Thursday, July 15, 2010
Maybe this is normal. Maybe everyone has four different kinds of hot sauces to go along with the four different kinds of mustards they have in the fridge, which complements so nicely the ketchup, the relish, the mayo, the tahini and the seventeen different kinds of jams in there too.
Oh, no? It's just me? Terrific.
I suppose if you're one of those people who knows how to use them in moderation, a condiment adds a subtle nuance, a whisper of flavour. But if you're like me, a condiment is nothing if not the promise of an improvement to a mediocre meal; a ketchupy camouflage to a bland burger, a tahini-ish beard to an uninspired rice pilaf, a jammy knight on a white horse to a dry, failed scone.
This collection is actually the sparest I've ever had in my fridge and cupboards. I've been trying to ease my reliance on sauces and spreads, so I'll remember what food actually tastes like, on it's own, or with the sort of seasoning that enhances flavour instead of masking it. But I still have moments where I can't help myself. Where I'm making something, sans recipe, and I'm uncertain of what I'm making and the impulse to drown out the doubt with the addition of more condiments gets ever stronger.
I figure it's a sign of my enduring optimism; my belief that things can always get better. And if they can't, just add a dash more sugar.