Friday, February 1, 2013

Fee, Fie, Foe, Friday: All Ingredients, No Food

Many years ago my middle husband opened the fridge and said to me, "There's nothing to eat in here, it's all ingredients." Technically, he was right. My refrigerator is littered with stuff like capers, hoisin sauce and  tubes of anchovy paste. Now, there is stuff in there that at least I consider food, like eggs, plain  yogurt and hummus. But I understand what he meant: while lettuce is food, you have to do something with it before it's a really tasty comestible. What he was looking for was something ready to eat.  That husband was a grazer, he would stand in front of the open fridge with a fork in hand, opening one or another container, stabbing a bite of this or that, and then going on to the next thing. He didn't cook at all.

I realized he was right tonight when I was about to make myself some dinner. My fridge hasn't changed much over the years. Actually,  there are a few things ready to eat in there, generally leftovers or experiments that will eventually show up on the blog. There is nearly always some kind of cold cooked chicken, always 3 or 4 kinds of cheese, some sort of salami or smoked meat and a huge assortment of interesting condiments. Because I love condiments. But most of the contents, while edible in their natural state, are so much better when included in a dish. I stood there, about to pan grill a strip steak when I realized I had nothing ready to go with it. That's when I realized how lucky I am. Not only can I cook, but I have everything I need to make something wonderful.

"There's nothing to eat in here, it's all ingredients." Those are the words that define cooks and non-cooks. Cooks see a fridge full of possibilities, and a non-cook sees nothing to eat. Amen.

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