Last weekend, I had to struggle with the question–what broth to use–all because the local Trader Joe’s runs out of the low sodium organic chicken broth. This Trader Joe’s on Route One in the township of North Brunswick is too small, probably only three thousand square feet, which as a store is not much at all. Every time I go there, I find at least two or three of my favorite items missing. The non-firm tofu has been absent from the shelf twice in the last two months; soy powder not to be found anymore; pea powder nonexistent. Refrigerated soy milk disappeared permanently for a while while the non-perishable variety only show up half of the time. Once I started to like a specialty tomato sauce in a little jar, only to find it off the shelf two weeks later. I guess they are just teaser items, not meant to be liked or favored and desired for a permanent presence.
I had to switch to vegetable broth, but the taste is just not there. The wanton soup made from the vegetable broth tastes funny, though still tolerable. However one cannot live with tolerable food. One aspire to tasty food, preferably with minimum preparation time. That’s the dilemma about food. We want it tasty but without too much labor to obtain the taste; healthy but without losing those tastes that fat, cholesterol, salt can bring. We love starch but not the calories that come with it; we love sugar but not the negative aspect of it. Every meal is an act of achieving the impossible.
Now I am wondering if I can make my own vegetable broth. Just get the fresh vegetable, dice them, blend them, strain them. Isn’t that a better broth than the store bought one? Yet my days of cooking enthusiasm is gone. One has to be inspired to be able to plunge into such a labor intensive activity. Just to have a tasty meal? That’s not enough of an inspiration, not for me, not right now.