waffles, berry syrup
black bean quesadillas
chicken & rice casserole, green salad(!!)
The end is near. You can feel it in the air, in the people coming and going, a subtle shift in attitude. Our focus evolves from sustaining to using up that last bit of toothpaste in the tube and going home. With the finish line in site, the pace quickens. Every day the helicopter deposits another load of last-minute plumbers, electricians, carpenters… it would seem that even Antarctica is not immune to procrastination. I’m in an endless cycle of cooking and dishwashing and cooking- to feed eight to ten people three times a day at a kitchen table with only six chairs. In trying to use up things in the pantry which can’t freeze or have been there for years(!?) I find myself facing down a decrepid can of cream of mushroom soup. I am the first to admit that the casserole chapter in my cookbook is a little thin. The casserole is often a family tradition- something most folks learn to love and make as a child. The casseroles of my youth were almost exclusively limited to the mysterious concoctions served by my grandma on Wednesday game nights. They were delicious, and unnatural in a way that, as a child of whole wheat, fruit juice sweetened upbringings, I craved fantastically. These mythical casseroles, like Froot Loops and Kraft American Cheese Singles were ephemeral delights gorged upon when visiting relatives, and never seen at home where my culinary foundation was laid. In Antarctica, I am learning to embrace the humble casserole as a convenient vehicle for feeding many people with few ingredients. While I have become comfortable with shamelessly disguising lackluster canned and frozen ingredients with a topping of cheese and buttered cracker crumbs, today will be my first foray into the world of Campbell’s Cream of Mushroom. Here on this frozen continent, I may be homesick for dim sum and taco carts, but I know that for my diners du jour- a group of electricians from Michigan, chicken and rice casserole tastes like home.