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sledding

Sauce

The word is French; its Latin root is "salsus," referring to salt. In Spanish, the word is "salsa," not to be confused with the music, whose dancers admittedly can be pretty saucy! It's also a euphemism for the hooch.

Normally, you don't eat sauce by itself.

WAITER: May I take your order?

DINER: I'd like some béchamel sauce.

WAITER: Yes, on what?

DINER: Just the sauce, please.


Béchamel is a white sauce of Italian origin which was introduced into France in the seventeenth century. It is one of the so-called "mother" sauces, since it can serve as the base of other sauces. For example, add cheese and it becomes "sauce mornay." Basically, you start with a roux and so on and so forth and blah blah woof woof. The ingredients are butter, flour, milk, salt, pepper, and nutmeg. Personally, I would be parsimonious with the nutmeg.

But you know what? I'm not going to make béchamel, because I have a can of "America's béchamel" in the cupboard. It's called Campbell's Cream of Mushroom Soup. (Does anybody ever eat this as soup or is it just used to thicken green bean casserole?)

Here's the plan: buy some frozen spinach, thaw it, chop it, and mix it with the cream of mushroom soup. Heat it in a sauce pan. Use it as a side dish for steak. I'll let you know.

Now, ideally I would get some fresh spinach, wash it, make a béchamel, etc. But the temptation of letting the grocery store do my mis-en-place is just too great.

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sledding

August 2017

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