Among the treats I sent my mom and dad for Christmas was this little canister filled with seven small vials of finishing spices.
My parents live in a seniors community, and although their house (called a "casita," because it's small and it's in Southern California) has a full kitchen, they don't cook much nowadays. There is a dining facility on the campus, complete with waiters and menus.
But the food sucks. I have heard such funny stories about the "chef." English is apparently his second language. He is not well versed in Escoffier. He does dabble in recipe reading, however, then he completely makes up a new dish and gives it a fancy name.
One time he served a pile of boiled potatoes, and called it "Potatoes Anna." He might as well have called it Potatoes Banana, because it was just as phony.
Another time he served "Key Orange Cake." I will let you imagine the logic behind that one.
Mostly, though, the food is bland and unimaginative.
So I collected a series of flavor enhancers I thought might add a little kick, right there at the table. Not spices you have to cook with, but tastes you can just sprinkle on.
My mom tells me she is disinclined to take the kit to the dining room, because her tablemates might want to "borrow."
So, mom, here's my recommendation for using your truffle salt in the privacy of your casita: Toss a couple of pinches over popcorn.
That's what Cranky and I had for lunch today, and it's crazy-divine. Haute junk food.