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Mustgoes, wish sandwiches and air pies

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Preparing for a four-day getaway recently, I was faced with the prospect of having to clear out various vegetables and assorted perishables from my apartment before leaving, lest I have to face an assortment of foods gone bad on my return. For a couple days prior to my hitting the road, I wasn't exactly sure of what I was going to do with what I had, but I knew what it would be called: "Mustgo." As in "these things must go, and soon." It's a term I picked up from my late Uncle Phil Amato, a couple decades ago. While my mustgoes aren't quite as interesting as his -- sorry, no pig's feet in tomato sauce in my fridge -- they have yielded some combinations that did the job in clearing some fridge space and keeping some cash in my pocket for that trip. A lonely eggplant got diced and mixed in with pasta, zucchini and summer squash got grilled and served alongside a couple of those Costco salmon patties that reside in a corner of the freezer (which allowed me to empty the last of that bottle of capers, at least six months old, as well) and an orphaned Italian sausage got sliced and added to that paella mix in a box that had been in the pantry for too long.

Ruminating on the nature of "mustgoes" (not to mention looking for a snack in the fridge the night before the trip) made me think of another such term, which I have to admit I first heard of through the Blues Brothers, and that's a "Wish Sandwich." Whenever that phrase comes to mind, I can hear Dan Aykroyd saying, "You put two pieces of bread together ... and you wish you had some meat to it!"

I'm intrigued by terms like "mustgo," "wish sandwich" and a couple others I've found out about since, such as "air pies," "windy pudding," and "bread and pullit," all variations on the same theme, of beasically, eat what you've got and if you haven't anything to eat then you won't be eating. It may not do anything for your hunger, but somehow it makes it easier to deal with when you're told you'll be having air pies, as opposed to hearing there's nothing to eat.

If you've got any stories to share about expressions such as those mentioned here, share them with us. I'd be especially interested to hear where the expressions you're familiar with originated.

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Janet Rausa Fuller

Sun-Times Food editor Janet Rausa Fuller is always thinking about her next meal.



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This page contains a single entry by James Scalzitti published on August 16, 2009 1:57 AM.

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