All these years I’ve written a blog and never posted a recipe. Favorite recipes are the bread and butter—or perhaps the focaccia drizzled in oil—of the Internet. Please excuse the awkward poser for being so remiss in sharing exotic ingredients, sizzling sautés, and elaborate presentation accompanied by sun dappled food porn photos. This post rectifies all shortcomings. And it is worth the wait, for this is a recipe blog like no other.
There are so many obstacles to me sharing a favorite recipe.
First, I am not a foodie; therefore, I have no favorite recipes. I eat to live, and any calories at hand are preferred over any that require work to consume.
Second, I live with a foodie, a man for whom cooking is therapy, large quantities are palliative, and leftovers soon forgotten. My biggest food challenge, therefore, is to figure out what leftovers have passed Paul’s brief expiration date, and will therefore get tossed unless I swallow them first. Our refrigerator is such a fertile feeding ground for this bottom feeder; I rarely have to search for nourishment.
Third, I cannot even have a favorite recipe because I never make the same thing twice. When I do cook—usually because I’ve invited folks over and feel compelled to display my talent—my chief culinary skill is repurposing our leftovers into something fresh. Since leftovers are never the same twice, neither are my creations.
Given my singular food situation, sharing recipes is pointless; the vast majority of you don’t live in households with an endless supply of tasty leftovers. You might try to remedy that problem by getting a housemate of your own, but don’t you dare try to steal mine.
Still, in an effort to maintain blogger cred, I feel compelled to write a recipe blog. And so here goes: every recipe I know, all in one post. Actually, there are only two recipes: broadly described as eggs or beans.
If I am making brunch or lunch, I beat up a dozen eggs, add whatever yummies are in the fridge, pour into a well-oiled baking pan, bake at 350 for one hour, and serve. The result is always adequate, sometimes good, occasionally scrumptious, depending on the quality of the leftovers and how well aged the cheese. Serve with crusty bread or sweet rolls, and broccoli slaw. Regardless how good or mediocre the casserole tastes hardly matters, it can never be recreated.
Dinner takes advance planning, since I only use dry beans, which have to be soaked overnight. Beyond that, the process is the same. In winter, cook the beans in lots of liquid with many additives and call it soup. In summer cook the beans thick and refry them in a pan. As a big fan of ‘peasant’ food, the key to success is to cook everything twice. Boil and bake, boil and fry, sometimes even boil and broil. Tough food needs more cooking. If the taste is bland, add unlimited amounts of Tumeric, that cancer-reducing spice that turns any concoction an intriguing orange. If you are intent on being fancy, serve rice on the side with hearty bread. Gussy the meal up with Trader Joe’s Cruciferous Crunch, tossed with half a bag of cranberries and sliced almonds, doused in the dressing of your choice.
Two truths of these double-barreled recipes:
- No one ever rises from my table utters the words, “That was the best meal I’ve ever had.”
- No one ever rises from my table hungry.
My food is pretty good, always ample, and so easy to prepare I have plenty of time to spend with my guests. I pretend that they prefer my company to culinary perfection, though that’s not a question I’ve ever actually asked.
However the main course turns out hardly matters. All who know me know my gigantic sweet tooth. I always serve an excellent dessert.
But there’s a third recipe: take-out. An option available to Paul in his urban neighborhood but extremely limited to those of us living on a sandbar sticking out into the Atlantic. And yes the Red Bones leftovers in the egg casserole were tasty and satisfying but did not overshadow the conversation.