Pandemic Journal, Day 644

Dinner tonight was an old favorite (or at least a dish we started making early in the pandemic), Slow Cooker Spiced Lentils with Veggies, but it didn’t taste right – it was dull, lacking something. This was the first time we’d used the induction cooktop for this recipe, and I don’t think I got the oil hot enough before putting the mustard seeds in (they didn’t pop), but that didn’t seem to be sufficient to explain the dullness.

Diane took out the recipe and asked me if I’d put in the chiles (yes), the chili powder (yes), the garlic (yes), the turmeric (yes) – finally, she asked about the salt and I realized I’d completely forgotten it (I got distracted because we nearly ran out of lentils and I had to put them on the right shopping list).

We are not big salt users – we don’t have a salt shaker on the table, and we usually reduce the amount of salt in a recipe by half (including this one) and omit the extra salt for “season to taste” (except for baking, because chemistry). But there’s a big difference between a little salt and no salt!