Eating is Overrated

Every second blogger writes about his or her culinary talents. Mine extends to yearning for the latest kitchen appliance, acquiring it, reading a cookbook for the plot, and making reservations. My manual dexterity remained in kindergarten, there’s the matter of having the attention span of a gnat when it comes to anything near the kitchen, and then there’s the urge to treat cooking as a giant science experiment.

If you’re invited to my house for steak, you can count upon having steak and nothing else. In my defense, I explain that appetizers, side dishes, and dessert weren’t part of the invitation. And then I offer up a reasoned explanation that it’s done that way in some country that my guest has never visited. For all you and I know, mono-ingredient meals are all the rage in France. You’d think these people didn’t know that salsa counted as a vegetable.

Just going to the grocery store takes up so much valuable time that could be productively spent doing important stuff. I’m tired of having to buy groceries all the time, practically once every week or ten days. It’s just such a nuisance. Maybe there are some sardines left over in the pantry from the time everyone stocked up in anticipation of Y2K. There is enough food in my pantry to feed several armies in the time of famine, but none of it’s particularly appealing. What was I thinking when I bought red rice? Or canned pumpkin? The supply of bean threads could satisfy most of China for a single day.

Grace Slick called to ask if I had any coconut, just in case she was overcome by the urge to make oatmeal cookies. “I don’t think so, but I’ve got some candied ginger,” I told her.

“That’s really not a substitute for coconut.”

“Well, how about some almonds? I’ve got three kinds of almonds. Almonds and ginger would work well together.”

“You were the one who made that gingerbread from a mix, substituting flax seed for eggs and oil, adding oatmeal and bran to make it healthier.”

“That was an exercise in creativity. You forgot to mention that I added a few spoonfuls of powdered buttermilk since I didn’t have any real milk. Besides, those are commonly accepted accommodations for high altitude baking.”

“Remember that German chocolate cake that you swore you’d made from scratch, messing up the icing to make it look homemade and then destroying the evidence that it came from the grocery store?”

“It was the best German chocolate cake I ever made.”

Cooking is such a bother, rivaled only by having to eat what you cook. I wonder how communion wafers would go with dulce de leche.


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2 comments on “Eating is Overrated

  1. Ray says:

    I can’t find a link to the interview, but I remember Julia Child saying her favorite meal was a good steak and a bottle of gin.
    Communion wafers and dulce de leche? Heavenly.
    They actually sell something VERY similar to this in Costa Rica. May God bless them for that.


  2. I need to read your blog more regularly, Jennifer. It has a particularly pointedly satirical viewpoint. Thanks to Steve Cotton, for pointing me to this blog post.
    I like the line about buying red rice and bean threads. (I’ll bet that you took advantage of Mega’s irresistible* rock bottom close-out discounts on Asian Foods.) I have a 2 year supply of rice noodles and mung bean sheets that I rarely have use for. I bought them in Asian food stores from San José, California to Little Rock, AR and East Hanover, NJ. (I’ve been really wanting to make a pho, but just haven’t gotten it together yet. It’s been 3 years now.)
    *I resisted, and bought none of them, as I’m already way overstocked.
    On the other hand, we go through large quantities of grits, cornmeal and SACO Powdered Cultured Buttermilk. And butter. It’s our years living in the South that do it.
    The meals I make for company tend to have too many dishes. It’s a genetic trait. I can’t help it. See “Up In Smoke” on my blog as an example. They are tasty and it’s fun making them, but dealing with leftovers is a challenge.
    By the way, we have long ago enjoyed some coffecakes and Danish made with the Poppyseed Filling that I liberated from its “SOLO-tude”” in your casita nearly 3 years ago. Since then, I’ve restocked this rare delicacy, so if you like an example, email me, and I’ll make it for you. Or another filling of your choice.
    Buen provecho,


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