Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Country Apples and Self-Worth

Just to have something to write about, I'm going to talk about a recipe I like to make. I won't actually post the recipe here because I don't have the recipe book from which I got it, but it's fairly simple.

Every fortnight, a group of coworkers hosts "Yum Club," in which a pair of people make lunch for the rest of the group. The responsibility rotates and the pair decides who will produce what. Sometimes there's salad and pasta, one guy made an amazing curry chicken dish, another one tried his hand at pie, &c.

When my turn came around, I made a very simple and reliable crockpot dish, "Country Apples." Oatmeal, raisins, apples, flour, brown sugar, cinnamon (I used a sweet Vietnamese variety from Penzey's--is it reasonable to love a spice store as much as a book store? Oh my gods, I need to open a stationery shop that also sells spices), stuff like that. It's served over ice cream: I recommend vanilla bean. Not vanilla, not French vanilla, not New York vanilla. Those are all delicious but vanilla bean is civilization. Put it in your coffee, scoop it onto your pie--it will not steer you wrong.

Country Apples also goes in crepes, if you know how to make crepes, which I don't, and the cookbook recommends that it goes over oatmeal. What an insult. Say you're a batch of oatmeal, you've been simmering and softening up, absorbing moisture, you're all ready to disseminate fiber throughout the consumer's body to attach yourself to various toxins you'll carry on your way out. You're feeling pretty good about yourself: you have a job to do and you do it well. Suddenly, someone adds to a bowl of you a dollop of something like you but much dressier. You're a bowl of oatmeal, and someone spoons a lump of Oatmeal Plus Flavor right into the middle of you.

Would you feel redundant? Would you suddenly become self-conscious, abruptly made aware of the fact that your consumer doesn't think you're very tasty? You have an important function to fulfill, yet you fall short in an aesthetic arena so reserves have been enlisted to compensate for your inadequacy. You're brusquely introduced to oatmeal, slow-cooked for six hours with cinnamon, brown sugar and fruit and, like federal officers do to hard-working New York City cops all the time in TV and movies, you've been informed they'll be taking over the operation.

Actually, I can relate to that. After years of working on my humor and conversational ability, a woman stated in blunt terms that she wasn't interested in dating me because of the color of my hair. Unless she was trying to be kind, preferring to appear shallow rather than out-and-out saying I'm an unlovable sack of failure, very ugly on the deep-down inside.

Huh. I hadn't considered that.

No comments: