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Klatsch: a week without shopping


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A very successful/tasty freezer meal. Took out a big package of sliced turkey breast from freezer. DH, who eats lunchmeat for lunch each day, said he wouldn't eat it....prefers ham. So I chopped up the meat, made a cream sauce, with the end of a package of cream cheese, sauteed onion and a can of chopped green chilis. (Side note, WHY did I have 4 cans of chopped green chilis on hand.....I don't like them, and can buy a fresh pepper anywhere.)

For the topping I used another jar of diced tomatoes, a can of broth, dried chilis and oregano picked up in CO, the end of my sprouting garlic to make an enchilada sauce. It is very dark, pretty hot and very good. I added a couple big spoonfuls of enchilada sauce to the meat mix.....it had been saltly but bland. That helped a lot. I thawed a big pack of corn tortillas, dipped each one in the hot sauce, filled, rolled, topped with some old parm, baked....it was good. Made a good breakfast too.....topped with more of the sauce. That sauce should be good on anything involving corn products or cheese.

Tomatoes gone, turkey meat gone, some tortillas gone, one can of broth gone, garlic gone, one can of green peppers gone. Have a good sized jar of very useful sauce.

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The one thing I can't skimp on are little individually sealed containers of yogurt, because they are a vehicle for some of Heidi's meds at school, and the nurse from hell won't allow me to just make it at home and put it in a little Tupperware container.

The nurse from hell will have to accept a Doctor's note that the homemade yogurt is all tha Heidi's system can tolerate. (When she goes back to school in the fall...)

There is a way around everything, if you're devious enough... Color me sneaky!! :laugh:

"Commit random acts of senseless kindness"

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This morning I picked some of the mushrooms out of the leftover pasta, scrambled that with an egg and rolled it in a tortilla (toasted in a pan until light brown and puffed a bit) with a smear of oyster sauce. Good. I would do it again.

This afternoon I had some leftover pasta and snacked on mung bean soup. Good. I would do it again.

This evening I defrosted some Japanese vegetable and pork soup and made inari sushi from a package. (When my sister moved, one of the things she gave me from her freezer was a package containing pre-marinated tofu pouches, sushi vinegar, and sesame seeds for making inari sushi.) Not so good. I would not do it again. But whatever, they were still edible enough to have a modest portion. And I felt not a bit of guilt throwing out the rather copious leftovers.

Edited by Jujubee (log)
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In addition to working my way through my freezer and pantry, I am working my way through my stash of recipes that accumulates faster than I usually try things. I got back from out of town this afternoon and had a meeting this evening, so I made a quick lima bean chowder from a recipe I cut out last decade, I think. I had potatoes, leeks, milk, frozen lima beans (one of the good frozen vegetables, in my opinion), an ounce of bacon (with a little additional bacon fat from a jar in the fridge). I added the slightly forlorn-looking stalk of celery I found in the bottom of the vegetable drawer. Simple and tasty.

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It's not that I have such a big freezer, refrigerator or pantry -- I don't even have what could properly be called a pantry -- but going into the third week of this challenge it still just isn't challenging. In part it's because I've allowed the 10% exception (spending 10% of a normal week's grocery budget on supplemental fresh ingrediens) and in part it's because my food-writing and social obligations have led to quite a few meals out of the house -- some with leftovers that I've been able to take home.

So, for example, last night I was at a Chinese banquet -- this is something where I was a guest, because remember as part of this experiment I'm not actually spending any money on dining out but I'm accepting the free meal opportunities that come along -- and there were so many leftovers that the group pushed pretty hard for me to take some home. Just my portion of the leftovers could feed a normal family for a week or mine for two days.

I'm toying with the idea of pushing this out to a month, if anybody else is with me.

I'll be cooking for real tomorrow, I think.

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 wonder what the value is of all the food being stored unnecessarily in Americans' homes.

Now there's a compelling question.

And what could it do if magically sent to the places that need it most?

Peter Gamble aka "Peter the eater"

I just made a cornish game hen with chestnut stuffing. . .

Would you believe a pigeon stuffed with spam? . . .

Would you believe a rat filled with cough drops?

Moe Sizlack

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Just one possible way to estimate:

Let's say there are 111,162,259 households in the US. And let's say each one has an average of $100 of food in inventory that's being carried unnecessarily. That's $11,116,225,900 (eleven billion dollars). I'm guessing the real number is much higher.

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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FG, I think I'll take you up on your offer to take this to a month, with the way the economy is going. Even though I have gone shopping for staples like meat, milk and bread, I still found myself shopping less and finding innovative ways to fix our meals.

