Dear Readers, help. Reward offered.

The Twits* keep complaining that there’s no food in the house. I am bewildered. The fridge is host to cheddar, blue, swiss, jack, parmesan and goat cheeses; milk, butter, eggs and yogurt; homemade chocolate and simple syrups; freshly baked granola; a selection of house-cured salamis and smoked fish; from-our-garden vegetables: carrots, cucumbers, lettuce, leeks, green onions, parsley, dill, sweet peppers, eggplant, corn, chard; from-our-garden fruit: blueberries, raspberries, peaches (and store-bought lemons); a whack of condiments; marinated then stir-fried tofu; sunflower, peanut and almond butters. Three types of garden tomatoes, plus avocados, bananas and tangerines grace a bowl on the counter next to the Orca and speckled beans, now dried and ready for cooking. Cupboards are packed with extra-virgin olive, toasted sesame and coconut oils, myriad vinegars, maple syrup, canned tuna, canned tomatoes, popping corn. Drawers host copious amounts of grains, flours, spices, dried pasta, dug-from-our-garden potatoes, onions and garlic. There is always a selection of homemade artisanal breads and baking chocolate. A glance in the freezer reveals Emy’s vegetable empanadas; freshly ground beef and chicken from Hopcott’s; wild spring salmon; pecans, walnuts, almonds and sunflower seeds.

And yet. Each Twit walks into the kitchen, opens said fridge, cupboards, drawers and freezer, and announces: There is nothing to eat. I have taken this to mean: I’m hungry and I don’t feel like preparing food so will you please make me something or buy some potato chips?

(I must admit that last week the Teen Twit did cook up a batch of pasta swimming in tomato sauce that was so heavily doused in cheese the sauce turned beige; plus he managed to burn cheese and sauce over the entire five-burner cooktop. I’m not sure how he managed this feat; neither is he. In a fit of pique, I banned him from the kitchen unless under strict supervision.)

Dear Readers, please send suggestions  via this blog to the Twits of what to slap together or quickly make (15 minutes, tops) based on the contents of our pantry? The Twits will judge the suggestions and the best ones will receive a batch of Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookies. One request, please: no deep frying. I’ll report back on the results in a week. Maybe two.

Yours from scratch,


*Those Whom I Tirelessly Serve


13 thoughts on “Dear Readers, help. Reward offered.

  1. My favourite easy fast meal is BBQ salmon. I use a sharp knife to make little slashes across the fish then top with a mixture of (sorry, I don’t measure but use LOTS of everything): sundried tomatoes (non oily version), parsley, salt, olive oil, garlic and maple syrup. It helps if you can make this mixture earlier in the day and let it sit in your fridge for a bit for the flavours to mingle but I never seem to have time for that so I invariably do it just before cooking. Plop the topped fish on the BBQ and cook for 10 minutes per inch. Done!

    The recipe originally came from Dave Veljacic who was a Burnaby fire-fighter. He won many BBQ contests with it. The addition of maple syrup was my idea.

    Anyway, this recipe got my kids — who claim to HATE fish — eating salmon, even when they were young. In fact, it’s the ONLY fish that 2/3 will eat without complaining.

    Don’t know if your Twits will like it, but it’s worth a try!

  2. This is one of my favorite snacks. Take out or cut two slices of bread. Toast. Slather with Almond butter. Cut a banana that is not too green and not too ripe into 1/2 inch slices and arrange these on top of the almond buttered toast so that they cover it. Eat! (By the way, apple slices are a terrific substitute for the bananas.)

  3. You should feed your twits a can of woop-ass (just kidding!)

    With all your garden goodies, but only 15 minutes, I would make a warm pasta salad. While your pasta is boiling, blend together olive oil, vinegar, garlic, basil, and salt/pepper to taste.
    Drain pasta and add the dressing to coat. Add chopped peppers, your 3 varieties of tomatoes, and chunks of goat cheese. If your twits can’t survive a meal without meat, add some cured salami or smoked salmon for that extra bite.

  4. Gosh what I would GIVE for the “nothingness” in your kitchen!! 🙂 For something quick, light and refreshing I would cut up and mix some blueberries, raspberries and peaches together and top them with either honey or maple syrup… for a sweet treat!
    Another option, Take some of your great bread, slice into thicker pieces and coat with butter or olive oil, then top with garlic powder, fresh tomatoes, and cheese (whichever is prefered from your plethera of options) and bake in oven or toaster oven about 10 mins, or until golden brown. (Salami… or any other thinly sliced meat can be added as well!)
    Third and final option from my not so culinary background, would be… mix together some granola, popped popcorn, chocolate (morsels work best if you happen to have any) and any of your nuts that you have on hand and enjoy while watching a great movie…. or just to keep your mouth full so your not pestering your mother!! 🙂 Hope these help your brewd…

