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Klatsch: a week without shopping


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How shall I tackle this noble, injured (I see freezer burn), titanic beast? Smoke it? Mole? Soup? Larb?

Wow, almost six pounds. Just that one thing could be a small family's protein for the week!

I really like turkey breast just roasted and sliced for sandwiches, especially if the sandwiches include bacon and mayonnaise. You could do that with a pound or two.

Actually, were I in your shoes I'd probably start by roasting the whole thing, then I'd harvest the usable meat and spin it off into various dishes.

And whatever you do with it, I'd suggest saving a pound or two of meat for turkey hash.

Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

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OK- back from NOLA, just did fridge and freezer inventory.

I'm doing four dinners this week (lunches at work are always leftovers from previous night's dinner, and we rarely do a full breakfast, but we've got two dozen eggs in the fridge and two loaves of bread which, when combined, would equal one-and-a-half loaves)

Bu I've got enough stuff on hand to do sides for every dinner using frozen veggies (from the local co-op's caselot sale) and a couple of veggies left in the fridge

and for main courses...

Turkey waterzooi (frozen a while ago from a huge batch)

Red Beans and Rice

Ground Turkey vindaloo

Chicken Piccata over whole wheat couscous

If we can get the barn door open (it's frozen shut) we've got lots of fish and various meats and veggies in the chest freezer in there for other meals.

This is, of course, torture as I've brought home two new cookbooks from NOLA and I can't make anything out of them now that I've thrown in with this little challenge.

Sincerely,

Dante

Edited by Dante (log)
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I think we've just named it "chili con carrots."

The carrots don't seem to harm the chili and perhaps they lend some sweetness or aromatic benefits. I think the first time I added carrots to chili I did it because I read somewhere that a lot of hot sauces have carrots as an ingredient. They certainly don't impart any sort of carroty taste to the dish, though. That would be gross.

We just had some of the bowl-of-orange for dinner. As I mentioned before, it really thickens up after a night in the fridge.

gallery_1_295_90094.jpg

And here's a bowl of the stuff served over brown rice, garnished with red onion and grated white cheddar, topped with red and green Melinda's hot sauces (carrots are an ingredient in the red, I've just learned).

gallery_1_295_111381.jpg

Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

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Our breakfasts and most lunches are nothing special, DH has cheap store bread with PB and jam or round oat cereal. I usually have my home made whole grain bread with PB and jam, or a mix of cereals with banana. I made a LOT of granola for holidays....still some in the freezer. I add a couple of spoons of that to cereal. The last of this week's batch of bananas went for dinner tonight so it will be a few days before the others are ripe. The last of the pancake mix is gone so I will pick a recipe from the "pancake" forum for the next batch.

Dinner was actually interesting as I used one of those mysterious packets from the cupboard. This one was an Indian Butter Chicken spice mix. I used 2 breasts and a thigh and I added some more cinnamon, fresh ginger, onions and some old shallots. I used up an out of date jar of diced tomatoes and the last bits of Turkish tomato paste from fridge. (I froze a lot of it in small muffin tins.) No lemon juice, so used bottled lime juice. No cream so used milk and ate homemade yogurt with it. It was spicy but had very pleasant flavor. DH just had a grilled and baked chicken thigh and leftover potato salad.

I used some of the whole milk to make a small lump of fresh cheese. I put the chicken breast bones in water with some more of that celery that's lasted forever, and made a bit of broth that will be a light soup tomorrow.

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I arose early today to prepare my contribution to the potluck.  Too bad it is virtual, I have enough for an army.

Nut and spice (cinnamon, allspice, rosewater) cookies.  To go with after dinner coffee or tea!

Those look WONDERFUL......and I even have rosewater.....one of the advantages of being a hoarder is that you have odd stuff.

Could you please post the recipe. Thanks.

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When I looked at the larder earlier today, I saw a bunch of things that suggested a couple of Chinese dishes:

gallery_19804_437_132089.jpg

First were some truly gnarly scallions. However, those, the few ribs of celery that were left, a hunk of homemade lop yuk that has been sitting in the fridge too long... well, that all adds up to Russell Wong's Naw Mai Fon in our house.

Meanwhile, that plastic bottle contains lu shui, or Chinese master sauce that I've wanted to replenish. Whole chicken, some tofu sticks and dried mushrooms.... It's a plan.

