Thursday, March 12, 2009

One more blow against starvation and waste

Many was the time back at Visitation B.V.M. grade school when the nuns patrolling the cafeteria told us that it was a sin to waste food while children were starving in India or China or Africa or on an Indian reservation. Generally they told us this when the cafeteria ladies had just slopped something particularly egregious onto our plates, like creamed chipped beef on toast.

The Irish kids would eat it, and the Germans could maybe choke it down; but there's never been an Italian in the history of the world who would eat that stuff. And, since at that time it was still funny to ask "Is the Pope Italian?" just after asking "Does a bear shit in the woods?" I felt myself to be in pretty good company and on pretty solid moral ground in refusing to eat it.

But there is sin and then there are the wages of sin. The nuns were pretty crafty, and very watchful, and very dogmatic on the subject of sin; but they would have had to actually have eyes in the back of their heads to get me to eat that white glop. Wait. . . wait. . . wait. . . Now! Into the empty milk carton with it while she's busy over there beating on Russell M.

Even if the Pope would eat it, dumping shit on a shingle while descendants of Geronimo and Hannibal and Ghengis Khan are starving certainly ain't a sin if you don't get caught. And neither is giving Russell M a broad smile and a little meaningful wave of the criminal milk carton as he's being smacked smartly about the head.

I'm reminded of this because for some time there have been complaints around here about my waste of flour when I make fish for dinner. I generally dump a couple of heap of flour on a big plate, dredge the couple of pieces of fish in it, and then dump the nine tenths of the flour that's still on the plate into the trash can. Having had a very thorough education in the practical fieldcraft of sin concealment, I generally put some newspaper over the evidence; but sometimes I forget in the rush to get dinner finished before Linda gets home if I've lost track of time while scouring the job market for leads or watching Fluffee videos or some such. On those occasions I get some variant of the old nuns' chastisement - sin, waste, shame. . . Oh, The Humanity!

So tonight I finally got smart. I dredged the fish in corn meal. Then I turned the leftover corn meal into polenta. So I can report with some pride that no children were wantonly starved in the making of our dinner, nor in the writing of this blog entry.

The polenta was quite good with a little drizzle of honey on it; and the corn meal crust on the fish was excellent. On the side we had creamed spinach that I picked up one time on impulse in the market when it was on sale. I don't know how long it's been in the freezer but it tasted pretty good and there have been no adverse effects as of yet. I warmed up a can of tomatoes, okra and corn for Linda to put over her polenta. She likes okra. As for myself, I seriously doubt they ever ate any of it up in the big house back in the old days down South. Naturally we had a salad as well. Tonight's was cucumber, red pepper, artichoke hearts, romaine lettuce, onions dressed with Aunt Mary R's specified mixture of two part olive oil to one part vinegar. Extra Virgin Olive Oil and Balsamic vinegar, of course.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

You missed all the fun, you should have stayed on Penn St, and went to Holy Savior School, you could have walked to school and went home for lunch and had some of Moms good peppers and eggs, Minestrone, Pasta Fazool and many others, and skipped all the Medigan Stuff.