Sunday, February 01, 2015

Secret Recipe

This was supposed to be pictures of my spinning for the last year-ish, but, yeah.That would involve stash-diving in the Fiber Closet (of DOOM), and I'm trying to get more organized, not less. Maybe tomorrow if the kid goes to school. (It's snowing right now, we're due for freezing rain [OF DOOM] later tonight.)

Instead, one of those family (and by family, I mean just me and the husbeast, the way it started) jokes that get really out of hand and before you know it, you're hearing it from a friend of a friend and going "wait, what?"

Okay. This is a food joke, and there has to be background on this one. I'm one of the freakazoids the geneticists (or whoever names this stuff) have been calling "super tasters", which I personally think is a shit name that makes an annoying genetic glitch sound like a super power. Long story short, any complex flavor, and my brain goes "Derp, dunno how to sort that out, BITTER!" (More info on this, HERE.) As a kid, I had a reputation as a picky eater, for obvious reasons. Of course instead of taking this as a legit issue, or even POSSIBLY a legit issue, the whole extended family thought it was some kind of prima-donna attitude case behavior. (I don't like dark chocolate. CHOCOLATE. What kid turns their nose up at good chocolate? That's not attitude, that's weird.)

So, me, picky eater and attitude case as thought of by the family.

I spent summers with my cousins in Indiana until I was about fifteen. And, of course, my mother and my aunt somehow made a huge deal about my diet, as usual. (I was more than happy to not eat, and didn't whine much, if at all, but somehow no one noticed this while having hour-long discussions about what to feed me.) This was the status quo. You know how you get this fixed image of someone in your head, however they were, the last time you saw a lot of them? This is the image that got stuck in everyone's head.

Oh, and also? I couldn't cook.

Right. Well, as we all (hopefully) do, I grew up, moved away, got a life, and decided to learn too cook so I didn't starve or go broke on takeout. Cooking for myself made it possible to tailor the food to my tastes, so, shocker, I started eating more diverse things. And if I couldn't eat EXACTLY what I made everyone else, I could do a mini version for myself. (I still do this. Big pot of spaghetti sauce, then I pull out some for me before I throw herbs in the rest that make it taste funky to me. I can be as picky as I want, when I'm the cook.)

My aunt and uncle, of the Early Years, visited Hawaii on vacation while I was living out there. So I invited them over for dinner. AS ONE DOES WHEN ONE IS AN ADULT. I was about thirty at the time. Late twenties, for sure. You know, just possibly changed from the skinny thirteen year old they remembered. Just a tiny bit.

I made, oh, I don't remember, but a decent meal. Chicken, veggies, rolls, the usual. From scratch, though I bought the bread. My aunt and uncle, who apparently were expecting me to call out for (plain) pizza or something, were flabbergasted. They went on and on and on about how good it all was. My aunt had wanted to know what I did to the corn to make it so good. Was it a secret recipe?


General rule? The fewer ingredients you have in a dish, the better the quality needs to be, of all the ingredients because you'll notice them more. I'd gotten the best quality corn I could find, warmed it up, and put butter, salt, and pepper on it.

Obviously, "Secret Recipe" in this house means "Warm it up and put butter on it." We have secret recipe bread, and secret recipe veggies of all kinds, and occasionally secret recipe steak without the butter. Long, long LONG running joke. "How'd you cook this?" "Secret recipe." "Oh, cool."

Fast-forward ANOTHER fifteen-odd years, to Thanksgiving at my in-laws' this year. Some friends of the family had gotten stuck in town due to weather, and so my MIL had invited them over. Her friend had brought asparagus, and we're chatting in the kitchen, and the friend says "Oh, I thought I'd just use the secret recipe." I stared, and she immediately added "You know, warm it up and put butter on it."

Right. Secret Recipe. Sounds good. Pass it over.


Barbara said...

Sounds like my kind of secret recipe, especially the butter part since I live in the dairy state. The Midwest one, not those pretenders on the left coast.

Certain herbs (I'm looking at you, Tarragon and Cilantro) taste like nickels to me. Don't ask how I know what nickels taste like. I'll eat your share of the dark chocolate if you'll eat my raspberries.

Raychill Canuck said...

What burns me is that I'm a fussy eater. I completely own being a fussy eater. So we order pizza. I get something fabulous that just has a few toppings that are fantastic and they order something that is popular and dumb. (Why is it called delux when it has everything on it and you can taste nothing? Except for pineapple, the person who decided that pineapple is a good idea on a pizza was clearly deranged.) So why are all those cretins eating my pizza. I'm not reaching for theirs, so they should keep there paws off mine!

Sspinnr said...

Love the secret recipe story. I learned to cook in a similar way with only salt, butter, and onion for flavoring. Interesting how some think food is so good with nothing fancy going on

Fresh veggies are the best!

Thanks for posting again. I enjoy your view of the world.

Corlis said...

I think Carrots of the Gods has more than butter in it.