I’m cleaning out the freezer to make room for the chard and beets I planted yesterday. I came across some pumpkin and decided to combine it with the ever-abundant blueberries and some yogurt for a smoothie. It sounded odd to me—I don’t think I’ve ever had blueberry-pumpkin anything before—but that made it all the more appealing.
I wanted to think I was being daring and creative and original, but deep down I know better: there’s nothing new under the sun, and surely others before me have combined blueberries and pumpkin. I’m not the only person eating her way through a freezer. I’ve just never heard of the combination.
I forged ahead, adding my usual oats (which, technically, makes it a roughie, not a smoothie) and honey along with cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger because that’s what goes with pumpkin, right?
It was good! Yummy, in fact.
So I Googled “blueberry pumpkin recipe” and discovered that, indeed, there are recipes for muffins and…I don’t know what else; I wasn’t really looking for recipes. I was off on the next idea, like any respectable ADD person, thinking about what, exactly, makes something “go with” something else. Is it just habit and familiarity, or is there something else that makes a combination of ingredients particularly compelling or satisfying? What makes one thing “go well with” another thing?
There are foods that “go with” each other. There are colors and clothes that “go with” each other. I think pleasing combinations are usually a matter of opinion, but are there guidelines? Surely there are. I know the guidelines for combining colors; I don’t know the guidelines for combining flavors.
Are there combinations of things that especially appeal to you—colors or flavors or something else? Are there any combinations that you love that you think might be frowned upon by others?
A vending machine in Mike’s college dorm had peanut butter and bacon sandwiches. He loved them. I wouldn’t have touched them then, and I wouldn’t touch them now. Ew! On the other hand, I’d love another blueberry pumpkin smoothie, thanks.