NaBloPoMo Writing Prompt for November 12, 2013:
Name five things inside your refrigerator right now
and how you feel about them.
Hmmm…fridge contents are like a peek into a person's inner life, don't you think? I mean, I don't let just anyone look inside my fridge. But for the sake of NaBloMoPo, I shall share, selectively, a few things you would see were you in my kitchen right now whilst I pull out Item #1.
Item the first: Red Hook Longhammer Ale. I feel very, very happy about this particular thing inside my refrigerator. Relaxed and happy.
Item the second: Buttermilk. I feel good about the buttermilk too, not because I like buttermilk, but because the only reason I have it is so my 9 year old daughter can make her dark chocolate cake pops from scratch, the recipe for which calls for said buttermilk. These little morsels are dense and delicious, and I derive great pleasure from doing the bidding of a 9 year old who bakes.
Item the third: Applesauce. I feel guilty about the applesauce. Because it's a giant, practically full container and it's been in there for ages, since the kids abruptly decided to quit their apple-saucing binge, the same one that not long ago had me scrambling to keep enough sauced apples in the house to meet demand. Kids. Their whims are inexplicable. I am guessing (although I still haven't found the courage to look) that this particular container of applesauce is sporting lots of pretty shades of mold.
Item the fourth: A very large bag of pepperoni. I feel daunted by this bag of pepperoni. It taunts me. It mocks my ability to think of new ways to serve it. It ridicules me for not freezing it when someone else (not me) brought its girth and heft into our happy home. So yes, I feel challenged and daunted by a bag of meat.
Item the fifth: Two netted bags of small, yellow roasting potatoes. I feel excited about these potatoes. Here's where you learn that, much like my husband can turn any conversation into a soccer conversation, I can turn any topic into a reason to sing the praises of NPR. And so:
I love roasted potatoes. But for the longest time, I have been unable to make them as delicious as the ones I've had other places. Total mystery. This past August, while visiting friends in Portland OR, my dear friend Kari served the most scrumptious roasted potatoes ever. I actually FB messaged her after the visit, to ask how she made them. The answer? Bite size chunks of potatoes…olive oil…garlic…salt…pepper…hot oven. Exactly how I do mine. So I tried roasting them for longer, since she said she just waits till they turn the right crispiness. Still not as yummy. I was flummoxed.
Until one day, when NPR came to my rescue, as she has done so many times before. (Did you know NPR is a girl? She is.)
My rescue came this past September in the form of an interview with Mollie Katzen, of Moosewood Cookbook fame, who happened upon the subject of roasting vegetables, and shared this gem: You should never salt your potatoes before you put them in the oven, because the salt draws out the moisture. Voila! That was my problem! I had been salting my potates (not a typo) before roasting them, and creating a moist roasting environment instead of nice dry roasting environment. After my little chemistry lesson, I went out that same day, bought more potatoes, and tried it that night. Salted them on the back end instead of the front, and ended up in potato nirvana. Now, I can make those little bits of heaven whenever I want, in confidence that they will be everything I dream of.
(Many people already know this. I did not. I needed NPR to tell me. And like a BFF, she told me what I needed to hear.)
So yes: excited about the potatoes in my fridge. And by turns happy, ashamed, and daunted by the other contents.
And no, you may not look in my linen closet.
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