First up: the evening's cocktail. Had a bit of Martini & Rossi sweet vermouth left as well as a wizened lime, and I wanted to use both in the spirit of the Klatsch. That means an Oriental Cocktail per Society member Gary Regan's recipe from The Joy of Mixology:

1 1/2 oz rye

3/4 oz sweet vermouth

3/4 oz triple sec (Cointreau)

1/2 oz lime

Shake, strain, enjoy.

gallery_19804_437_219924.jpg

To the food. Do you often slice off and toss these fingertip knobs from a ginger root?

gallery_19804_437_146386.jpg

I sure do -- but knowing that I might only have one piece of ginger all week, I peeled and roughly chopped them for the lu:

gallery_19804_437_43945.jpg

Ditto the lop yuk. I usually toss the skin from them, but, given I was preparing the lu, I scored the skins and added them too:

gallery_19804_437_366296.jpg

Diced the remaining lop yuk.

gallery_19804_437_53564.jpg

Meanwhile, the rice was cooking (1 1/2 c sticky rice, 1 1/2 c medium grain Nishiki rice), and the mushrooms and tofu sticks were soaking:

gallery_19804_437_11465.jpg

After I broke the chicken down, I browned the pieces in peanut oil in batches, sauteed the onion chunks briefly and removed them, then added the chicken back to the pan:

gallery_19804_437_86169.jpg

Meanwhile, the lu had been coming along nicely. I had added some aromatics (star anise, cinnamon, szechuan peppercorn, nutmeg), the ginger, chicken back, rock sugar, stock, and soy:

gallery_19804_437_40474.jpg

Strained the lu into the chicken pot:

gallery_19804_437_143647.jpg

Here are the onion chunks, the tofu sticks cut into 1" pieces, and the halved mushrooms:

gallery_19804_437_169735.jpg

After adding those, I got to work on the rice. Over medium heat, I sauteed the lop yuk dice:

gallery_19804_437_107087.jpg

Once it was crisped, added the onion and celery, then the mushroom and scallion:

gallery_19804_437_161349.jpg

Then added the rice and combined with a T or two of soy and shaoxing, with a t of sesame oil at the end:

gallery_19804_437_130174.jpg

Meanwhile, the chicken was done:

gallery_19804_437_98790.jpg

The meal was great, and of course the lu was renewed:

gallery_19804_437_122191.jpg

Remarkably, I think that I used six things (the celery, scallions, ginger knobs, chicken/mushroom stock, lop yuk piece, and half onion) that I would ordinarily have tossed, and I used some other things (the chicken, tofu sticks, and rock sugar) that might well have gone six months without being used.

Chris Amirault

eG Ethics Signatory

Sir Luscious got gator belts and patty melts

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So true about wasting ginger. I probably utilize ginger with 50% efficiency when you consider how much I trim away and how much I throw away. With only a slight increase in effort it's surely possible to utilize ginger with closer to 90% efficiency.

Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

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I'm increasingly convinced that this is true with most ingredients. Just as an experiment, I tried eating a few of those scallion roots -- the little white threads -- and found them to be sweet and scalliony. No big surprise, of course, but I've never thought to use them in/on anything.

Ditto scraps. I'm sure that I throw away more chicken parts, mushroom ends, and the like than I'd care to admit. I'm doing a lot less of that right now simply by being mindful.

ETA: And how about that fat cap on the lu? A T of that here and there will almost certainly be delicious.

Edited by chrisamirault (log)

Chris Amirault

eG Ethics Signatory

Sir Luscious got gator belts and patty melts

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Oh, totally. This little head of radicchio that is now a couple of weeks old is still going strong. By now I'd have replaced it and discarded the old one. But I'm going to get several more uses out of it. I wouldn't be surprised to see it last a month. I have new-found respect for the humble radicchio.

The problem for me is that I've become so efficient now that I seem to be accumulating almost as much in leftovers as I'm using from inventory. It feels like every time I cook something I wind up with many meals worth of stuff, quarts of extra in the freezer, and all these little zipper bags full of the extra scraps of whatever. Were I single I'd seriously consider pushing this challenge out to something like 3 months -- that's when it would get really hard.

Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

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Tonight we ate most of the leftover shrimp & corn soup that I had made for Friday evening. There is one small bowl left which will be part of my lunch tomorrow, along with some of last night's leftover chili.

