Tuesday, May 12, 2009

The Polymath Finds the Holy Grail, Part Six

It was on the first day of the second week of my new habit that I found the mother-lode.


7up was looking for the best entrée using 7up, and was paying SEVENTY THOUSAND DOLLARS for the grand prize. This would be the best one ever! I blocked off the dates for the Miami finalist cook-off in the old calendar, and went to the 7up website. I conveniently ignored the fact that I don't actually like 7up, and when craving something citrus, I prefer Fresca, Sprite or Squirt.

I noticed that the contest was called the Receta contest, that the instructions were in Spanish, that the sponsor was Telemundo Television, and that the celebrity judge was Carlos from Top Chef season 3. But there was a place to click to get the instructions in English, so I paid it no mind.

The rules were simple. It had to be an entrée serving at least 4 people, and it had to include a minimum of 1 cup of 7up. And the entry had to have a photo accompanying it.

This would be a challenge.

For this is where I admit that I wasn’t actually cooking any of the recipes I was submitting.

I was just taking recipes I had developed along the years and tweaking them to fit contest rules. After all, I’m a great cook, remember? I know how much cheese to put in my mac and cheese, and how much ground mustard powder to put in the marinade for my Mustard Grilled Chicken Thighs. I didn’t need to start pre-spending any of my future winnings on groceries, and for sure I didn’t need to gain ten pounds by having to taste forty different types of butter.

The book?

Thanks for asking, it was going verrrry slowly, as every third hour I felt the need to track down a new contest, or submit an additional recipe to one I had already entered. I started waking up with butter blends fully formed in my head, like Paul McCartney did with “Yesterday”, only for me it was “smoked sea salt maple butter for pork tenderloin” or “anchovy parmesan butter for foccacia”.

It became a part of my routine.

Get up. Brush teeth. Shower. Dress. Check e-mail. Enter Plugra Butter Blend Contest.

Think about book. Enter recipe contest.

Make lunch. Get inspired by lunch and Enter Plugra Butter Blend Contest.

Take nap. Awake with new idea and Enter Plugra Butter Contest.

Check website for new recipe contests. Work on book. Eat dinner. Watch TV. See something on tv which inspires new recipe for contest, and enter new recipe in contest.

Go to bed. Dream of butter. Repeat.

MMMMMmmmmmmmm. Butter.

NEXT: The Polymath Visits the Country

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