Our old selves, jiffy curried chicken

Read a closet-cleaning article (a measure of my determination NOT to overeat or play computer solitaire) with a powerful image: Those clothes we can’t seem to discard are our old selves standing in the way of our newer (more organized, focused,thinner) selves.

Perfect thought for Halloween, the idea of animating my baggy, saggy tees and sweatpants, the dresses that now fit like something tailored by Omar the Tentmaker. Is that why it’s so difficult to pull them from the closet, toss them in a trash bag and drive them to Goodwill? The thought buried somewhere that not only might I need to wear them again sometime but that they’re the last ghosts of the fat girl I was? Once they’re gone, where is she?

Does it matter in the grand scheme of things (and, really, is there a grand scheme?) what exterior images/appearances we choose to present to the world? It shouldn’t, but it does. I found being fat like trying to work in my old Charlotte newsroom: In both cases, I had to jump through so many demeaning hoops before I could accomplish anything that it just about wasn’t worth it to try. I need one memento of that, maybe a photo, nothing more.

Brown rice would be more nutritious than jasmine

So I’m heading upstairs with a couple trash bags and an interesting weekend’s worth of cooking behind me. Saturday I spent the entire morning and messed up every dish in the kitchen making a fancy country ham (that’s Southern for pancetta)-Parmesan-roasted pepper-basil and parsley-stuffed steak. It was OK but not three hours better than the crockpot Chicken Curry I made in 5 minutes Friday from a cooks.com recipe. 

 Unlike so many slow cooker recipes, this one is actually full of flavor as long as you don’t overcook it. Recipe says 2-1/2 to 4 hours on high. Our cooker, which evidently has only two settings — tepid and on fire — took  90 minutes on high.

Slow cooker chicken curry

2 whole chicken breasts, bones and skin removed

2 cans condensed cream of mushroom or chicken soup, reduced-fat

1/4 cup good-quality dry sherry

2 tablespoons real butter

2 green onions with tops, cleaned and finely chopped

1 teaspoon curry powder

1 teaspoon salt (or less)

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

Cooked rice

Cut chicken into bite-size pieces, place in slow cooker. Stir together soup, sherry, butter, onions, curry, S&P and add over chicken. Cover and cook on high until done (see note above). Serve over hot rice with something green (broccoli salad?) and fruit (fresh pears?) on the side. Serves 4.


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