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Sour Cream, Garlic, Olive Oil, and Dry Vermouth

It hit me today that it is probably not possible to cook without these four ingredients.

This revelation reminded me of an incident that took place three or four years ago on Christmas Eve. I was cooking dinner for family that night, and in the course of the afternoon, realized I was out of four items I needed for the festivities. So I ran to the grocery store, which, happily, had its own wine and liquor shop on the premises.

I retrieved the four things I needed, went to the check-out line, and placed the items on the conveyor belt. I looked at them and muttered, "God, what a shopping list: vodka, red wine, sour cream, and dark chocolate."

The man behind me roared, "What else do you need?"

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