Tomorrow evening is still being planned, but will include a butternut squash soup. That will take our last squash, our last two potatoes, and the balance of the evaporated milk that I opened for the shrimp & corn soup on Friday. The chicken stock and onion are not in short supply yet.

I just finished a batch of a little over four dozen double chocolate cookies. Most of those will go to a dinner that my wife and her fellow teachers are preparing for a teacher who just had surgery. The cookies didn't even make a dent in any of the ingredients used.

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So I topped off my supplies today in the 10% challenge. I'm normally about a $150-per-week shopper so I budgeted $15 but spent closer to $20 because I blew the budget by buying a $5.99 block of mozzarella cheese. It was the one missing ingredient standing between me and pizza -- everything else I can pull together from what's here. So that should happen sometime later in the week. I got two heads of lettuce at $1.89 each, so that will allow for salads all week -- I still have some cucumbers, the radicchio, some beets and maybe some other stuff I can throw into salads. I got a bag of cheapo yellow onions ($2.50) and one nice red onion (about $1). And I got two dozen eggs ($2.49 each). So that's $18.25 worth of provisions and, with those, I should be able to fly through this week.

As soon as I bought all that stuff, we headed down to Chinatown for a dim sum event. Along the way we saw just about everything I'd bought uptown for just about half as much money.

We've already had chili for dinner tonight, week 2 day 1. For the coming week I'm loosely planning pizza one night, spaghetti and meatballs-from-the-freezer one night, chili one night, lentil soup one night, chicken fried rice one night, and a steak event on Tuesday night hosted by DeBragga & Spitler. So the dinners are pretty much covered, unless we have unexpected guests in which case I'll need to figure something out. Breakfasts and lunches are much easier and flexible, and I hope there will be some baking this week since we have a lot of supplies on hand for that sort of thing.

Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

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We had a change of plans this weekend: we decided to hop in the car and go to Chicago to visit some family for a couple of days. But when we got in tonight we decided to mine through our fridge for an impromptu dinner instead of eating out, which is what we would usually do upon getting back from a trip. My husband had the rest of the chili (it had been frozen), my daughter had some chicken nuggets from the freezer, along with some grapes and carrot sticks from the road trip (I suppose I cheated by getting road trip snacks, but I much prefer to buy fruits and vegetable snacks for road trips rather than dehydrate on salty snacks and fast food), and I cooked up a package of ramen with napa cabbage. Add that to five meals from last week, I can definitely get one more meal out of what we have.

Looking back, though we definitely had a much more boring menu than a lot of others participating in this challenge, I am actually pretty happy with the change in attitude that has happened even in these few days. That chili that I made last Monday made an appearance 3 times (Mon for the family, Thur/today for my husband) which I would normally deem too monotonous. But why not? The reality is that we are a three person family and a pot of chili will last a few meals. Otherwise it would have remained in my freezer forever. My husband loves it and didn't complain. In fact, he made a comment after I made the pot roast last week (which he loved) that I rarely repeat the things that he tells me he really likes because I am always trying something new. I also came to the realization that sometimes I eat more than I am actually hungry for because it's new and tasty; when I'm nibbling at leftovers to use them up or making do with odds and ends in the fridge I tend to only scavenge until I'm not hungry anymore. Even when I go back to regular grocery shopping I think I'll only plan to shop for three new dinners a week; with leftovers, pantry, and whatnot, it's more than enough food and variety for our family.

I think I will participate for another week but my grocery shopping rules will be modified a bit:

1) No limit on milk. My daughter is 3 and it's a major source of nutrition she will actually eat.

2) No limit on fruit. Again for my daughter. It's one thing to make my husband deal with beet surprise as the vegetable of the day; I don't want my daughter to avoid produce for another week because it's too unfamiliar. It is all eaten plain by her and not incorporated into my cooking, so it doesn't really affect me trying to pull together dinner from pantry/freezer. Also, fruit is what she usually snacks on. This past week I found myself giving her a lot more crackers/chips/cookies/etc from the pantry as we ran out of fresh fruit. Good for using up stores, not so good for setting up healthy eating habits.

3) I don't know how much we spend on groceries a week, so I'll just stick to the $15 used in the example. But that won't be until Tuesday since I still have to make one more dinner to finish out my original "week."

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I arose early today to prepare my contribution to the potluck.  Too bad it is virtual, I have enough for an army.

Nut and spice (cinnamon, allspice, rosewater) cookies.  To go with after dinner coffee or tea!

