Balsamic Vinegar

On my last post, I promised to explain the chicken doused in salad dressing. It’s not so much the chicken that needs explaining.

It’s been a long, LONG week. Endless job hunting, babysitting after work (=rent gets paid)…my not-so-little brother’s 21st BIRTHDAY (he’s not much of a drinker though…I’m working on it)…and a lot less cooking than usual. My creative juices have been a bit dried up, which is something I hope to correct in the upcoming days. I have a tendency write myself little “reminders” in my cell phone sticky notes app, which usually involve dishes I’d like to cook or things I’d like to do on my less-crazy evenings. At the risk of laughter and general confusion, I will reluctantly share the current contents of my note:

-Look up ghost towns: Scenic, SD. Interior, SD. Lost Springs, WY.

-Sign up for wine class

-Make unique meatballs

-Make honey crusted pizza

-Remember to look up tapas bars

-Buy waterproof boots on sale

-Buy more balsamic vinegar

At least it’s not all about food. I’ll address my minor fascination with ghost towns a bit later on. Obviously, the meatballs and honey pizza didn’t make it into the execution phase this week (or the waterproof boots…do you know how expensive those can be? I know that technically speaking, a 26-year-old person should throw away shoes once they sprout holes and welcome blackened slush into my socks with every stubborn stride, but please do tell that to my paycheck). Balsamic vinegar, however, is a wonderfully crucial element of this to-do list.

My name is Sara, and I have a mild (to moderate) addiction to balsamic vinaigrette. I can’t entirely tell you why. I only know that there are far more situations in which I feel comfortable incorporating this tangy topping into my food than anybody else I have (so far) met. If my vinegar twin is out there…please, reach out? I’m ready to meet you! We can make up for lost time!

The best vinaigrette, to give credit where credit is due, is still my moms. Involved is:

-Good balsamic vinegar (usually from Fairway)

-Olive oil, poured in slowly while whisking.

-One clove of garlic, smashed and dropped into the cup

-Various herbs, which sometimes include Tarragon

-A dash of Dijon mustard

No matter what I do, it never turns out the same when I make it at home. It must be a mom thing. There must be a secret that she REFUSES TO TELL ME just to contain the deliciousness to her apartment only. Or, I just might not be buying nice enough vinegar (which is very possible, we’ve discussed my paycheck, yes?).

When I fail to make it the right way, I turn to my nowhere-near-the-same-caliber alternative, Ken’s Honey Balsamic in a bottle. It cost about $2.60, which makes it just about the cheapest available. I have no shame here and neither should you. For once, I don’t buy it because it’s cheap; I buy it because I sometimes fantasize about sitting on my couch and drinking it through a curly straw while I watch Dance Moms.

In comes the takeout chicken from last week. While the bird itself was pretty decent for an end-of-the-day corner market leftover, a few pours of my corn-syrup infused excuse for a topping (that I love shamelessly) made it a meal. If you haven’t tried this, do so. Try it on pasta, try it on pizza. Something about warm melted mozzarella and savory sauce combined with the acid of the vinegar sends you to a happy place. Lick the plate. It’s cool, we’re adults. We do what we want.

It’s a sunny Sunday with a significantly less jam-packed week ahead. As much as I loved my Ken’s covered chicken, I’m thinking this week might be the “unique meatball” week (chicken n apple? Sweet n sour beef? Turkey n sour cream??)

Guess I’ll decide tomorrow morning over coffee…

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