Like this morning, I was craving for fish nuggets. I decided to defrost the white fish frozen in the freezer, debone and fillet it. After a dusting of corn starch, I fried it to a crisp - it was wonderful! I also made a salad from the greens a friend gave me yesterday (I think it's a smaller, greener version of a chinese cabbage. My friend suggested that I wash it thoroughly, cut the ends off, slice into bite-size pieces and mash it by hand with sliced tomatoes and a tablespoon of sauteed shrimp paste (bagoong) OMG, it was a delicious salad! I ate the whole bowl.

Meals for this week include chili con carne and spaghetti (I've got a big pot of sauce made).

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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It's been so great seeing all the creative meals people are coming up with! I definitely never realized how much extra food I had even in my tiny little studio kitchen! This challenge has totally saved me SO much money and time.

I think I'll be able to squeak by this week on leftover pasta and figure out something creative to make with sausage, black beans, and rice. I may have to top off my stock of perishables this weekend simply because I'm really craving some fresh milk, cheese, and salad greens, but I think I can keep that in the 10% budget limit. Next week is really going to be interesting, though....

Sarah Fernandez aka "mssurgeon81"

Philadelphia, PA

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I was just sitting here drawing up an idea list for possible dinners for the next 10 days worth of meals at home and filled it surprisingly quickly. These are just my personal notes, not in chron order, so may not make a lot of sense.

1- chili 1 (in freezer)

2- chili 2 (in freezer)

3- lentil soup (in freezer)

4- hot dogs (in freezer) / biscuits (Bisquick + dry milk)

5- fritatta (using misc. frozen veg)

6- Swedish meatballs (in freezer)

7- pasta 1 (frozen ravioli?)

8- pasta 2 (w/ canned tuna?)

9- beans 1 (black beans w/ rice?)

10- beans 2 (garbanzos somehow?)

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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This was a really cool challenge, I am sorry I missed out on it.

I grew up with a mother who kept the pantry full, full full at all times. She said it's because her mother did it (Lived through Holocaust) and then lived Back East where she feared hurricanes and the like would prevent them from buying fresh ingredients, and then we grew up in Earthquake country where (at least when I was growing up) it was recommended that families keep a healthy supply of bottled water and canned good just in case a big one hit.

I will say that when a big one actually hit, we had plenty of supplies. I also remember during the black out in NYC a few years ago I was happy and sad about my reserves. I lost tons of money on all my frozen goods that defrosted but I was happy I had some canned items to live off of becasue in my neightbourhood, the supermarkets were cleaned out!

While I was pregnant and on strict bedrest, my husband had to go on a mandatory business trip....I lived off our reserves for two weeks buying only the occasional fresh item when my neighbour offered to shop for me. However, I am sure I would have made it a minimum of a month on what we keep in the house.

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Darn, I just remembered about the small amount of frozen chicken that needs to be repurposed as chicken fried rice at some point. Even next week at the end of week 4 I'm going to be left with a surplus of junk in the freezer and pantry unless I get aggressive about feeding other people.

Today I actually did some cooking. For lunch we had "biscuit dogs." This is where we encase hot dogs in biscuit dough and bake them into the biscuit equivalent of pigs in blankets. I should also note that biscuit dough is one application where it's not really possible to detect that powdered dry milk was used.

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For dessert we had the remaining stuff from our Purim gift platter project.

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When planning dinner I noticed that we had a small bag of frozen ravioli (we also have several larger bags) and a small bag of frozen tortellini. The cooking times on both are the same so I threw them in the pot together and we had both for dinner, along with the last bit of sauce from a dinner last week (or was it the week before).

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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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Alrighty, so tonight makes 2 full week's worth of dinners (i.e. 14 days) and approximately 2 1/2 calendar weeks. I'm pretty sure I can do two more weeks, so I'll join you for the month, FG. Right now, my pantry/freezer is down to the stuff that most people immediately think of when they think of no shopping meals, so I'm expecting more of a challenge. I have a goal for the end of the third week: I want my freezer to be empty. The only exceptions I'll make are for things like frozen dollops of tomato paste and yeast. And by the end of the month I want one completely empty cabinet.

My husband had class tonight so dinner was quite eclectic. PB&Js in his laptop bag for him (I tried offering him fruit, vegs, crackers, etc - he declined); Kraft Mac & Cheese, a plum, and carrot sticks for my daughter; random odds and ends from the fridge for me. We had a smidge of rice leftover from making ghetto sushi yesterday so I fried that up with an egg and fish sauce for lazy fried rice (we had scallions and a bunch of other things I could have added, but I didn't want to pull out a cutting board) and grazed on some leftovers.