Those look WONDERFUL......and I even have rosewater.....one of the advantages of being a hoarder is that you have odd stuff.

Could you please post the recipe. Thanks.

Here it is:

NUT FILLED COOKIES

1 cup whole milk, lukewarm

2 eggs large

1 tsp. sugar

1 cup butter, unsalted, melted or use (ghee)

1 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. sea salt

6 cups sifted flour (all-purpose or I often substitute whole wheat pastry flour for half)

-1 egg beaten with 1 TBS milk (for brushing tops)

Mix all ingredients until well blended. Knead well.

Form dough into two balls and wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for two hours.

Flatten dough ball, square up and roll out into rectangle about 1/8 to 1/4 inch thick.

Filling:

1 lb. walnuts, finely chopped (may use pistachio or other nut)

1 tsp. cinnamon

1/2 tsp. nutmeg or allspice (Optional - 1/8 teaspoon Aleppo pepper, very fine grind)

2 tsp. sugar

2 TBS rose water

Mix together and spread 1/2 cup of filling lengthwise close to one edge of each rectangle and spread a little but leave enough bare dough so it will stick to itself.

Roll dough over filling, pinch seam to seal.

Turn dough over so seam side is on bottom.

Cut roll diagonally into 3 inch lengths.

Place on greased cookie sheet seam down.

Brush with egg.

Bake in preheated 350F oven for 15 minutes or until brown.

Store in airtight container.

These keep very well, especially if you put some rose water in a spray bottle and spray them after they have been stored for a week or so and then every two weeks (if they last that long).

Makes about 30

Edited by andiesenji (log)

"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

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Anyone have any ideas for wheatberries? I realized I only ever use them for salads but that doesn't sound very appealing for this weather and we'll be moving before the weather really warms up again. Any suggestions?

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Ok today, hubby ate a hotdog for breakfast and and a bowl of chicken noodle soup. Our son ate half a can of tuna and rice this morning (the other half of the can will be tossed in my celery leaf salad for supper tonight). Lunch was at my son's school since I had to attend a PTA luncheon meeting.

Tonight, hubby plans to dine more on soup, while I'll have salad and some savory bread pudding (which I prepared last weekend). Our son Billy will have fried rice and leftover adobo for supper.

I like this, I am beginning to see a dent in the freezer and we're using up a lot of veggies and scraps. Oh, I always save chicken bones, backs and necks that hubby trims from his fried chicken recipe. Those chicken scraps make the best chicken broth ever.

Doddie aka Domestic Goddess

"Nobody loves pork more than a Filipino"

eGFoodblog: Adobo and Fried Chicken in Korea

The dark side... my own blog: A Box of Jalapenos

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So true about wasting ginger. I probably utilize ginger with 50% efficiency when you consider how much I trim away and how much I throw away. With only a slight increase in effort it's surely possible to utilize ginger with closer to 90% efficiency.

i freeze leftover ginger and grate it without peeling, the peel bits tend to fall away, and whatever ends up in the dish is tiny and not noticeable. that way, GUE (ginger use efficiency) can easily top 90 and 95%

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Anyone have any ideas for wheatberries?  I realized I only ever use them for salads but that doesn't sound very appealing for this weather and we'll be moving before the weather really warms up again.  Any suggestions?

I'd think that you could use them like any grain, as a side for something braised or roasted, say.

Chris Amirault

eG Ethics Signatory

Sir Luscious got gator belts and patty melts

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Anyone have any ideas for wheatberries?  I realized I only ever use them for salads but that doesn't sound very appealing for this weather and we'll be moving before the weather really warms up again.  Any suggestions?

I'd think that you could use them like any grain, as a side for something braised or roasted, say.

I steam them until they have softened and mix or knead them into breads, either quick breads or yeast, although they can go in just as they are. I cook them with brown rice and other grains, and they also can be added to stews, casseroles, etc.

Use them in anything in which you would use rice or barley.

If they are raw (not processed) you can sprout them and include the whole sprout and what remains of the berry in breads, (there are several commercial brands that carry Sprouted Wheat bread).

There are several recipes for wheat berries on this site.

"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

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I arose early today to prepare my contribution to the potluck.  Too bad it is virtual, I have enough for an army.

Nut and spice (cinnamon, allspice, rosewater) cookies.  To go with after dinner coffee or tea!

Those look WONDERFUL......and I even have rosewater.....one of the advantages of being a hoarder is that you have odd stuff.

