The wrong choice.

Often we make the right choice.  (There is also an argument about the right choice versus the best choice, but, rest assured, we’ll get to that another day.) As our journey continues, we slowly  learn that it is the wrong decision that teaches you much much more. That being said, I think you probably need between five and ten right choices to give you the confidence to sustain yourself through the wrong choice.

Last night I made the wrong choice.

In addition to starting to get very cold, France has been going through some tough times recently – the gilet jaunes violent protests and now the Strasbourg shooting. Certainly calls for some comforting braised stew.  I had a ginormous red kuru squash that Jon bought at the market. Japanese-inspired Beef Stew. This sounds right up my alley.


I spent most of the dinner trying to figure out if I liked it or not. Jon said the beef was “terrible” and I woke up in the morning agreeing with him. And there was this rancid bitter taste from the lemon peel. So, I won’t give you this NYTimes recipe.


But I did make one very good choice. I learned how to make rice in the oven. And for all of you that don’t have a rice cooker – I can’t encourage you to try this method strongly enough. For the first time my rice was perfectly cooked and ohh so fluffy.


I used thai jasmine rice. I measured in grams…so you use your usual ratio. Get the water boiling hot, stir in the rice and put a lid on it. Stick it in your 375 degree oven for 25 minutes. Rice perfection, no rice on the bottom of the pot and you free up a burner on your stove.

I am thinking tomorrow we should switch it up and talk about wine a little – seeing as we live smack dab in the middle of French wine country. And we have lots of wine to talk about.

Also — ideas on what to do with this other half of the huge squash??


4 Comments Add yours

  1. Kandice says:

    I am loving your posts, Jen! Thanks for sharing these snippets into your journeys (both literal travel journeys and your cooking journeys)! I’m always looking for new recipes and cooking tips…these sound great.

    And while I can cook many things, I am terrible at cooking rice. Somehow it never comes out flufffy…definitely going to try the oven trick!

    1. jthorn1227 says:

      The rice is a dream!!!

  2. Lynda Gardner says:

    I love your rice recipe and the fact that it finishes in the oven, and will try it soon.

    As for ideas for the squash, I like the Pumpkin Pork Stew recipe from Burma Superstar cookbook, and my favorite use of winter squash is in Pumpkin Green Curry with Chicken, which I just wing it on with green curry paste and coconut milk, knowing how it tastes in a good Thai restaurant. Both of these are usually made with Kabocha Squash, but you can substitute most any winter squash or pumpkin.

    1. jthorn1227 says:

      Omg I love that suggestion!
      And the rice recipe is a true game changer for me. I hope it works for you!

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