For years, I’ve served dishes that were spontaneously created from my refrigerator or made with food—sometimes slightly dried or in need of trimming—that otherwise might get thrown away. My kids ate countless minestrones, chilies and even tossed salads that were never the same from one version to the next. The fact is, I disdain wasting food, plus I think those bits can add style, texture, color and taste.
For man of us, winter means repeatedly putting on and taking off parkas, scarves, hats and gloves as a barrier to the damp and frigid temperatures. That irksome chore, coupled with shoveling snow and other cold weather activities, can build up quite an appetite. You crave hearty fare to keep warm. Hibernating sometimes seems tempting.
After my family’s annual Easter egg hunt, mom often deviled those colorful little ovals that had been hidden in our backyard. She’d peel and cut them in half, mash the yolks with mayonnaise and minced celery, and spoon the mixture back into the whites. While fairly pedestrian, they were a beloved fixture at our family picnics and barbecues, usually sprinkled with paprika to garnish.
“Soup is cuisine’s kindest course. It breathes reassurance; it steams consolation; after a weary day it promotes sociability, as the five o’clock cup of tea or the cocktail hour.” — From “The Soup Book” (1949) by Louis P. De Gouy
Many folks enjoy recipes. Being able to duplicate a dish correctly makes them happy.
I am not one of those cooks.