  5. Great a reward for someone who can’t cook. I’m in.
    I’d take some of that artisan bread, crack open the can of tuna. feed some to Freddy or at least pour the juice from the can into his bowl. Make some tuna salad and put it on half a bun, grate some cheese on top and put it in the toaster oven to make a sticky mess inside the oven since you’re banned from the 5 burner stove!
    mmmmmm chocolate chip cookies. I better enter another reply to see if I can claim that reward.
    Advice from your pal who cooks like your twits

  6. Step one. Wash your hands.
    Step two. Pet Freddy who’s now sitting watching you cook.
    Step three. Wash your hands.
    Now,…cut up 4 peaches put in a glass baking dish.
    mix 1/4 cup brown sugar, with a cup of granola and cut in 3 tablespoons or so of butter with a fork. put in a glass dish and bake for 20 mins.

    what the heck, maybe even toss in a handful of blueberries for color.
    I just made all this up as I don’t cook and the last time I made cobbler I used granola bars and it tasted great.

  7. Oh I know the teen ‘twit’ well…hehe…
    hows this…grab several hand fulls of veggies, whatever you want, make sure they are chopped into small pieces, in a pan put in a couple of table spoons of cooking oil add cumin seeds, finely diced onion, and tomato…let the that all cook, add a tablespoon of tomato paste…now add to that some tumric, chilli, and salt to taste…when all that is good and cooked and add in a little water and cook it down till you have a paste like substance, add to that the veggies sprinkle on a little more tumric and add about 4 tablespoons of water, cover, reduce heat…let the steam cook it all up. Mix together 10 mins later and garnish with cilantro…viola …you’re done TWIT! serve with rice, pasta, or bread

  8. Well, with the 15 minute timeline you’re going to have to cook up those beans and freeze them so they can be easily added to things, like boiling pasta, or bruschetta.

    1. Put the pasta on to boil, and while it cooks, add in an assortment of diced vegetables. Let it all cook together, drain, toss with cheese, salt and pepper, enjoy!

    2. Slice some good bread and toss in the toaster. In the meantime, mash a few beans with some olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Cut up a tomato and an avocado and mix together. Rub the toast with a peeled clove of garlic so it grates a little on the rough surface. Heap toast with the bean mixture and top with the tomatoes and avocado. Delicious!

  9. You’ll need to buy a small bag of potato chips for this but I found it in the Vancouver Sun at some point and one of your TWITs Loved it when he was here — mix together 1/2 cup mayo, 1 tbsp dijon, 1/4 tsp garlic powder, 1 1/4 tsp lemon juice. in a separate bowl, crush one 100 g. bag of potato chips with 1 C. of panko crumbs, dip halibut, cod or whatever other white fish in in the mayo mix, then the crumbs, bake on a cookie sheet for 15 (ish) minutes in a 350 degree oven and voila! PS: If I win, can I get Emy’s poppyseed cookies? Actually, can I get some even if I don’t?

  10. I personally don’t agree with this article. For one thing, that cooking incident was an isolated event, and the teen twit isn’t at fault. Honestly, those dumb burners were too hot, and even with precautionary measures, the accident was bound to happen sooner or later.
    Second, the teen twit doesn’t want potato chips, that is a discriminatory statement. If there is any sweets in the house, the teen twit will find them, and he knows there are no potato chips ever in the house, so he has no expectations of any. Now, if there were ever going to be potato chips, teen twit has no problem obliging to the needs of the house and eating them before anyone else can reap the negatives.
    Finally, teen twit, he doesn’t complain. Granted, he is a little disappointed in this flawed statement, but he isn’t the grand culprit. Tween twit, she is a nightmare in the kitchen. Compared to her, teen twit acts like a butterfly. She complains about no food all the time; at least teen twit eats everything. Tween twit, she is a selective omnivore, and that doesn’t bode well for her in our foodless house.
    I would like to end this rather pleasant reply with a thought. As the great Julia Child once said: You don’t have to cook fancy or complicated masterpieces – just good food from fresh ingredients. There are fresh ingredients at home; problem is, there aren’t any good, fresh ingredients at home.

    • I think you might need to define “good.” But thanks for caring. If you want the batch of cookies, though, you’re going to have to post a recipe!

  11. I, too, have a kitchen filled with Useless goodies…not the right kind and There’s Nothing to Eat. Every week I make different fruit Cobblers, veg soups and have a stack of French cookbooks out and ready to please my Twits. I think the trick is to keep churning it out and keep making it exciting for yourself. So here’s the Twits Tweet of the Week. They Love it! Purple Drink. One cup blueberries, one banana, one cup milk (I sneak soy milk into it but don’t tell anyone), dash ‘o cinnamon, perhaps a dolup on honey…blend it all and Bob’s your Uncle. Serve a huge amount in a large glass and everyone will say Thank You Very Much.

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