I have a theory that pretty much everyone has a few idiosyncratic foods or ingredients they always want in their kitchen. And if you run out, you’ll make a special trip to stock up again.
Here’s my top three and you can tack on your own “must haves” in the comments.
1) Midel’s vanilla wafers
I love these things. You can dip one in peanut butter. Crumble them and sprinkle on top of roasted pears along with some nuts–they get crisp and toasty in the oven. And so on.
Tried Nabisco first, which I remembered from my childhood – either they’ve changed or I have, because they really, really didn’t taste right. Fed the rest to the squirrels.
2) Field peas
I grew up eating field peas in Mississippi, topped with a quick relish of chopped tomato, onion and hot pepper with a little vinegar stirred in. And served with cornbread. My mom’s cornbread was 100% cornmeal, no flour, no sugar, no baking powder or baking soda. Just cornmeal, milk, eggs, salt. It didn’t rise – it was only about 3/4″ thick and shall we say, “sturdy.”
I actually love broccoli, especially roasted. Also brussels sprouts, roasted. Also cabbage, roasted. And all-day-roasted (!) tomatoes.
If you detected a theme there, you’re right. Traditional Southern families cook the heck out of vegetables. If you can’t tie a knot in that green bean, it isn’t ready to eat. Yuk. So I didn’t like very many veggies growing up.
And then…I discovered the broil setting, and dry heat! Truly a life-altering experience.
What’s on your must-have list?