Form vs Content: Chasing After Perfection In A Mushroom Pie

Aaaah, the good ‘ole form vs content dilemma, old as this world, much discussed by artists, philosophers and critics alike. What do these things mean to us, and how do they operate in our daily lives? Are they important? If so, why? If not, why not?  Since we are dabbling in culinary arts here (as humbly as we can), and cooking, after all, is an art, let’s look at the form vs content issue from a point of view of a home cook, shall we?

Mushroom Pie WIth Egg

Take this pie, for example.  The idea came to me as part of the creative brainstorming session I like to call “how do I make ‘em eat leftovers and not notice”.  Yes, strangely, us artists have to trouble ourselves with things like these from time to time. The issues of the day were as troubling as they were burdensome: I forgot to defrost any kind of protein, and in my family meatless dinner is a big no-no.  I had about two cups of mashed potatoes left over from the previous dinner, good luck feeding them that! Also I had a couple of handfuls of baby bella mushrooms, a quite odd amount picked up as a mercy buy at a vegetable co-op — not enough for a side dish, but too much for individual frying. Other ongoing issue, though not immediately pressing, my kid not eating eggs. Don’t ask, she just decided one day that eggs are her enemy. So I have these gorgeous fresh orange-yolked eggs from a local farm waiting to be incorporated into anything, anything at all!

Mushroom Pie WIth Egg -- mushrooms are ready

So here you have it, folks, lots of content, for the most part wonderful and nutritious, but ultimately unattractive to us as dinner prospect.  My artistic intuition was telling me that if I somehow combined these rejects into one meal, they stood a chance of being called a dinner, the question was how?  Enters the question of form.  Proper form was the key. I had to hide the ugly (mashed potatoes), serve the rejected (eggs) and incorporate the insufficient (mushrooms). Think, Yuliya, think, damn it! We need to eat!!!

Continue reading this article on my blog site Eat Already!


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