KP, MJ and I decided to reschedule our viewing of the final two episodes of season one of Gossip Girl. (For those of who you haven’t joined the Gossip Girl bandwagon yet, do it; you won’t be sorry.) As loyal readers may recall, the last attempt at watching the final two episodes of the show was stymied by an incident involving a taco shell, a toaster over, and a glass of water. This time, armed with a new toaster over and a menu that called for minimal actual cooking, I thought we’d be in the clear.
Oh, but no such luck.
Well, I guess we had luck in the beginning. MJ and KP got here without any trouble, we watched the show FIRST (this has been our mistake all along – we eat and drink and forget that we have TV-watching to do), did without the booze (as I explained to MJ earlier, this is because I’m broke, not because I’m saved… well, and there was that little thing with the fire), and ate a no-cooking-required avocado and tomato salad with pita as our appetizer (AM is thinking, “Does this woman serve her guests anything else?!”). The show was amazing, the food was tasty, and nothing was on fire. Great!
And then it happened.
As KP and MJ were getting ready to leave, I opened the fridge and couldn’t quite figure out what was going on. There was this dripping sound, which can never be a good thing, accompanied by a salty, sweet smell. What the… G-D DAMN IT?!
When I was putting away the condiments we used for the sliders I made, I must’ve knocked over the Kikkoman. Because there it was, the Kikkoman container turned on its side and a brown, sticky liquid running down the shelves all over the other condiments, along the base of the fridge, and onto the floor.
Let’s pause here for a second.
You know what Kikkoman is, right? I mean, you don’t live in a cave or anything, right? Well, in the event you do, Kikkoman makes, among other things, soy sauce. I make this point because when I alerted KP and MJ that the fucking Kikkoman was all over the fridge by saying repeatedly, “The fucking Kikkoman is all over the fridge,” I was met with puzzled looks.
When they saw the container, both KP and MJ realized that it’s the soy sauce they’ve used a thousand times. Then MJ asked me, legitimately, “Did you steal that from the Chinese restaurant?”
Okay, while I may have stolen things from restaurants in the past – I mean, I am my mother’s daughter after all – I have never stolen soy sauce. Not that I’m above it. I just know that you can get it at the supermarket.
So I think the disconnect is that people need to learn about condiments.
And it’s not just MJ and her Maryland upbringing that has led her to live a life without condiments. On one of the previous Gossip Girl nights, I made chicken tenders. What sauces go with chicken tenders? Well, I like BBQ, some like ketchup and mustard, and, of course, duck sauce. When KP and I were shopping for dinner that night, she was shocked that you can buy duck sauce at the supermarket. AND SHE GREW UP IN QUEENS!!! C’mon people!
So this reminded me that my mother’s kitchen, and the kitchens of others from the NY/NJ metropolitan area, are sometimes different from kitchens in other places. In NYC, my fridge had condiments – either from take out I purchased or from the store – alcohol, and not much else. And frankly, we weren’t doing too bad. I had friends who only had Evian, various sauces, and vodka. Now that’s a kitchen!
My kitchen in DC has much more bona fide food in it, but we also have all the necessary condiments. For example (and not listing everything because it may signal that I have a sauce problem in addition to my sauce problem, and certainly NOT getting into the herb department… and yes, you can interpret that however you’d like), we have ketchup, two kinds of mustard (at least), BBQ, plum sauce, duck sauce, Teriyaki sauce, maggi, and two types of soy sauce – the Kikkoman and the La Choy low sodium. We also have lemon and lime juice and Worcestershire. The Worcestershire is there, not because I like it so much as because I need it for the sliders I make, and, well, because of that Abbott and Costello bit about it. (I can’t find this bit on youtube right now, but it reminds me of my grandfather ever time. I can hear him saying it in my head – “Whister-sheer-shire-sauce.”)
Anyway, point is this. Sauce is good. Go out and get some. Trust me, it will change your life. Even if the Kikkoman tips over (which NEVER happens) and you have to get down on your hands and knees to wipe down the entire fridge and all the inhabitents therein, while your guests stand above you, watching and noting that “You missed a spot.”