Feb 10, 2010

My other wasteful half

One of us creates, one of us compiles. I'm talking about the kitchen, not the crafts room. It could drive me crazy; instead I let it drive my culinary creativity (which occasionally drives Sarah away from the dinner table...)

Sarah is a culinary force of nature. She can close her eyes and imagine a bounteous feast, then find the ingredients to bring it to reality. Watching her cook is a sensual delight, and after 10 years of marriage I can happily say that one of my most common complaints is that we eat too well.

When I'm cooking, on the other hand, I rarely start with a vision; I start with a long blank look into the fridge to see what we have to use up. Thanks to Sarah's opulence, there's always a variety of left-overs and half-used ingredients for me to play with. I pull them out into a big pile on the counter, and then figure out what kind of stir-fry or cookies or burger patty they could be combined into.

This morning's pancakes featured the remains of the boys' Sunday rice/oatmeal porridge (which itself already had the remains of the rice/apple-pulp porridge from 3 days earlier), the rest of the rather unsuccessful home-made rice milk, and some sad blueberries from Galen's lunch box. Their lunches had a combo of 2 types of soup together with tofu, the rest of the tofu cut into strips to eat cold, carrots and dried apple from yesterday's lunch leftovers, and cold pizza from Sunday dinner.

Breakfast and lunch prep liberated 9 (nine) food containers from the fridge (now sitting in the sink waiting for me to finish typing and start cleaning). If I didn't have this seagull cook persona, that all would have ended up as compost. And even though that compost all would have helped feed our chickens and garden and therefore eventually wind its way back into our stomachs in a fresh way, I just hate hate HATE throwing away food. Maybe in my last life I grew up in the depression.

All this is really just a creative way of blaming Sarah for my eccentric cooking, and to ask if we the only couple with this dynamic? Is it a gender difference, or a relationship thing where one person goes one direction and the partner in the opposite direction? Or is it just cheap/ethical/quirky/creative me?


  1. Well, I think I'm a combo. I have all the culinary vision around these parts but often spend much time staring into the fridge waiting for something different to magically appear. I must admit to not liking leftovers, except in a new form. So yes, sme creative combos take place. However, because leftovers don't appeal to me, I don't "see" them when I look in the fridge for something to make the kids for lunch. Jason however, who likes leftovers just fine and HATES wasting food will see everything clearly and offer the kids a platter of bits and bobs that I wouldn't think of, and they happily eat. Because he sees food as Food, and I see it as part of a Meal, so if it doesn't fit into the ideal mealplan in my head, I don't give it the value it deserves.

    Hmmm, long-winded rambling, or does this make any sense? I did, however, create a fantastic (I think) lunch for the kids today simply because I let go of my ideal Meal and put all sorts of leftover bits together. I think they'll like it. And I was stunned at how little stress I had this morning making those lunches. Maybe there is something to your creative mealtime genius??!!

  2. Ok y'all, let's be clear. Rick made pizza that featured left over brown rice & spaghetti as the TOPPINGS.

    Bonnie, I find leftovers unappealing as well.

    Thanks for the sweet praise dear husband of mine. The pancake i tried this morning was pretty good!

  3. Just in the interest of everyone's health, please review...


    ...at least you have the option of feeding chickens! =)

  4. yes ricky, when you proudly announced to me that you had put the mjadara leftovers onto your pizza, i thought... oh my god did this guy learn ANYTHING at my cooking class?! rule #1, good underwear! (and that goes for the choice of leftover ingredients.

    it's a good thing that you rock my world friend.
    love chantey