Everything In The Pantry Is An Ingredient

In hard times you eat what you can get and whenever you can get it. We are proving this to ourselves now as we look at what the pantry has to offer.

Without breaking into the stash of baked beans  – both cans – or the equally vast horde of soup and sardines, we will have to consider what can be done with the rice, pasta, and wheat flour…given that we rarely approach any of the containers.

We’re good for Asian condiments in colourful bottles with Japanese writing. If sushi breaks out we’ll be all set. Likewise if anything needs Coleman’s mustard we are ready to go. Other than that, it looks as if the combinations are going to be either eclectic, catholic, or mixed beyond belief.

I hope that it will not come to eating only our own cooking, as we have long lost our last Michelin star. Pray that the takeaway joints will not succumb. I am prepared to drive by them at 20 kph and catch whatever they can sling out the service window. Though I am a little hesitant to go past the pho place and order the laksa under this arrangement.

That stuff’ll eat the duco right off the Daihatsu…

You Cannot Break Eggs Without Making An Omlette

I think that’s how it goes – it’s one of those memes that sounds profound until you say it aloud eight times. I like to say memes aloud on the train as it gets you a seat and space around you.

Idly, if the om of omlette refers to eggs, and the lette part indicates a small thing…is there a full-sized dish of eggs that is just an om? Perhaps an emu or ostrich ? They never tell you these things on the cooking shows.

Tonight we make one with bacon, champignons, and onion bits. Also whatever herbs and spices are in jars in the pantry. It may involve hundreds and thousands or marzipan icing, if the contents of the shelves are anything to go by. Thankfully, I have a wife who can taste it before I do  – as long as I watch to see for any dangerous signs I should be alright.

End of the week menus are always speculative things – they consist of whatever might be left over in the ice box or overlooked on the pantry shelves. Of course, logic will tell you that whatever has been overlooked has been overlooked for a good reason, but desperation cuisine knows no barriers. If it will fit in a pot it can be cooked.

Sometimes the journey is exciting and sometimes hazardous, but always exciting. The old rules about segregating sweet from sour or liquid from solid can be ignored. It is possible to mix oil with water if you put them both into a sponge and eat that. It is an acquired taste.

Of course, the chief contents of the pantry shelves will become depleted over the week – and if you do your shopping once a month the last week can get pretty much like a Mother Goose rhyme. But you can always count on spices – and packets of sample foods that are given out at supermarket promotions. And then it’s simply a matter of combining the jalapeno marshmallows with the dried capers and the contents of the little sushi soy fish for a sensational Saturday breakfast surprise.

This sort of cooking is one of the explanations of why Gordon Ramsay is the way he is.