I feel sort of like I am cheating with my fruit exemption for my daughter; on one hand we snack on it straight so it is not contributing to coming up with something for dinner, on the other hand we eat a lot of it. But my goal in these few weeks was to clear out the larder before we move. Saving money (which we are doing on the rest of the grocery list) was just a bonus. So I guess this works for my goals.

I bought a few more non-milk/fruit things: eggs, a potato, cereal. My daughter didn't throw a tantrum or anything over being out of cereal for breakfast, she just looked really, really sad every morning when I told her we were still out. Somehow forcing her to eat banana bread instead of high-fiber cereal seemed weird, especially since she doesn't really like baked goods, except for cookies. Still, that's well under $15 this past week for non-milk/fruit items.

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I think this is a great idea! It's actually how we live most of the time, ever since Katrina.

No, we aren't in New Orleans, we're in Illinois, but it scared me so much that we immediately instituted a disaster readiness plan whereby I cleaned out out all our cabinets (of the 5-year old soups and specialty jams I collected but never used) and restocked them with things I DO use -- dried and canned beans, san marzano tomato products, piquillo peppers, pulpo, latini pasta, etc... -- most of which I order by the case because organic versions aren't available locally. Even our coffee beans are purchased by the case.

I filled one of the freezers downstairs with nuts, grains, and flours and the other with meats, veggies, fruits, and breads plus a few prepared things like meatballs and turkey burgers for those days when I don't feel like cooking.

We always have at least 2 dozen gallons of bottled water in the house which we use for coffee, rice and pasta, about 10 varieties of cheese, 2-3 dozen eggs, and, even though there are only the two of us, I have a backup of all our refrigerated products so that when we finish the current carton of, say, milk, we open the backup and "milk" goes on the shopping list. We rarely run out of anything and could probably live 2-3 months without shopping as long as we had electricity (if for instance, we were snowed in, or quarantined ourselves in the face of an avian flu pandemic). We hope we never have to, but it's nice to know that we could.

If the electricity does go out, we keep 4-5 bags of charcoal in the garage, have a small camp stove, and a small generator to power the fridge and freezer.

So, I generally go grocery shopping (costco, whole foods, trader joes, and dominicks) every 2-3 weeks for fresh produce and to restock the 'staples' we've used. If you buy your lettuce with the roots attached, it keeps quite a long time. In fact, the last time I went to the store was February 5th, 2 days before we threw a large party. When we entertain, I always have enough food for 3 times the number of guests and we have been eating 'leftovers' for weeks! I have made 2 runs to the Dominicks for fruit, even though we still have oranges and quince in the fridge, because DH prefers bananas and apples and they don't keep as long. Did I cheat? Of course, starting with 2-weeks worth of leftovers could be considered cheating but they went into the freezer and we could have eaten something else, we just choose not to.

One thing I've noticed, as a result of this last party, is that produce kept in the fridge downstairs, which is rarely opened, keeps a long time -- the leeks and yellow bell peppers I bought for the party are STILL good a month later!

I know we don't eat as many fresh veggies as we should. We do have veggies with every meal but most of them are frozen. It's hard to miss them when we can prepare (frozen) brussles sprouts mixed with (frozen) caramelized onions, (frozen) demi-glace, and some latini pasta accompanied by (organic, frozen) sausages from Continental Sausage ; or, (frozen) chicken breasts sauteed with (jarred) piquillo peppers, (frozen organic) bell pepper strips, onions and a bit of olive oil. It's amazing how so few ingredients can be so tasty. Another favorite is (frozen) pork tenderloin slathered with minced garlic and (jarred) wild fennel puree and then roasted while the rest of the jar is mixed with cream and reduced to a sauce.

When we entertain, I'll "cook" in the gourmet sense with recipes and a purpose-built shoppig list, but our normal fare is described above. (Here are pix of our last party, if anyone is interested: Quark's Qantina (you'll have to scroll down about half-way for pix of the food))

We are now out of juice, though, and down to the last dozen eggs, so I'll have to go 'shopping' tomorrow.

At any rate, I think it's important for people to learn to live like this because they might have to one day! And, by not shopping for a whole month, I've saved a LOT more than $400!

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I think this is a great idea!   It's actually how we live most of the time, ever since Katrina.

