Monday, August 26, 2013

food service

1. Beware, beware, the ides of sauce. Indian simmer sauces are a standard item in our pantry. They usually come in jars. Half a jar in a covered saucepan with chopped veggies, then add cooked pasta and sometimes a little leftover chicken near the finish, and it's a meal. The only catch is, sometimes they're spicier than B. likes. My latest discovery is a brand, Kitchens of India, where even a "mild" label on the jar will not save you from ultra-spicy. Even their tikka masala - an inherently wimpy Anglo concoction, the chop suey of Indian food - was too spicy. Using just a third of the jar and diluting it with water didn't work, as it sometimes does. Next try, a few days later: cutting it with tomato sauce. Still too spicy. Finally, rummaging around in the fridge produced a successful recipe. Two parts sauce. Three parts mayonnaise. And one part milk. That, at last, brought it down to the merely brightly tasty.

2. For a Sunday early afternoon backyard bbq, I found myself tasked with bringing drinks. This would be a score of people mostly older than myself, so loading up on soda pop* didn't seem quite the thing. I headed for what the very large local Safeway calls the "specialty drinks" aisle. I bought a lot of medium-sized bottles of that uncolored but fruit-flavored water, some Starbucks chilled coffee of some kind (I know little of the ways of coffee), some Snapple, and, because I couldn't resist it, two different professional golfer brands of lemonade. Arnold Palmer lemonade is evenly mixed with ice tea, and Jack Nicklaus lemonade has mango in it. I prefer Jack's. I found I didn't much care for the uncolored water; it tastes too sweet for me, even though it doesn't seem to have any sweetenings in it. Lemonade, on the other hand, does not.

*Some people say "soda" and some people say "pop", but I say "soda pop".

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