I love food. Shocking, right? Growing up we thought the only veggies that existed were green beans, corn, and peas. They only came out of a can. It took 2 cans for a side…no matter how many people you were feeding. Green beans were warmed up (my mother’s idea of cooking) in left over bacon grease. Corn could be eaten right out of the can and the juice was a suitable beverage. Potatoes were ONLY white…but we knew that for Christmas and Thanksgiving those magical orange ones would come from someplace. Peas got nuked…maybe with some “butter”…which was never real butter. Ok so, rarely, a can of Popeye spinach would show up and was delicious to our deprived taste buds.
Salads were only iceberg lettuce and tomato. Seriously, who knew there was a WORLD of tomatoes out there???? I thought cherry tomatoes were made special for restaurants.
Cabbage was only green and usually only at New Years. Ok so this could go on and on…. It’s easier to name what my mom DID cook. Probably 10 fingers would do it….maybe 15.
“They” say that the average person really only makes 14 meals in rotation. I don’t want to be that person. I don’t think I am either. As soon as I got out of the house I started trying things. What made me do it? I don’t know. Who first said the word “pesto” to me? Not a clue…but it’s relatively normal in our home now. I visited my mom a year ago or so and made grilled chicken and whole wheat spaghetti with pesto sauce. Her husband came in (insert Hank from King of the Hill here) wanting to know what that “green crap” was. “well I just don’t know about that” “just don’t think I’m gonna like that” “why’d you make that” He proceeded to eat 4 heaping plates. Has my mom made it again? It would be a safe bet to say “no”. I didn’t even tell them it was whole wheat pasta. That would have taken another 30 minutes out of my life to explain to them.
So I find myself a fan of variety. ESPECIALLY when I discover something has excellent health benefits. Today what’s on my mind? Where do I keep all this variety? I just bought some Quinoa and it has no spot on my pantry shelves. What am I going to do with the Quinoa? Don’t know yet. Waiting for the hubby to come home and searching for tips and clues on the web until then.
What else is in my pantry that is normal for us but unusual for back home? Flax seed, polenta, germade (essentially cream of wheat made from a hard red wheat and takes a little longer to cook), home-made granola, protein powder (5 canisters because I go through 1 a week), soy nuts, soy nut butter, Spirulina, 4 different types of oats (quick, regular, instant, and thick rolled), 3 different types of asian noodles….MREs….yea that one goes without saying with a soldier for a husband.
It never fails though that there is something I want to make and it involves an ingredient that isn’t typically in our kitchen. So I find myself wondering if it is worth it to go and get that. Seriously, Anise just for this cookie recipe I’d like to try. It’s always been a question to buy a wine for a recipe when I know I’m not likely to drink it.
So to be or not to be…. to keep it simple or to try it all?