Ettie Newlands

You’d think I’d have this figured out by now. After all, I’ve been “keeping house” for more than half a century.

But, I haven’t.

The “this” I’m talking about is buying wonky ingredients and then having no clue why.

What happens is, I find a recipe too good to pass up that has an unfamiliar something or other.

So, I buy the ingredient and put it in the cabinet.

But by the next time I see it, I have no idea what recipe I’d been enamored with.

Thus, the all-natural, non-GMO anchovy paste that sits in my cabinet in its cute little box.

When I Googled ‘anchovy paste,’ I learned it gives an umami quality to food. Good to know, right?

So, when I Googled umami, I learned it “adds a flavor of MSG.” Also good to know.

So, when I finished looking unsuccessfully through the cookbooks I use most often, and found no recipe needing anchovy paste, non-GMO or otherwise, I called my daughter.

She knows her way around the kitchen. She also knows I get excited about a recipe and then wonder, “What was I thinking?” if it involves more than one pot or three ingredients.”

She had no clue why I needed anchovy paste, especially when she reminded me that neither my husband nor I like anchovies, the obvious source of this product.

But what she did suggest, and which isn’t a bad idea at all, is writing the cookbook and the page number I got the recipe from right on the shopping list.

That way, she suggested, when I get home, I’ll know exactly where to look for the culprit recipe.

And while that sounds like a great idea, there are a couple of issues.

For instance, by the time I get home from grocery shopping I’m way too tired to cook, so it’s not like I’d be making the recipe that same day.

Also, my still youthful daughter does not realize I will never remember to bring the shopping list home intact.

Like most people, as I put something into the wagon/buggy/cart, I cross it off the list. When the list is all crossed off, that shopping list gets crumbled up, thrown in the bottom of my purse and is never seen again.

So, what I actually need to do is paper clip the cute little anchovy paste box or other ingredient’s container, to the actual recipe in the book.

Unless of course the ingredient has to be in the refrigerator or the freezer.

It’s complicated.

From now on, I’m only making the tried and true recipes.

I’m too old to start using new ingredients.

And as for the anchovy paste, I’ll just save it in case somebody’s anchovies need to be repaired.

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