Making Do, or Doing and Making
Mar. 4, 2014 9:56 am
Updated: Mar. 16, 2014 12:12 pm
It's been a pretty busy time in the kitchen for me these last couple of weeks. Before I get into that, I need to carp at AllRecipes for a little bit. The primary reason I subscribed to AR was for the ability to blog. It seems as though the blogging feature
on this site is a child, and an ugly one they want to hide as well. The other features of going Pro I don't find particularly handy or appealing. I know! Plenty of people will stand in line to disagree with me on this, and that's to be expected. This is a
preference issue, and I just think that saving my dollars makes more sense. I don't think I will be resubscribing, and in September, I'll be regressing to non-Pro status. I hope it doesn't affect my cooking. I also hope that I can keep in touch with the friends
I've made here.
I've been wanting to write a post regarding living in a small town and having far less selection available to me than in a large city or metropolitan area. The problem was that every time I started to write, the post took off in a negative direction. I don't
want this to be negative because there is no reason for negativity. Certain things are not easily available to me. I am inconvenienced by their absence. In the words of my young daughter, "First world problem, dad."
It is a first world problem. How incredibly self absorbed it is to whine about not having fresh basil with which to make a Caprese Salad. Ok. The store doesn't have fresh mozzarella normally either, but it is still just an inconvenience, right? Still, I like
having a fresh, Caprese Salad, even if I have to use supermarket tomatoes. It's better then not having it at all.
It is possible to make do and change the Caprese Salad a bit to account for what you have available. The market has a "sort of" fresh basil product in a squeeze tube. It isn't terrible tasting. So I could make a vinaigrette using three tablespoons of olive
oil, one tablespoon of balsamic vinegar, two teaspoons of the basil paste and salt and pepper to taste. Drizzle this dressing over the sliced tomatoes and then top with some freshly grated Parmigiano. This is a reasonable approach to making do and getting
But what if there is an opportunity for making and doing rather than making do? I am growing basil and several other herbs in my basement because I was tired of the pathetic supplies of wilted and/or rotted fresh herbs at the supermarket. The next step will
be to make some fresh mozzarella cheese at home. I have read that you can also make ricotta cheese from the left over whey, so there is a double benefit to making your own fresh mozz at home. Then I will have my wonderful Caprese Salad!
The challenges are often more about organization than the lack of availability. If I were better organized, I would pick up the things I need in the big city when I am there. I get into Minneapolis or Sioux Falls every few weeks. Yes, it is a pain to hitch
up the buckboard, but it has to be done. It isn't hard to find the things you need, if you know you need them. The internet is also a great resource for those of us living in the white areas of the map, labelled, "Here there be monsters."
For certain things, there seems to be no answer. Seafood, for instance, is just not an easy thing to find in almost any part of Minnesota. Rather, it is available, but just, no. I need to explore this more. Maybe I can buy frozen fillets of salmon before they
ever thaw and rot in the display case. I think I miss fresh mussels more than the salmon even. I don't think there is really any hope there. I am almost at the point of trying that invasive fresh water species that is clogging up industrial waste water pipes.
Mmmmm... Local shellfish!
What I am saying in my very long winded way, is that maybe we should be making and doing rather than making do.