Sunday, March 14, 2010
It was with barely concealed joy that I made the phone call.
"Laurence," I said, "the refrigerator is leaking again."
The call was a guarantee for a new fridge. Our old one, in addition to leaking, was tiny. It was designed with one person in mind; perhaps the sort of person who lived a glamourous life of take-out and cocktail parties; someone who used the shelf space for their shoe collection. It was not designed for two people who eat in all the time, eschew parties for DVD's in front of the telly, and have barely 10 pairs of shoes between the both of them. It looked cluttered and chaotic, like a tenement dwelling for foodstuffs.
So I had rejoiced when I noticed a pool of water on the floor again. After the call was made and our new refrigerator was on its way, I set to cleaning out the old one. And I excavated food I hadn't known was in there. Blueberries with frostbite, a lonely slice of prosciutto. Tiny nubs of old cheeses trapped in saran wrap, a half-empty jar of old olives. I was struck by just how much food I wasted on a regular basis, and how little I cook with what ingredients I have on hand. And I suddenly felt very clear on one thing: it was time I started working with what I had.
The road to recovery from the stomach flu had been paved with eggs, toast and plain rice. Now I was ready for slightly more adventurous fare. In keeping with the spirit of non-wastage, I wanted to use what was readily available. I still had a large chunk of the banana bread I'd made, which had aged and intensified in flavour over the past couple of days. I had this crazy idea: What if I cut up a slice into rough cubes, threw on some mocha-vanilla yogurt and topped it with store-bought granola? (Yes, it was store-bought; I was craving the clusters) And the result?
Ding Dong! I do have brilliant ideas sometimes!
Dinnertime was in a similar vein of breakfast-tinged food. I had some chicken bacon that needed to be used, so I concocted a sandwich that looked like this: Bacon, cloud-light eggs, blue cheese dressing/sauce, and some gorgeous bread that my landlord's wife gave me. So good, so simple! Why does it take my getting sick for me to remember how good simple food is?
I wasn't sure if I should bother posting recipes, as these dishes seem somewhat self-explanatory. The blue cheese sauce that I made was equal parts mayonnaise and plain yogurt, a chunk of blue cheese crumbled with a healthy spray of lemon and fresh ground pepper.
And the new fridge? It's enormous! We've got all our essentials in there, with room to spare. At least now we can pretend we attend cocktail parties.