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Day 12: The Condiment War

November 20th, 2007 by Raj

It’s truly surprising what one can come up with to keep yourself occupied when you are truly bored. Tonight I was beyond boredom, in fact boredom was so far in my mind’s rear view mirror I’d crossed states, perhaps islands and was waving to it from Auckland. “Hello boredom!” So bored shitless with no desire to fire up the xBox, nothing on the idiot box and all my washing neatly folded and stored I did the only thing left to do to pass the time. I cooked, or rather I conducted a food experiment of monumental proportion!

In actual fact, to be truthful and all that, the experiment came about because of my uncanny craving for lamb chops. All day I’d been thinking about how I wanted to get chicken and chips for dinner but when it came crunch time my stomach told me otherwise.


“Listen fool”
-my stomach talks like Mr. T- “You ain’t eatin’ no chicken & chips. No jibba-jabba you be eatin’ lamp chops! FOOL!”

Alright, stomach, calm down… Chops it is, doesn’t bother me I’ve got some in the freezer at home, it’s pretty much the only thing in my fridge/freezer besides one stubby of Cooper’s Pale Ale and a bunch of insulin for that pesky disease Diabetes I so thoughtlessly have. So I trotted up to the supermarket to get some fresh bread so I could the chops Aussie BBQ style with a bit of tomato sauce, maybe some potatoes and beans in there too, who knows? We’ll see how Mr. T feels about vegies later.

Back from the supermarket, or as I prefer to call it, the-slightly-less-than-super-coz-it’s-about-as-big-as-my-apartment-market, fresh bread and diabetic sauce in hand I open sesame the freezer draw and wham-o! No lamb chops. Fuckin’ crap, Mother F’er, no way in hell I’m walking fifty metres up the road again to go buy some, buzz kill a plenty. Unbelievable, I was 110% sure I had lamb chops in here, turns out it was mince and a couple of porterhouse steaks that I can’t even remember buying. Maybe one of my guests bought them when I was overseas and they felt sorry the baron waste land that is my fridge.

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OK, OK, plan B… there’s steak, they’re in a chop like form, I could whack a shellacking of “Masterfoods Smokey BBQ Seasoning” all over them and pretend they’re lamb, it’d take a lot of seasoning though and I’m low on supply because of it’s constant use in The Cooking Show (Don’t worry folks, it’ll be back soon). Nix that, save the Smokey. Steak, steak…. oh you idiot… steak sandwiches! Oh hang on tomato, no cheese, no lettuce, pretty much no everything except bread and steak. Next move, cupboards and fridge door, what have we got to work with?

The entire contents of my fridge that was edible at this point in time:

  • 1 egg (um, may be edible, it would be questionable)
  • full cream milk (none of this skinny, soy, calcium enriched junk)
  • butter (again, see milk)
  • tomato sauce
  • Dijon mustard (when did that get in here?)
  • Dijonnaise (it’s like the mustard only mixed with a mayonnaise I presume)

So this is when my brain went a little crazy, crazy-time. What we have here is a lot of extras, accessories to a meal if you will. The multitude of condiments available to me was rather astonishing seeing that I almost never use them bar tomato sauce. I have to cook the steak, there’s no option there without that I’ll be eating bread and butter if anything, so fry pan on, steak in, lightly dusted with a bit of cracked pepper and salt for flavour enhancers. We’ll get the bread ready, butter her up, hmmm, four slices, that’ll at least make two sandwiches of steak and sauce. The rest of the steak I’ve decided is to be sacrificed to the gods of condiments that occupy the heavens of Fisher & Pykell, to be joined by the god’s messenger himself Gravox! Yeah!

With the wafting aroma of lightly charcoaled steak permeating through my kitchen I began lining up small dipping bowls of the delegated condiments for my impending culinary enjoyment. There lined up on my dining room table were four bowls with hand written labels scrawled beneath them just to make sure I didn’t get the Dijon twins mixed up even if they were different colours and consistencies, Dijon mustard, Dijonnaise, Tomato Sauce and last but not least Traditional Roast Gravy.

After gorging the two sandwiches in record time, who knew experimenting was such hard work, I divided the remaining three quarter chop into equal portions and began the taste test of champions. Here are my findings:

  • Dijon Mustard – It has quite a tang to it, almost over bearing on the palette if the morsel is completely coated. Whilst the citrus like taste doesn’t take from the meat altogether I wouldn’t coat an entire portion of steak in nothing but Dijon.
  • Dijoinnaise – I’m a big fan of this bad boy on pork cutlets. Unlike raw Dijon mustard it’s not quite as harsh or shocking on the senses and is more like a complimenting flavour than a competitor. Still I wouldn’t want to use this one too much, it can get a bit sickening after a while, most likely because of it’s mayo base.
  • Tomato Sauce – Ketchup for you American like folk. Always a winner, love it and if you prefer BBQ sauce you can take your sugar filled shite and shove it, sugar free Tomato Sauce actually tastes better than the real stuff in my opinion. And yes I’ve had both.
  • Gravy – You wouldn’t really think of this one as a condiment as such but if you make it as thick as I do you’d probably mistake it for wet cement. Beautiful, cover your meat in it, cover it I tell you! Do it!

Now whilst you might have thought, wow, four condiments, that’s zany enough, let’s go over that edge, beyond that mountain, and blow your mind with…. COMBO’S!

  • Dijon & Dijonnaise – Um… it’s not exactly worth it, tastes like a harsher version of the Dijonnaise.
  • Dijon & Tomato Sauce – Surprisingly refreshing. The sauce must take from the Dijon’s tang, strangely I might have that one again. Oh, nope, once was more than enough!
  • Tomato Sauce & Gravy – Had this one before, it’s a delicate one to balance because too much of either can ruin the experience. I try to stick with two parts gravy, one part sauce for an even combination.
  • Dijon & Gravy – One word. No.
  • All Four – My head exploded! Not really, I wish (sorta), how cool would that have been!

Finally I’ll answer the question you’re all asking and no I wasn’t sick, that night or the day after. It’s not a meal I’d recommend every Joe Bloe give a shot but still it was something to pass the time. Moral of the story… don’t let your internet ever go, hold on to her and treat her well so you never have to do what I just did to keep you occupied…. EVER!

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