Could you please post the recipe. Thanks.

Here it is:

NUT FILLED COOKIES

1 cup whole milk, lukewarm

2 eggs large

1 tsp. sugar

1 cup butter, unsalted, melted or use (ghee)

1 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. sea salt

6 cups sifted flour (all-purpose or I often substitute whole wheat pastry flour for half)

-1 egg beaten with 1 TBS milk (for brushing tops)

Mix all ingredients until well blended. Knead well.

Form dough into two balls and wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for two hours.

Flatten dough ball, square up and roll out into rectangle about 1/8 to 1/4 inch thick.

Filling:

1 lb. walnuts, finely chopped (may use pistachio or other nut)

1 tsp. cinnamon

1/2 tsp. nutmeg or allspice (Optional - 1/8 teaspoon Aleppo pepper, very fine grind)

2 tsp. sugar

2 TBS rose water

Mix together and spread 1/2 cup of filling lengthwise close to one edge of each rectangle and spread a little but leave enough bare dough so it will stick to itself.

Roll dough over filling, pinch seam to seal.

Turn dough over so seam side is on bottom.

Cut roll diagonally into 3 inch lengths.

Place on greased cookie sheet seam down.

Brush with egg.

Bake in preheated 350F oven for 15 minutes or until brown.

Store in airtight container.

These keep very well, especially if you put some rose water in a spray bottle and spray them after they have been stored for a week or so and then every two weeks (if they last that long).

Makes about 30

Thanks so much, I think I'll add them to the Japanese red bean pancakes, and the Thai coconut panckes for the dessert plate I have to take for a group in a couple of weeks. A dessert trio.....with no chocolate.

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Dinner last night was a roast chicken, complete with dressing, mashed potatoes and gravy -- oh, plus a salad.

I'm likely to get to the market to fill in a few holes in the next day or two (I'll hit the Asian market first because of the better prices). Heidi is feeling better, so getting out shouldn't be too hard.

Susan Fahning aka "snowangel"
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I've been remiss in posting here. I'm not really able to continue for another week, but it was a great exercise. I figure I probably saved $60 by not shopping for a week. More, if you count the items I used that probably would have spoiled or been tossed.

A couple of dinners that I made during the week:

gallery_7258_2197_33765.jpg

This was spaghetti carbonara with the rest of the pancetta I'd discovered in the fridge. Since I had the tomato-based sauce earlier over polenta (aka grits), I was able to save the pasta for this night. I used one of my remaining eggs, and some parm.

gallery_7258_2197_25974.jpg

I used short ribs and lentils for this dish, inspired by Fat Guy. I discovered two things when I made this: first, lentils expand a lot; second, I don't really like them all that much. Too bad, because I have a lot of leftovers, now in the freezer.

Most nights, I had a salad like this, made from arugula and romaine.

gallery_7258_2197_27967.jpg

Not really exciting, but it was greenery. You'll notice that most of these meals were pretty heavy, which was only a problem because I had so many of them in a row. I found myself wishing I had the ingredients for snapper Veracruz or Greek salad.

The last two nights I had a steak I'd gotten from a local farm that raises grass-fed beef. It was supposed to have been a ribeye, but I've never seen a ribeye like this before. Anyway, it was huge, and I still have some left.

The first dinner was the rest of the mushrooms (still viable, sort of) and one of the last onions sauteed with strips of the steak in a sort of Stroganoff, except that I used heavy cream instead of sour cream. To make up for the acid, I found a bag of frozen cubes of red wine in the freezer, so I used that in the sauce. It was pretty good, but again, really heavy.

My (late) contribution to the pot luck was part of the rest of the steak, marinated in a red chile sauce, the recipe for which I got from a Rick Bayliss cookbook. I had a bag of dried anchos or New Mexican chiles; I started the sauce with those. I had rice left over from earlier in the week, and mixed in some of the strained tomatoes still in the fridge, along with carrot, onion and some dried jalapenos that I think came from Tales of the Cocktail a couple of years ago. (Who knew I'd ever have occasion to use them?). I cooked pinto beans in the pressure and turned them into refritos with the last of the onion and some pork belly.

gallery_7258_2197_2718.jpg

If I'd been able to go shopping, I'd have gotten the ingredients for pico de gallo, and some beer to have with dinner. As it is, I went salsa-less and had a Margarita with the last lime of the week.

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