Tuesday, April 18, 2017
Extenuating Circumstances: a Recipe Adventure
Blame the cat: It's all Daisy's fault! She started it!
I was sitting at my desk minding my own business (literally--I was on eBay). It's a nice spring day, temperature in the low 80's, so I've got the windows open because I don't want to have to run the central AC yet. (Hey, it costs money to run AC; opening windows is Free!) And that's how I happened to hear Daisy howling on the screen porch.
Daisy has been camped out on the porch for both days and nights now. I have had to carry her into the house several times a day for food and drink but she shoots right back out the door just as fast as she is able. She had been Seriously Ticked Off, and there has been no doubt about that. But today she actually seemed glad to see me. Even if she hadn't been nice to me, I would have gone to see what she was howling about. She's my dear old cat, after all.
What was she howling about? She wanted picking up! Amazing. She Never wants picking up, and I mean Never. Daisy does NOT cuddle. But there she was cuddly and happy and purring and kissing my cheek. I have no idea why. I was just glad to see that she wasn't evidently demon-possessed anymore. So I brought her into the house for a feed, and I sat on the little red stool in the kitchen hall to keep her company. I sit on that little red stool often. It's a great place to have a think.
Yes, thank you, I do know that the pendulum door is open on the clock.....it won't run with the door closed. Like way too many other things around here, that clock as a ton of quirks. And the stool isn't exactly red; it's more like watermelon pink but never mind that.
Anyway, what was I thinking about this time?.....well, it was the pantry door:
Yeah, that's a serious bunch of stuff, ain't it? (And that's the pretty gingham apron that my late Auntie made for me, by the way.) Kind people give me things, and I never say no. I share whatever I can with others and I use the rest of it.....eventually. Last year, several people moved away, so they gifted me with the contents of their spice cabinets. Of course, I already had plenty of my own, too. Usually this is the kind of stuff that isn't easy to share like, say, canned spinach or a box of chili mix, so the rack on the back of the pantry door is absolutely crammed.
I wasn't thinking about anything particular really, until I noticed a small container of sage. Sage! I had wanted some the other day and had thought there was none. Glad to see that. Somehow that set me thinking about some other stuff.....there was a quarter of a loaf of French bread sitting in the fridge. Hard as a rock but that's how leftover French bread gets. And there was a can of cranberry sauce with a nearly-gone use-by date sitting on the pantry shelf. Hmmmmm.....dressing and cranberry sauce. Interesting. I didn't have any celery or onion.....but there was celery seed and de-hydrated onion there with the sage on the pantry door.
And I happened to think about one other thing, too. Yesterday, I scraped the goodness out of the Marmite jar.....and the jar was still there on the counter. If I boiled some water to re-hydrate the onions and warm up the celery seeds, maybe I could pour boiling water into the Marmite jar to catch those very last traces to add flavor to the dressing. (I absolutely love Marmite but it is expensive, and I don't want to waste even a drop of it. By expensive, I mean that I willfully paid $17 for an 8-ounce jar even though my total weekly food budget is only $15-20. Would you blow an entire week's budget on a single item? I did. And I'll do it again, too, for Marmite.)
Experiment! And, hey, it was nearly noon. Great timing.
After I put the kettle on to boil, I chunked up the very hard bread and added the seasonings liberally since they, like the bread, were undoubtedly stale. Added a few dots of the nasty cheapo margarine that I buy when there's no money for Real Butter. When the kettle whistled, I added some water to the dehydrated onion in a measuring cup. And then I poured water into the Marmite jar, screwed on the lid, and shook it up.....
Let me tell you right now: Do NOT try this at home.
Marmite is a by-product of brewer's yeast. (It's loaded with B vitamins, great for vegetarians like me.) And what does yeast do? It goes all fizzy. That's what it is supposed to do.
So what happens when you pour boiling water into a small jar, put on the lid, and shake it up? Yeah. Kinda like opening a shaken-up soft drink--only this was hot and it spewed right out from under the lid. Hot Marmite juice went absolutely everywhere or, as we like to say here in the South, from Hell to Texas.
Oh well. Lunch wasn't horrible. Kinda tasty really.
Now I've just gotta go finish wiping up the sticky off the floor and the cabinet door and the stove top and wherever else it hit. It's the cat's fault. She made me sit on that little red stool
Life is good.
Don't mess around with hot water in Marmite jars.