Sunday, June 12, 2011

Culinary innovation.

Yesterday was movie day. My family went and saw Super 8 and Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides.

Super 8 was incredibly awesome. I was struck most by the quality of the acting. I don't know how they managed to find so many child actors who can actually act. Immediately following the film, I was kind of questioning it's rewatchability. The plot was great, but it depends a lot on the viewer not knowing what's coming next. Upon further consideration, however, I have decided that this is not a deterring quality. I still rewatch Alfred Hitchcock films, and he was the master of startling moments. The acting alone is high enough quality to demand a second viewing.

Pirates was also incredibly awesome. I have to second the verdict flying around the internet: While it may not be as good as the original, it blows the second two out of the water.

Today's exciting moment is brought to us by Campbell's. Yes, the soup company. I finished the last corndog for lunch/breakfast, so when dinner rolled around, it was get creative or go hungry. I cooked the last thing of tortellini in the pantry, panicking while it boiled about what I was going to put on it. I recalled from my last encounter with the stuff that it was kind of dry on its lonesome. Enter ingenuity.

I'm not a brave cook. I don't experiment. I go by my grandpa's philosophy: If you can read, you can cook. When I'm pushed to it, I rely on  recipes like they're the last dry land in a roiling sea. Wow, I'm really going to town on the similes today.

Anyway, the point is that I found two contenders in the panty: a can of stewed tomatoes in tomato juice and cream of mushroom soup. I opened the tomatoes and decided their juice was a little too much like water for my purposes. They were relegated to the status of side dish. After I rinsed the noodles, I dumped the cream of mushroom soup into the empty pan and stared at it with regret. Sitting in a mound in the center of the pot, it looked like a bad life choice. Some daring part of my brain decided to kill two birds with one stone. My plan of action was to rinse the last bit of soup out of the can with milk and then use that milk to thin the soup out into a sauce. The regret only escalated after I poured the milk into the pan. I stirred hopelessly for a minute or two, convinced that my only two ingredients were going to stay separate. Then, miraculously, they started merging together, blissfully thinning out as I had only dreamed they could. Of course, the resultant sauce was still a little bland, so I popped open the spice cabinet to see what my options were. The outlook was grim.

We have the most ridiculous spice cabinet ever, and I don't mean that in a positive way. It contains only garlic salt, onion salt, crushed red pepper, parsley flakes, lemon pepper seasoning, peppercorns, and taco seasoning. You see my dilemma. I added a touch of the garlic and onion salts (Who buys salt instead of powder, anyway? My dad has no idea where they came from.), but they weren't really doing much. I wasn't really fond of the idea of either of them in the first place. In a last-ditch effort, I grabbed the taco seasoning. I remembered that my mom puts it in her spaghetti sauce, but that wasn't entirely comforting considering she makes a red sauce and I was working up from a very pale soup. Two puffs of red powder and some tentative stirring later, I was licking the spoon in amazement. I had done it. I had created something delicious.

My dad agreed.

Listening to: "The Best of Me" by The Starting Line
Reading: Uglies by Scott Westerfeld


  1. Sounds delicious! You are a brave soul :)

  2. if I liked mushrooms, that would sound fabulous. But I haven't seen Super 8, so if you want to see it again, I shall happily join you!