my generous friends (thank you). I can report that it turned out all right. I mean, what can I say? It’s chicken salad. It’s a snap to make, and it’s good. Does any one else out there really care? Do you need to? I suppose if you ever find yourself in my sort of situation, then you might want to give this a try.
Bloggable Apple and Bacon Chicken Salad
- 1 large boneless, skinless chicken breast
- juice of an orange
- olive oil
- salt and pepper
- Dijon mustard
- 3 Granny Smith apples
- 1 small red onion
- 10-12 strips of bacon
- Bibb lettuce leaves
PS -the description of other people’s kitchens is sort of an amalgamation of all the unfamiliar kitchens I’ve cooked in in my life. The two places I’ve stayed thus far have actually had a pretty bling set up. So definitely no whining here.