Thursday, November 15, 2007

The Cooth Cooth Chronicles

As some of you may know, one of my larger challenges since I embarked upon the wife life has been cooking. Or figuring out how to cook. Or, more precisely, even remembering that dinner is coming AGAIN tonight and we're probably going to want something to eat.

The truth is, I spent the first three decades of my life doing very little that involved the combination of food and heat. Sure, I learned to whip up mac & cheese from both Kraft (everyday) or Velveeta (for special occasions), and my baloney sandwiches are the stuff that lunchtime dreams are made of. But my Italian husband was raised on meals that came from INSIDE the oven, a place I rarely ventured near. Today, I decided that things were going to be different--I was going to go all out and whip up a gourmet meal for my man.

Dreaming of America's Next Top Chef, I boldly bypassed the potatoes, the rice, the pasta...even the mac & cheese...and pulled out a box of couscous to accompany our basic steak dinner. It sounded so exotic! Now, I'd never made couscous. I'd never even eaten it. I watched my four year old niece wrestle it down once this summer ("I don't think I like cooth cooth," she admitted sadly as she pushed the bits of grain around the bowl). But it came in the same type of box as the rice pilaf I know and love; I figured, "How bad could it be?"

Well. Hmm. Here's the thing: It tasted like the little rocks at the bottom of a fish tank might taste if heated and covered with salt and butter. And it went EVERYWHERE. Under our plates, on the rug, in my hair...honestly, they should sell this stuff in the pet section of the grocery store, because without a dog I can't imagine how you'd clean it up. We were tempted to lift Kylie right up onto the table and just let her lick up all those tiny grain dots. Guessing that this would unfairly raise her expectations about family dinner etiquette in the future, we instead opted to leave the room for a few minutes. And miraculously (?!?) the table was clean when we returned!

(Don't judge! If it wasn't for THAT DOG, we'd be picking up amber waves of grain until Thanksgiving!)

11 comments:

LEstes65 said...

Ok, we will have to take this offline on email. Because "coos coos" (my people call it couscous)is the easiest thing on the planet to make aside from Minute Rice. Also, it's more a pasta than a true grain.

And I'd like to know what brand you got so I can steer clear. We will talk. I will make you love the stuff. Trust me.

If you're still not convinced, but want something aside from the normal boring stuff on your shelves, I really suggest trying one of the whole grain blends by someone like Near East. I freakin' LOVE those.

JenKneeBee said...

I concur - cooth cooth IS terrible!

Angela said...

I've never had it either, and now I'm rather suspicious of the stuff to boot.

Sarakastic said...

I made humus from a mix this summer even though I'd never had it before. I thought "hmm I don't know what humus is but I'm pretty sure this isn't it". I feel your pain

Patti said...

we just had a convo about couth couth this evening. i was all "come on..try it" and husband was all like "um, no."

Jen A. Miller said...

Not a fan of cooth cooth. A big fan of America's Test Kitchen, though, if you're looking for cooking advice :-)

Speaking of THAT DOG, I took MY DOG to the beach this weekend. Check out the cuter than cute pictures! http://downtheshorewithjen.blogspot.com/2007/11/emily-goes-down-shore.html

L Sass said...

Velveeta Shells and Cheese (how fancy) is the mac and cheese for special occasions! LOL. Now I want that for dinner.

Moanna said...

I bought a box of couscous just the other day but now I think I'll leave it on the shelf. Unless Lynette shares her secrets with us on her blog (hint hint).

Stephanie said...

Couscous, if cooked right, is v. good. I think the key is to get the bigger stuff--the Israeli couscous--and to find a recipe that focuses more on olive oil and herbs.

Or, I recommend going to the deli case at Whole Foods and asking them for half a pound of their already cooked couscous--it has cranberries and stuff in it. And it's all yellow and pretty, as its cooked with safron. Yum!!!

But the little buggers can get everywhere if you don't pay attention.

Stacy said...

It's quite a year for your hair. Pink dye and couscous.

Kimberly Palmer said...

I've been meaning to tell you - I LOVE cous cous made this way (I got it from Barefoot Contessa) - first toast pine nuts in a sauc pan, take them out and cook the cous cous (I use Near East brand also, with their spices). Then, at the end, after you fluff it, add back the pine nuts and- this is key - add golden raisons - so good!