Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Scribbles and Scrambles ~ Melancholy Stew For You

So. I've decided that there are probably kitchen tools (also other types of tools, but since I'm a woman and I spend lots of time in the kitchen, kitchen tools it is.) that fit each type of temperament and describe the pros and cons of each type pretty darn spot-on.

Since I'm very familiar with Melancholy, and this particular kitchen tool, we'll start there.

A slow-cooker aka Crock-Pot is a fabulous tool. I use all three of mine often. And I also have two teeny-tiny ones because you never know when you might need to simmer a small portion of something or other. I use my slow-cookers in the winter and fall. Spring and summer just don't quite cut it. Too many delicious and crispy green things, I guess. But in winter and fall, this little buggar is my right hand.

The beauty of this fabulous tool is that you can throw so many parts and pieces into them and shut the lid and then forget about it. Low for hours and hours and hours can bring forth the most tender meat and the best soups and sauces you'll ever let past your lips. Frozen, odds and ends, scraps, all of these tossed in to one of these ends up making a meal. Christmas Eve is soup night at my house and I'll sometimes start a soup on the afternoon of the 23rd just so the flavors marry and mix into true deliciousness. Chili and Pizza Soup. Stew. Hamburger/Potato soup. Spaghetti sauce. All of these scream for a slow-cooker.

But. Here's where the melancholy and slow-cooker collide. What's true of the slow-cooker-magic and not-so-much-magic is true for the melancholy. Melancholy's tend to take in all those odds and ends in life, things like comments, a non-verbal sign, interpretations, hurts -- and they pack them in their inner thoughts and kick on the heat. Sometimes, if the ingredients are good for a stew, what comes out is a very, very good thing. But other items make for a very, very bad combo and the length of cooking time can be death to relationships, not just an overcooked mush of a meal.

We melancholy's need to occasionally go outside ourselves and look for a nice salad. We don't need to pick up everything we see, every thoughtless comment, every issue outside of our control, every hurt, misunderstanding and slight and put it in our little Crock-Pot brain and cook it to death. There is a big world beyond what we can see and smell and taste and understand. Use your little slow cooker for good. It's a wonderful tool but it isn't appropriate for all meals or all seasons.

Put that in your pot and simmer it.