Foodie Tuesday: I was Just Mincing Around the Kitchen, Looking for Something to Eat

Photo: Rice, Lamb & PeasSeasoned minced lamb, rice, and peas. This hardly constitutes a recipe. But if I’m to be honest—and I should, especially since you all know this full well anyway—not much that I do in the kitchen is what anybody would mistake for culinary sophistication. What I prefer is ease of preparation, a tasty and uncomplicated ingredient list, and food that pleases my mood as much as my palate.

So the recent dish of seasoned lamb mixed with broth-cooked rice and green peas met all of my qualifications, especially as the ground meat in question was the other half of that batch I’d cooked up to fill the Jiaozi-of-Mystery some weeks back, and it had been lurking around the darker regions of my freezer ever since. Lacking great inspiration or quantities of time, I did as I often do…

I made a quick survey of the contents of my pantry: hey, a fresh jar of avocado-oil mayonnaise! I could make a plain mayo-and-honey dressing with a sprinkling of ground cardamom from the shelf next to them, zinged with one little jot of lime juice from the fridge, lightly coating an apple-and-celery salad.

I checked the fridge for the apples and celery: Check! Oh, goody. There’s still some of the rice I cooked up the other day, and it’d be a shame to let that go to waste by waiting for me too long. Guess I might just have to crack open one of the last two bottles of beer, too, while I’m at this Fridge Cleaning thing. Of course that’s the main purpose of all this action. What, you think I do this just because I’m a hungry looter?

I looted (oops!) the freezer next, because after all, I was already right next to it and it would be a terrible pity not to clean that out a little as well. What do you know. Minced lamb. It says Jiaozi Filling on the wrapping, which as you know is the virtual equivalent of telling me  not to make jiaozi with it when I am almost morally opposed to following recipes to the letter. Must be intended for, oh, I don’t know, something…with rice and…look! Over there! It’s a bird! It’s a plane! Nah, different storyline. It’s frozen peas! Yes. I can use peas in this.

I decided a quick return trip to the fridge and pantry stock was in order. Something liquid but not heavy, to tie up the loose ends of a lamb-rice-peas dish that would otherwise taste a little too haphazardly crumbly perhaps. A sort of teriyaki-ish blend of Tamari, lime juice, and ginger syrup? Yeah, that’ll do it. Done and done.

And that’s how a completely nonsensical trip around the kitchen when I’m already hungry and not in the mood to fuss with food prep goes from rummaging to happily eating in about ten or fifteen minutes, give or take an empty cupboard shelf. That’s also how, I’m glad to say, a slightly late post for Foodie Tuesday gets wrapped up when I remember the meal with a certain middle-of-the-night nostalgia that knows it’s too late for snacking. That’s definitely how a lazy cook keeps from starving, and pretends to clean the kitchen at the same time. We all win. Right?Photo: Apples & Celery

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