They say that necessity is the mother of invention. That may be true, but if it is, necessity must have a sister named curiosity. I mean, a lot of the stuff I do, without a lot of thought I might add, is driven by a ‘what if’ complex. It is nothing I need to do, but a little voice inside says “hey, I know it could be a disaster, but what if it isn’t? What about that? And of course, being duly challenged, the bell goes off, the gates open, and my horse is out of the gate.
This happened to me yesterday. As many of you know, I have been honing (make that developing) my skills in the kitchen and it is a voyage of discovery. I don’t make anything fancy. Mostly, just plain food that doesn’t take a lot of time or skill. In fact, I’ve just recently started cooking things that require heat, so I have rather a long way to go. To my credit however, I have not made anything that begged the question “you don’t really expect me to eat that do you”?
I spend a lot of time in my pantry. If it comes in a box or a can, I probably have it. About a week ago while perusing the shelves, I rediscovered, for the 127th time, a 12 oz can of Spam. Now, I happen to like Spam. Not a lot and not too frequently, but I do not view it with disdain. I just keep overlooking it because it is a bigger can then I want to open. But, if I can’t get beyond that, I am going to have to include it in my will. So I decided to take the plunge. I fried up some slices that consumed about half the can and ate it with some eggs, hash browns, and toast.
So now, what to do with the other half of the can. It had been in the refrigerator three days and neither of us was getting any younger. So I jumped on the web and found tons of Spam recipes. Many intriguing, but none that hit my hot button. So I decided to strike out on my own and stepped back into the pantry. There, I found a box of Rice A Roni fried rice mix, and I was off and running. I remembered that my wife used to make her own fried rice to which she would add peas and carrots, sliced green onion, and leftover pork roast cubed. I didn’t have green onion, but I did have some of those little white pearl onions, so I thinly sliced up one of those. I also had a bag of peas and carrots in the freezer. And what’s fried rice without an egg, so I cooked a couple of those. Then I saw the little can of Dole pineapple chunks. Cha ching. Now we were cooking. I cubed and fried the Spam, cooked the veggies, and grilled the pineapple. After I finished making the rice dish as per package instructions, I mixed it all together into a main meal. Or should I say Maine meal. A little soy sauce to taste, and I was good to go.
Not exactly a culinary discovery or even a challenge for most people, and certainly not a meal that would help me Beat Bobby Flay, but it tasted good and it was not junk food and I didn’t have to risk leaving my box. But now I have two new problems. What to do with all that leftover fried rice, and more importantly, what wine would pair well with it?