Actual telephone conversation:
Me: Sorry it's loud--I'm making dinner.
LA: What are you making?
Me: Broccoli and Brie risotto with chicken.
LA: Oh. Sounds good.
LA pointed out that this isn't a normal conversation between average Americans. I realized some years ago that a normal meal for me really isn't that normal.
I had some leftover pesto, plus cream in the fridge and a chicken breast in the freezer, so I thought dinner might be spaghetti with chicken and pesto cream sauce. But, alas, no spaghetti, and it was raining, so walking up to the supermarket was out of the question. I had lasagna noodles, but wasn't really feeling it. And I'll be the first to admit that I'm all thumbs when it comes to making fresh pasta. A quick inventory revealed arborio rice, frozen broccoli, and some left over Brie from God-knows-when.
I didn't grown up eating risotto. I grew up on tater tot casseroles and Hamburger Helper. My first encounter with risotto was in my own kitchen, when I tried a recipe for lemon and leek risotto, from a vegetarian cookbook I'd just purchased. The risotto was very al dente, but the guests were polite enough to eat it all. A short time later, I had risotto in a restaurant. I was hooked. I was also determined to become a risotto master. I'm not even close, but risotto has still become one of my stand-bys. I use it as a base for whatever is handy, and I have yet to be disappointed. Whether or not it my risotto meets the authentic Italian standards may be up for debate, but it's definitely not average American.
Food for thought: What kind of person tells her family members that her spouse has died when he really hasn't? On that note, I'd like to give a shout out to Uncle Bill, who, despite reports to the contrary, didn't meet his maker a year ago. Good to have you back, Uncle Bill!