Sat 28th Jan 2023

Have you ever grabbed some things out of the cupboard to make lunch, then, as you combine them, you think, this seems to be a complete infringement on culinary decorum. A combination so weird that you honestly wonder if the gastronomy gestapo is going to send the nice young men with the clean white coats if they find out about this?

My two boys experienced this a lot when they were little and I would cook delicacies such as Schmagg, the recipe for which varied somewhat as I perfected it, but centered around canned tuna and boxed mac and cheese. Gross right? Actually, it’s not greatly unlike the tuna noodle surprise I have encountered in fifth-Sunday Baptist church basement food orgies as a kid. Mine was minus the peas, sometimes.

This might be a good time to interject that I have also always had some odd tastes such as: I love raw onion slices; I used to regularly top cheeseburgers with peanut butter and pickles (creamy and crisp crinkle-cut is the best combo, for the record); I like straight mustard for my fries and sometimes my eggs; and I have enjoyed Pepsi and milk combined as in Laverne and Shirley. In fact, I have never liked milk on its own and this was about the only way I could drink the amount of milk the we are “supposed” to. Later, milk got even with me by making me become allergic to dairy even in the forms I liked such as cream cheese and ice cream.

Admittedly the reasons for the seemingly odd combinations I have created, have changed. Once based mostly on poverty, lack of desire to be in the kitchen (I didn’t always love to cook) and the necessity of children having something representing dinner so their mom did not toss me out on my ear. In today’s case though I considered ingredients Soley based on them being soft and able to be swallowed largely sans the first step in digestion.

After all my top teeth ended up in a Mexican garbage can, I am still unable to chew anything without pain. Tuna should be okay, I thought, as I surveyed the scantness of my post Mexican trip cupboard. Oh, sure, I could have mixed in some Avacodo-oil mayo, and of course mustard but that begs for bread, which is a problem. Besides, I was also craving beans, so the whole thing started there. The black beans called to me (of course the low sodium variety as I gave up salt as much as possible decades ago). I combined those two cans along with colby-jack cheese, some olive oil, salsa, a good dose of cumin, about half that much chili powder, pepper and a pinch of turmeric, then nuked the whole mess.

Was it good? There are other important factors at play here. My wife said that since surgery I get tired of eating before I get full, which is true. But I ate all of this concoction and it was the most satisfying thing I have eaten in days. and that is something, I think.

Maybe you won’t find my impromptu and unnamed dish on the menu should I ever have a restaurant, but feel free to give it a try. Or not.

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