You’re the cream in my coffee. . .

(Originally Posted 11/7/2014) Yes, it’s the end of election week and as the dust clears it’s time for my annual “things that work well together” dinner menu. It’s to remind us of how bipartisanship can be a good thing, a delicious thing, where would chips be without salsa? Cookies without milk? Gin without tonic? (okay, technically it would be a martini and that would also be tasty, but you get the general idea)

Gin and tonic; Jack and Coke; Scotch and soda. . .

Bread and butter

Chips and salsa

Cheese and crackers

Oil and vinegar (on salad)

Mac and cheese

Biscuits and gravy

Shrimp and grits

Chicken and waffles (if you’re Southern. . . if you’re a Vermonter like me you just give this dish the benefit of the doubt as an excuse to use maple syrup)

Fish and chips

Pretzels and mustard

Peanut butter and jelly

Milk and cookies

Raspberries and cream

Bacon and anything. . . .

And etcetera. Lawrence claims carrots and grapes are a classic combination, but perhaps carrots and peas would be more widely recognized.

I guess we could go slightly cynical here and honor election week with things that go well together and it shocks everyone, miracle-like. The Robicelli’s Buffalo Chicken Wing cupcake would be a prime example (Frank’s hot sauce and buttercream? Inspired). Or white chocolate and caviar, a pairing often cited in articles trying to puzzle out the science behind what tastes good (for a rationale see this Guardian article). Buzzfeed has a list of 23 unexpected pairings to choose from. Or, you could get ideas from the Flavor Bible or newly released Vegetarian Flavor Bible, which are like rhyming dictionaries for food – you look up an ingredient, and they list other ingredients it goes with.

Enjoy the collaborative cooking.

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