I am feeling poor for no particular reason (I never gave Bernie Madoff a single billion to play with) but that I have been fending off colds blindsiding me from left and from right (does a flu shot do any good?), and because though I had 17 jobs to work on over the holidays, last one turned in January 13, no one has called me with a new one since Christmas. Free-lancers become upset at this sort of thing. Truth to tell, I was hoping for a week or two free to go to museums and do my own writing and make some order in my apartment, and the last of these I have at least got to (amazing changes, I am no longer humiliated at the thought of bringing someone home for the evening), still: I feel poor.
So I am not going out to dinner at any of the enjoyable eateries abounding, in every price range from absurdly affordable to absurd. No, I am studying what I've got on my shelves and thinking, Hmmm. It's true I'm not much of a chef, but all the great cuisines began with poor peasants who had to make do with what they had, and that is where I shall start.
Too, I am inspired by Eartha Kitt on youtube singing and growling the recipe for "Rahadlakum" in Timbuktu (1978). Julia Child was never like this!
And there is a can of Progresso cream of mushroom soup that will serve but will need help. What shall I add to it? I hazard: cut up three cloves of fresh garlic (for my health as well as flavor) and put them with a chicken bouillon cube in a cup of water. Chop up half a dozen large fresh mushrooms. Don't bother sauteeing. Then add the soup and a hint of tawny port. Heat this slowly, over low heat, stirring. Add coriander (Mrs. Lovett's favorite spice!), paprika, sea salt and white pepper (because I happen to have them, that's why), keep stirring. A dozen chunks from the cold roast chicken I ate one-third of for last night's supper. Stir. Taste. Not bad! But a little watery. How to thicken without flour or breadcrumbs on hand? Crumple some crackers? No - there is rice left over from the extra container in my take-out sushi last Saturday. Just a forkful. Oh hell, the whole container - when else am I going to use it? Rice from the fridge can't have gone bad. Too bland for that.
It shows clear signs of being an enjoyable meal. (Add more paprika.) I wish I had some crusty bread to break up into it, but oh well. I could sprinkle cheese on top. I could add some vegetable broth if required (but it's not). Yes, it's a meal. Hope the cream doesn't go right to my sinuses. The garlic should help. (I can always add more.)
Peter on Reading Neoplatonists (part 1) - Imagine an ice cream factory that fills an entire city block. You have teaspoon. You go in the front door and you have to run as fast as you can through...
1 week ago