A spoonful of inspiration.
A simple supper.
Please note the “ “ around “gourmet” in the title of the Nila Girl’s “Gourmet” Galley blog entries. These “ “ act as a disclaimer so that you will not expect each entry to be a life changing work of art. Far from it even. Sometimes I would like to report on what we eat when the cookey does not feel like cooking. What goes on in Nila Girl’s galley when we have spent the day freedive training and only have enough energy left for the most basic meal?
It is my job to feed the family. Only on the rare occasion can I complain my way out of this essential duty. In the same rare way that Ren can convince me to get out of bed, get dressed and dinghy Oreo over to the beach for his pee-pee, way before I am ready to move; I can con Ren into making up some vittles for us. When I will not cook and he will not be convinced to take over, we resort to our family smorgasborgs.
Smorgasborg supper is a long standing lazy supper tradition passed down to me from my family. Mom, Dad, Corey and I would gather around a kitchen counter, armed with knives, cutting up cheese, pickles, pepperoni and sometimes olives. We would take the cutting board, now loaded with the recently cut goodies, into the living room and make toppling towers with the bits of food stacked too high on top of saltine crackers. We never called the meal smorgasborg, we just called it “crackers and cheese”. The name, smorgasborg, is unique to Ren and myself. The simple meal/snack of goodies was expanded to include bananas, raisins, sun dried tomatoes, leftover bits of fish, simply EVERYTHING from the fridge. We add and add to our own cutting board until it resembles a veritable smorgasborg, a plentiful buffet fit for a king. We know the meal is fit for a king because we tried it out on King Oreo. He approves of smorgasborg night mostly because we must drop more food on the floor as bits of overcrowded food are pushed closer and closer to the edge of the cutting board with every swipe of carrot through blue cheese dressing. As I scoop up a handful of raisins and pair them with a couple of green olives I taste the pungent cheddar cheese and salty pepperoni of my past. I enjoy the flavor until my tastebuds are assaulted with the conflicting tastes of raisins and olives.
Funny how food does that. It becomes the bookmark by which we remember past experiences or the vivid tastes of food for the first time. Something about taste and flavors sends signals to the brain, singeing memories into our psyches to be recalled at the next bite. You may taste bitterness every time you eat scrambled eggs, recalling the harsh words your parents screamed right before their divorce as you sat by, eating scrambled eggs and ketchup. A cheap hot dog made perfectly with ketchup, mustard and too many raw onions (that you will not doubt regret later) may conger up memories of running around with your teammates at the ball park growing up. Waiting, and eating hot dogs, before your game began. I will never eat pasta fagioli again without thinking of my Papa and the last meal I remember eating with him, pasta fagioli he had made, cluttered with bright green peas. Tacos were a favorite in my family. We ate tacos often but still not enough for my taste. I remember sometimes running out of sour cream and substituting mayonnaise on our tortillas. I secretly loved the mayonnaise substitution. Not a tear was shed by me when we ran out of sour cream. For some reason, I did not transition from a sour cream to mayo user in my adult life. I use the obligatory sour cream on my tacos like everyone else, except I long for the mayo…or the taste of childhood. As I sit here writing, I am also in the process of making burritos for lunch. Maybe today I’ll use mayo.
Smorgasborg (Futral-Chapman Style)
Ingredients we used during our last meal:
2 eggs fried sunny side up. Ren accidentally broke two eggs while unloading our grocery bag so we cooked them up and added them to the board.
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup bananas
1/2 cup green olives
2 cups lightly fried potatoes and carrots (in olive oil)
2 squirts blue cheese dressing
2 squirts Sri-Racha magic red sauce
Cut all ingredients and serve on a cutting board. Limit cooking, this is lazy supper, remember? Smorgasborg must be communal eaten off the cutting board, preferably with the hands. Forks or chop sticks may be used if absolutely necessary.
*Get creative with the ingredients. Include anything that is on the verge of spoiling. This avoids food waste and makes the smorgasborg interesting.
NOTE: I never measure amounts when I cook and guessed all the ratios in the recipe above