So my parents do this thing to food.
They do this thing called “doctoring up”. They will take some sort of food item, and add things to it to ostensibly improve upon the original. For instance, frozen pizza. Husband and I were visiting them over the holidays and they took a Kirkland (that’s Costco’s product line; their kitchen is virtually furnished in Kirkland foodstuffs) frozen pizza, and then they put additional Kirkland/Costco products on it, like extra cheese and extra meat like salami and all manner of stuff.
The time they did it while we were visiting over the holidays was extraordinary.
My Mom had said, “Let’s just stay in for dinner – we’ll doctor up a pizza.”
“It’s soooo good!”
I was kind of fascinated by the labors, the loving intensity and pride with which they so carefully, so methodically made a not very good thing terrible. And then burned it in the oven.
The phrase doctoring up was so commonplace in our house when I was growing up, it never occurred to me that other people didn’t doctor up their food. To me, the phrase, if you take the word “doctor” alone, in its verb form as “doctoring up” implies, suggests a correction, a healing, an improving upon the previous condition. One definition I found on line reads: to give medical treatment to; act as a physician: He feels he can doctor himself for just a common cold or to restore to original or working condition; repair; mend: She was able to doctor the chipped vase with a little plastic cement.
So you think it might be a positive thing, that one’s ordinary frozen pizza might be just tweaked enough to make it edible.
On the other hand, there are these definition: to add a foreign substance to; adulterate: Someone had doctored the drink or doctor alter and make impure, as with the intention to deceive; to adulterate, dilute, debase, load, stretch – corrupt, debase, or make impure by adding a foreign or inferior substance; often by replacing valuable ingredients with inferior ones.
When my mother was visiting Husband and me in Austin recently, she made spaghetti for dinner one night. It was doctored to this extent: she added powdered spaghetti sauce (the kind that comes in the little packet) and added it to the jar of spaghetti sauce she’d also purchased. She then added meat to the concoction: not just any meat, but Jimmy Dean breakfast sausage patties. She presented the bowl of spaghetti which was dotted with the patties, and explained how she’d “doctored” it.
My question is, why not just get decent food in the first place?
Cook, heal thyself!!