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Thursday, January 6, 2022



Why do recipes with more than three ingredients exist? I’m not counting cheese that you sprinkle on top of things. That’s not an ingredient, that’s just a law of nature.

Invariably I’m trying out an attractive new meatball on the buffet table at the Office-Wide Potluck Holiday Food Festival and Grazing Day when someone says. “This is so easy. You take 16 pounds of free range, home grown 93% lean ground tofu. . .”

Or I’m flipping through last year’s Southern Living at the dentist’s office, and I find an enticing photograph of a plate of beguiling pasta dotted cunningly with out-of-season vegetables and Beluga caviar, only to turn to the part of the recipe that wasn’t stolen in July by a truck driver with an abscess and find a list of 43 ingredients including home-harvested greenhouse oregano that everyone keeps on their pantry shelves.

My pantry is a box I got from the scratch and dent section at Home Depot. It holds an out-of-date can of cream of celery soup, a jar of Tandoori Chicken sauce that I’m scared to try, and a pack of macaroni and cheese powder in case of an Apocalyptic Event. Looking there for help is like having the heroine in a horror movie look for a flashlight in the darkened cellar.

I have a friend who could make a delicious meal with a bag of frozen peas, a can of Spaghettios, and the creative use of fresh herbs.

The only fresh herb at my house is crabgrass. I don’t see that in Martha Stewart’s “must have” items.

But I still have a trick or two up my apron. I have frozen pizza. I have caramel popcorn.

 And I have Applebee’s on speed dial.

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