Okay, I have something to say and it’s not going to make me popular. You see, everywhere I look — blogs, magazines, TV shows if I watched them — they all send the same message: Always use the freshest ingredients you can find. And I think we’re taking this idea just a little bit too far.
Yes, fresh ingredients are good. Yes, they taste better. But isn’t ALWAYS using them just a little extreme. You can’t always have the epitomy of freshness. Sooner or later, your greens are going to experience that not-so-fresh feeling and even the most absorbent Roca-Pads with wings aren’t going to be able to help. So, are we just throwing these wilty greens away? Nonsense. (Actually, yes, my husband threw them away and I cursed him.)
So, from now on, let’s just amend ourselves to say: Use the freshest of ingredients only when it matters. Like if you have one opportunity, and only one, to impress someone (like your insufferable mother-in-law!!!). Or, if it’s your last supper. Or if it’s summertime and fresh produce keeps dropping from the sky and hitting you in the face. This is okay. But for your average winter weekday meal for your dumb family? I don’t think so.
Take last week. I wasn’t going to say anything, but that rice pudding in the photo was made with expired cream. That’s right: expired AND previously opened. It smelled…a little funky. But I suspected it was just the congealed stuff on the inside of the carton, and, lo and behold, once I poured it through a strainer to get rid of the lumps, it tasted totally fine. (Kind of like when you’re making a crème anglaise and you cook it until just a few curdles form, you strain them out, and it’s totally way better than when those curdles were just a glimmer in your eye. Don’t pretend like you don’t know what I’m talking about.)
Now, some of you might find yourself jumping to conclusions about the vomiting that wracked our household around the same time as the rice pudding consumption. You can’t prove anything. It was a virus, and do you know how I know? Because I do this kind of thing all the time. And rarely, if ever, do I vomit from my own cooking. I only vomit in swanky, high-end restaurants where they use the freshest of ingredients.
So, the moral of this story is: stop being such a bunch of food snobs, you food snobs. And, additionally, I’m now off the hook for having to cook for any of my friends or family ever again!