Thursday, March 23, 2017

Shelf Velocity

The title is a retail term for how long it takes to move stock. I like to keep the shelf velocity of food high to protect our standard of living. Over an ideal week, the cupboard is close to bare by Saturday morning.

Last week, neither of us was hungry for the animal protein that draws us to the fish market or the Pike Place butcher. We opted for produce from the corner supermarket and staples from the emergency pantry supply. It doesn't hurt to rotate that stock over the course of the seasons.

Two simple dishes are easy to prepare from foods that store for a long time. Any version of any ingredient works well in the finished product. The first dish, soup au pistou, I learned from Julia Child's television cookbook. It's a vegetarian minestrone composed of potatoes, carrots, onion or leek, white beans, green beans, green peppers, tomato, bread crumbs, broken pasta, spinach or other greens, grated Parmesan cheese, and pesto sauce. Add saffron for a special occasion. Putting this soup together over the course of fifty years in muddy campsites and slick kitchens of varying stripe, with varying degrees of enthusiasm, I have yet to turn out a product that was not at least welcome at the table.

The second favorite is old-fashioned fruit salad, easy to prepare from sturdy basics like apple, citrus, and dried things. Dress with lemon juice, sour cream, and/or grenadine syrup. Mince fresh ginger for a fillip. Add soft fruit like strawberries at the last minute.

With pistou and fruit salad on hand, eating responsibly is trivial. A bowl of each will suffice when heavier food does not appeal -30-

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