like IKEA but better


One of the great pleasures of homeownership has been having an excuse to go to IKEA regularly over the years. As our friend Joe used to say, they pump some sort of gas into those places that makes you have hallucinations of wealth (“Two ninety-nine for a set of six toilet brushes! I’ll take ten of them!”) but the experience as a whole is ridiculously fun. Sometimes we’ll sit on the Ektorp sofas or the Poäng chairs for hours, watching the people shove their way through with lists and screaming children and anxious expressions. Now that’s entertainment.

The key component of a day trip to IKEA is, of course, the cafeteria and the Swedish meatballs. There are other foods available there, but at least one person in the shopping party has to get the meatballs. Sometimes we get one of the big meatball platters to share. It comes with boiled potatoes, lots of gravy, and lingonberry sauce, and you can get a glass of sparkling lingonberry juice as well. Eaten at little plastic McDonald’s-style tables, it’s still a tasty and filling meal, and makes you feel like you’ve been somewhere different. Continue reading

Chicken pot pie

chicken pot pie

Last week we suddenly had a hankering for pot pie. Once something like that gets in your head, you just have to go with it, so I made one for Sunday night dinner. We used to eat this embarrassingly often, and I am likewise embarrassed to admit that I always used to make it with Campbell’s Cream of Mushroom soup. I have since decided that I don’t need to put that much salt and MSG into my system, so I did this one from scratch. It could have used a touch more salt, but I think it was the best pot pie I’ve ever produced. Comfort food extraordinaire!

I like my pot pie topped with drop biscuits, and my favorite biscuit recipe of the moment is the Buttermilk Biscuits from Kitchen Sense by Mitchell Davis. As long as I had the book out I ended up loosely following his recipe for pot pie, as well. I ignored some of his seasoning suggestions and did not put in any sherry. Here’s the version I made, more or less: Continue reading