Monday’s Chickpeas, Yesterday’s Pants
I’m writing today with a rather profound problem. The problem (which has manifested itself on a rather regular basis ever since I became distracted and engrossed in four simultaneous projects that have nothing whatsoever to do with cooking) finally crystallized for me a few nights back when I was over at my friend Alice’s place.
Alice complained that sometimes as she gets dressed in the morning she’s worried that she’s wearing “Yesterday’s pants” or “Last Friday’s Hair.” She has to think on it a little and go back through the Rolodex in her mind of the clothes she has worn and the styles she has sported over the last 5 or so days to make sure she’s not in repeat mode.
I have a similar problem, but it has nothing to do with clothes. More and more often I find that I’m using Monday’s chickpeas in Wednesday’s four bean stew, or Tuesday’s broccoli in Thursday’s pasta. Do you get my drift? It’s not quite cheating I suppose, but I’m rather embarrassed by it, and it worries me. I’m afraid I’m becoming a dull and forgetful cook. I’m worried Romeo will notice. I’m worried that this reusing (and sometimes recycling!) of ingredients is becoming an endemic trend in my kitchen that might turn me off of cooking altogether, or cause the main consumers of my cooking to ease their hunger at other troughs…
This is different from Gansie’s fried egg obsession, methinks. It’s not about obsessing about chickpeas, it’s about not remembering or not caring (!) that I’m using chickpeas or broccoli or black beans in meals twice or more in the same week (that’s not to say I don’t love chickpeas… I do! I love them so much it hurts to write this, for fear someone will think that I intend to defame that superior legume!)
I know it has nothing at all to do with my long-time vegetarianism or my annoying nature-imposed lactose-free diet; this problem never haunted me in the past. I suppose that it could have something to do with farmers’ market closing for the winter (but that only happened a few weeks back). Is this the onset of old age? Is this the same kind of kitchen downfall that kills the creativity of busy parents (I fuzzily recall that my parents were often ingredient repeaters as well. I suffered this recycling and repeating trend in near silence, until I got bored of their cooking and decided to take up cooking my own meals in my teens).
So these are my questions to you ESers:
1) Does this same predicament stalk your kitchen adventures?
2) Is it cheating to use the same main ingredients several days a week? What about recycling leftovers to add to a new dish?
Your stories and help please!