My wife and I moved to Maryland so she could further her medical studies at a major university medical center here. She's already board certified, but she's subspecializing and this requires a fellowship - a course of three years of study, research, and work in her subspecialty.
We both knew that the first year would be the hardest and that I'd probably only see her at bedtime and in the morning briefly, but I didn't realize how important it had been to my cooking to have her around as the second diner. It's hard getting pumped up to cook for just yourself, so I've found myself reverting to a few of my bachelor habits. One of these is eating foods from jars, without doing anything else to the contents. That sounds fine, but the combinations tend to be pretty strange, depending on what I have a taste for. I thought I'd share last night's meal which was particularly all over the place.
I started with a little herring in sour cream. This is not something we ordinarily have around the house, but it sounded very good to me. My one regret about our trip to Amsterdam last year is that I didn't get to try herring from one of the stands there. My Dutch ancestry reasserts itself from time to time, however, by forcing me to buy jars of herring.
So what goes best with herring? Why, green mango pickle in an insanely spicy sauce of course. I'd picked this up at a local Persian store that also carries some Indian specialties. I found it hard to get the last bits of insanely hot sauce from the bottom of the bowl so I brought some pita into the mix.
And once you have pita, its imperative to break out the garlic hummus. Mmmm. Garlic hummus. If you like hummus, but are afraid your guy friends will make fun of you for eating it, get garlic hummus. You'll smell so bad, they won't be able to question your guy-ness.
I tried to figure out as I was eating exactly how these foods went together. The only common link that I could find is that I'd never serve them to the Redhead. I might try her out on the hummus, but I wouldn't expect her anywhere near the herring or the mango pickle.
So what do you eat when the spouse isn't around? What foods do you hold off on until that business trip or that late night at the office keeps your better half out of the kitchen? I'm hoping I'm not the only one who comes up with these Frankenstein creations.