I like to cook and think I have mentioned that a time or two.  I am not sure what my favorite food to cook is.  I try lots of things.  I even make things up or adapt recipes.  Last night was one of those occasions.  I had mini peppers in multiple colors and needed something to go with them to use them all before they spoiled.  Chicken Cacciatore came to mind.  I had no recipe so did what I could remember and hoped it worked.

I bought the chicken for supper and to prepare some small chicken pot pies for later meals.  I boiled the chicken till it was cooked then cooled it.  I then cut up the colorful peppers, a red onions and celery for the main dish.  I cut some of the chicken into large chunks and put it in the pan with a jar of mushrooms and the veggies and covered it with a small jar of spaghetti sauce.  As it cooked it did not look like enough broth so I added a can of tomato soup and stirred.  It still looked to be lacking some so I added some of the broth from boiling the chicken to the consistency I wanted.  I let it sit and cook away.

I then took the rest of the chicken and cut it into little cubes.  While I was doing that I boiled some small carrots and three potatoes in the chicken broth till they were soft.  I divided the chicken; semi- cooked carrots and now peeled and cubed potatoes into the 8 small pie plates and covered them with chicken gravy thinned with the broth.  The broth went a very long way!!!  I bought pie crusts and made circles of them and covered the pies and threw them in the freezer to cook later.

What a lot of work and what a great reward as I looked at all I had done in a very short time.  The Chicken Cacciatore was cooking away on the stove and smelling great.  I cooked up some spaghetti to go under the sauce.  Salad and a baguette finished the meal.  As we were eating it my dinner companion said this is great a couple of times. Finally the ultimate was this is ‘Olive Garden Quality’ good!  I said thank you – we like the Olive Garden – and said I thought Italian food was probably the easiest to copy.

That became the question of the rest of the meal.  What is the easiest ethnic food to cook?  My companion thought it might be Mexican.  I thought not as you have to make tortillas for most dishes.  Is it Italian?  Is it German?  I am thinking it really is English.  Food from England is fairly plain…bangers and mash, steak and kidney pie.  Though as I think of it my first Yorkshire pudding could have been a weight in a trash can.  It is an interesting question.

The other side of the question is that I am betting a lot of the foods we have here may not be authentic.  I was surprised to hear that Italians do not have pizza over there as we do.  I was just as surprised to read in my cousin Christine’s blog (penattheready.blogspot.com) that she was eating pizza in France where she is currently in residence.  Even Julia Child had a hard time converting French cooking for us all.  One of my favorite cookbooks is ‘Cooking Yankee with a French Accent’.  It is from a lady in Maine who had a cooking show on the local network in Portland years ago.  I think French cooking would be the hardest to duplicate.   

So what do you think is the easiest? 

Smaaklike ete! Lekker eet! (Afrikaans)  Guten Appetit! Mahlzeit!  (German) Vær så god! Vel bekomme! (Norwegan) Smacznego! (Polish)  ¡Buen provecho! ¡Buen apetito! ¡Que aproveche! (Spanish)  Smaklig måltid!  (Swedish)   Afiyet olsun! (Turkish)  Ăn ngon nhé / Chúc ngon miệng   (Vietnamese)  Thokoleza ukudla! (Zulu)

…..and the above in our words……..Bon appetit! Enjoy your meal!



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