Sunday, May 24, 2009

A Tale of Two Salts - And One Very Paranoid Man

My personal peanut gallery is for the most part extremely receptive to my culinary escapades. I might even flatter myself by suggesting that they enjoy the results of my efforts more often than not.

With one exception.

My father is a man who does
not appreciate culinary adventures. He does not enjoy the results of the majority of my efforts. He will eat: my pizza, my pasta with tomato sauce, my empanadas (as long as I refer to them as meat patties in his presence). But that is about the extent of it.

In fact on many an evening when I am cooking he will ask what SeaBass might eat if I am making "that stuff".

Beyond this general avoidance of anything I've cooked, he also fears many of the new and exotic ingredients I've brought into the house. He is afraid I might be sneaking them into his food - trying to convert bring him over to my side. Take different salts for example.

Allow me to demonstrate the kind of fear and paranoia I'm dealing with.

Here we have a picture of the typical selection of salts available in my pantry:

We have kosher salt in the box, my father's table salt in his shaker (the shaker is a totem of my father's hold on his traditional, trusted food items), sea salt in the salt pig, and in the silver shaker - more of my father's table salt, as filled by mother (who he typically trusts not to attempt any kind of sneak attack conversions on him).

It was the other night at the dinner table that the depth of his paranoia was revealed.

We were laughing at my dad's refusal to use this salt shaker:

which, since it was a gift bought for me, he assumes is filled with one of the exotic forms of salt, ergo "not real salt" and he refuses to go within 10 feet of it. No matter how many times we've assured him that no one is tampering with the salt or trying to mess with his seasonings, he will not be swayed. No fancy, new-fangled, unknown salt shaker for him.

He reached for his trusty shaker

when SeaBass said, "hey, how do you know somebody didn't fill that shaker with sea salt

or kosher salt

when it was empty a couple of days ago?"

To which my father replied with an exultant look on his face, "Ha, I knew someone would try that, so I emptied it into the garbage and refilled it myself."

He was very pleased with himself, and pleased that he was given the opportunity to share with us (his opponents in this battle of ingredients) that he was on his guard, wary at all times.

The rest of us? Well we were just plain shocked....amused, and impressed that he thought we would go that far to convert him, and pleased that he thinks so highly of our creative abilities in thinking up ways to convert him.

But mostly just shocked.

This is what I'm dealing with people.


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