I’m cooking my way through the impeachment process.
This is what I do. As life shoots its slings and arrows, I head to the kitchen to vent my frustrations, along with the steam from, perhaps, a nice corned beef and cabbage. It might seem as if adding angst to the recipe would lead to fallen soufflés and soured soups, but miracle of miracles, the worse it gets, the better the food is. I believe the meals benefit from the intensity of my focus and the need to fully immerse myself in a labor-intensive task.
As witness after witness testified last week in the House impeachment hearings, culminating with the testimonies of William Taylor, the acting ambassador to Ukraine, and former Ambassador Marie Yovanovich, I moved my field of operations to my kitchen, where I have a singularly not-smart TV. It was on this particular TV that I watched the planes hit the twin towers on Sept. 11, 2001, saw the Obamas greet the crowds on election night in 2008, and watched Donald Trump take the oath of office before a sparsely attended gathering on the Washington Mall. Lots of history has flowed from that little box as I cooked and baked my way to comfort and acceptance.
After Taylor offered his testimony last Wednesday about the Trump foreign policy possibly employing extortion, some pro-Trump commentators said that Taylor’s testimony lacked “pizzazz” or was too “boring” to capture the attention of the American people.
The man was fifth in his class of 800 at West Point, served in Vietnam and won a Bronze Star and a medal for valor. His detailed testimony about President Trump’s alleged attempts to bribe the president of Ukraine into investigating the Bidens was clear and precise. No pizzazz? Boring?
Feeling pretty much flambéed by such inane remarks, I looked up a recipe for a bold Chicken Chile Verde with plenty of pizzazz. No boredom here:
2 pounds pobano chilis
1 pound tomatillos
3 cups water
1 large jalapeno, chopped
2 cloves garlic
1 onion, minced
1 cup cilantro
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1½ pounds chicken thighs cut into pieces
Steamed rice, chopped avocado
• Roast, peel and chop poblanos.
• Stew tomatillos, water, jalopeno, garlic and onion 5 minutes. Add poblanos. Drain, reserving half of liquid.
• Blend boiled vegetables with cilantro and liquid and puree.
• Season chicken, cook in skillet, add vegetables.
• Serve over rice.
As I was writing this, Yovanovich, who has been harassed, vilified and threatened by Trump, was being questioned. Nearly simultaneously, the president who is accused of thinly veiled threats against her in the past began tweeting about her, basically blaming her for the longtime civil unrest in Somalia, one of her early posts. He tweeted in real time, doubling down on the troubling behavior that made him the subject of the impeachment inquiry in the first place.
This called for an Upside Down Cake. Feel free to select your own recipe, although I do recommend pineapple.
Then, stop the presses: The news wires reported Friday that David Holmes, a career diplomat, testified that he heard Gordon Sondland, our ambassador to the European Union, say to Trump over the phone, “He loves your ass,” referring to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky’s willingness to do whatever Trump suggested vis a vis the Biden investigation.
Tell me if I’m wrong. This calls for a major Slow Cooker Pork Butt.
Then, as if impeachment stress wasn’t enough, as I was writing, my phone started alerting me that the official lunatic of Trump World, Roger Stone, had been convicted on all counts of lying to Congress when it was investigating Russia’s interference in the 2016 election. Stone is a longtime associate and friend of Trump’s.
Could one concoct a more appropriate dessert than Great British Fool?
1 cup whipping cream
1 tablespoon confectioner’s sugar
1 cup fruit
1 pound seasonal fruit, peeled and trimmed
2½ teaspoons sugar
• Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place berries or cut-up fruit in saucepan and sprinkle with sugar. Add water to cover and boil 10 minutes.
• Cool compote in refrigerator 30 minutes.
• Whisk the cream and confectioner’s sugar until soft peaks form. Divide the fool among decorative glasses and serve.
Since it is a Great British Fool, it should be shared with Boris Johnson and his people.
Copyright 2019 Randi Kreiss. Randi can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.