Adventure in Normal Life / Culinary Creations and Recipes / Fashion / Quick Thoughts

{Common Ground} between my Dining Room and Dressing Room

On the way back from a dizzying workout at the gym, I stopped at the grocery store to pick up a few items before a late dinner at home. I always check out the samples at good ol’Trader Joe’s and I liked the one yesterday so much that I added it to my assorted armful and headed to the check out line. The sample was meatballs with Carolina Gold BBQ sauce. I’m far from a connoisseur of BBQ sauces and if it came down to it, I would be inclined to pick the same BBQ sauce every time I finished a bottle and needed a new one. I recreated the sample at home quickly and had enough in me to quell the great waves of exercise-induced hunger that had swallowed me up.

The following afternoon, I boiled a nitrite/nitrate free all-natural hot dog and as I sat down to eat, I pulled out the Carolina Gold BBQ sauce and put the standard ketchup back in the fridge. I have an unstoppable tendency to give new flavors and combinations a try, even though I think I secretly would rather keep to the tried and true favorites (such as ketchup and mustard) to dress up my hot dog. After I had taken a few bites, it occurred to me: I like jarred and bottled sauce meal accompaniments so much that I would have the same sauce on two different meals in a row whereas I would not enjoy the same meal as leftovers twice in a row, irrespective of sauce. Sauces, I say, are the real stars of a meal apart from freshest ingredients (no matter how wonderful the sauce, it can’t make a rotten fish taste good, you know). I then thought back to my previous post, and saw a commonality between the way I like my food and the way I like to dress.

My philosophy on dressing (accessories): I will pick out outfits based on the pieces of jewelry or scarf that I want to wear that day – these are the “wow!” pieces that go with even the seemingly most basic of clothes, which, as you know from my last post, are my tried-and-true favorites. They are the first element that I pick.

My philosophy on the other dressing (culinary): I am loyal to a favorite sauce when I find one, and they become charmers that dazzle any simple dish.

A great deal of satisfaction comes from the right accoutrements – the pair of pearls that give a effortless sophistication, the splash of color a scarf gives a neutral palette outfit –  just as a flavorful sauce can carry superb flavor as a prime “accessory to the meal.” Whether a sauce or a scarf, so long as I know they are fun and in good taste, they won’t let me down.

Here is a look at a few favorite sauces/preserves/spreads presently in rotation in my kitchen:Food Accoutrements

  • *TJ’s Garlic Aioli Mustard
  • *TJ’s Carolina Gold BBQ Sauce
  • D.L. Jardine’s Texas Kicker Hot Sauce
  • Cape Cod (Or Honeycup) Sweet and Spicy Mustard
  • Premiere Moisonne Strawberry Rhubarb Jam- Canadian bakery
  • St. Dalfour Black Forest Preserves
  • Maple Butter – spreadable, and found in Canada
  • *TJ’s Fire Roasted Salsa
  • *TJ’s Arrabiata Pasta Sauce (not pictured)

*TJ=Trader Joe’s 

Spices are a whole other realm. Some favorites I throw in savory dishes are:

  • paprika
  • Tony’s Creole Spice
  • cumin
  • herbes de provence
  • white pepper
  • italian seasoning
  • raz el hanout

I also enjoy mixing sauces I make myself (out of basic ingredients that can include any singular base or combination of BBQ, soy sauce, honey, vinegar, mustard, ketchup, or broth) and spices. It’s great fun!

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