Cooking is a learning experience. Even when you know how to do something, there's always room for improvement, experimentation, and finding new ways of doing things that will perhaps work better next time.
Yesterday contained one such example for me. I decided to make turkey soup from the leftover turkey bones from my Yule supper. Not a hard thing to do. Throw the bones and skin in a pot, cover with water, put the pot on the stove, and let it bubble away for about four hours or so. That part worked out just fine, and left the kitchen wonderfully warm. (The kitchen is in the back area of the apartment, which isn't connected to the heating vents, so it's always cold in there in the winter.)
After fishing out the bones and skin and fat, it was time to put in the rest of the meat and the chopped vegetables. I was running low on variety for veggies, so in went carrots and potatoes only. Enough to be filling, but I admit I would have liked to add turnip and onion too, if we'd had any, and Rachel suggested peas also. But we make do with what we have.
After that had been cooking for a while, Rachel asked if I'd put any rice in the soup. I said I hadn't, but it was a good idea. So back to the kitchen I go to add some rice to the mix. I didn't know how much to add, mind, and I seem to have this interesting tendency to add more rice than there needs to be.
Yesterday was no different.
When when the rice had fully cooked, it had absorbed almost every bit of the broth in the pot! What I was left with wasn't so much a turkey and vegetable soup so much as a rice porridge with turkey and vegetables in it! Not quite what I'd had in mind!
But it tasted fine just the same, and that's the important thing so far as I'm concerned. It was also much more filling than soup on its own likely would have been, so I'm definitely not complaining at that!
I have another turkey carcass in the freezer from my mother's Christmas dinner, and when I use that to make another batch of soup (which will be as soon as I get some more containers, since all of our Tupperware ones are now filled with turkey porridge), I'll use considerably less rice. Perhaps no rice at all! And I'll make sure to get turnip and onion and peas to go in the mix.
Even when I don't quite get it right, I'm learning something, and to be honest I'm enjoying myself while I'm doing so. Sometimes I fret over having spent too much time in the day not doing "productive" things. If I've cooked something, I feel better later, since I spent time making things for Rachel and I to eat. If you can't call that productive, I don't know what you can!