If the electricity does go out, we keep 4-5 bags of charcoal in the garage, have a small camp stove, and a small generator to power the fridge and freezer.    

Not, I hope, used inside the house....... :blink:

I haven't had much to report for the past week ++ because I have been having most of my meals with my neighbors as I have been helping them prepare for a big engagement party for one of their daughters (she is 30-something and they had despaired of ever getting her married off. She is a teacher and dedicated to her work and rather serious but has met a very nice man who shares her values.)

Some of the work is done in my kitchen and some in theirs and meals have been rather informal and at odd times.

We went on a shopping expedition last Sunday week and I was surprised that I was able to limit my purchases to just the necessities to replace perishables I had used up during the previous two weeks. I didn't even buy any cheese at Trader Joe's, a rare event for me. And I spent only $18.00 at Sams Club. Wow. I spent more on dog food at Petco than I spend on food for myself.

I have begun a new sourdough culture and posted my experience with it on the sourdough starter thread. I baked a large loaf so did not have to buy bread at the store.

After the party this weekend I will begin again with my frugal pantry and freezer "shopping" and dining.

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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Though I have not been participating in this challenge, I have in fact done a week or 2 several times in the past on my own and it barely made a dent.

I've enjoyed checking in on all of you and from what i've seen I'm now worried I don't keep enough on hand :wink:

What I will be curious to see, and I hope it becomes the continuation of this exercise, is what folks will decide to buy first major shopping trip,

and which particular items would all of you stock up on again. Also, would there be any new items you will add to your regular pantry.

Thanks for the good read.

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Last night, chili for dinner. Tonight, the rest of that container of chili, which was 1/2 of the remaining chili.

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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Supper for DH turned out to be a HotDog.....at least it was a Zweigles....a Rochester tradition.  1 of 3 from freezer.  With part of the jar of Bush's chili, AND Kraft Mac and Chesse. He loves that stuff.  I had my most excellent Chinese soup.  We shared cut up orange, one that I had zested a couple of days ago in order to make orange syrup.

We broke open a box of Tagalong Girl Scout cookies that we've had quite a while.

We shouldn't need anything for at least a week.  Then maybe fresh fruit. We are in the "home" of Wegmans supermarkets and I love them.....usually get my meat there.  But I shop where I am (Asian store, Day Old Bakery, Aldi's and Sam's Club) considering what I need.  No special day as we are retired.

Just wanted to say it's nice to see another Rochesterian on here! I agree, Zweigles are good hots and I'm sure I have some frozen ones in the recesses of the freezer.

I've got to get my head around this idea. My freezer is too stuffed with who knows what and it bugs me to keep throwing out stuff because of freezer burn.

My blog: Rah Cha Chow

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Leftover gumbo tonight. I want rice with it, and have a container of cooked rice (that I didn't use for fried rice the other night, sinc this leftover rice since then).

How best to reheat the rice? Or, should I just dump the cold cooked rice into the gumbo and call it a meal? (I have a nasty ass sore throat, and Peter isn't feeling very well either.)

Susan Fahning aka "snowangel"
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Susan - if you have a microwave, dump the rice in a bowl, cover (with saran wrap or plastic cover) and nuke for aout 1 minute. If your rice is about 2 cups, 1 min would do. If you don't have a microwave, steaming it is the next best thing.

If you really don't want the hassle, just take out the rice and leave it out until the chill is off. Then heat up your gumbo until it is very hot, dump your rice, stir thoroughly and enjoy.

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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Change of plans yesterday: I received some good news, so we went out to grab a round of drinks at 2pm and ended up staying out and eating dinner at a place we've been meaning to try. The restaurant was overpriced and mediocre, but the company and the occasion more than made up for it.

Breakfast today was my standard oatmeal; lunch was leftovers from dinner last night.

For dinner I made sopa seca with chorizo and black beans. It was a CI recipe that I probably never would have tried if not for this challenge because I'm not really into casserole-y things (despite being made in a skillet, it was kind of a mexican-ish noodle casserole thing). But it ended up being quite tasty and even well liked by my 3 year old, which surprised me since it contained two minced chipotle chiles. The only substitution I made was cheddar for the jack, hardly the end of the world. Dinner was rounded out by some plums.

Edited by Jujubee (log)
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Since my last post, I've finished the last of my carnitas, and polished off the quiche I made last Friday. I pulled a couple of turkey burgers out of the freezer, ate 1, have another in the fridge for sometime over the wkend, and there are still 2 more in the freezer. Today I pulled a casserole out of the freezer that I made back in Jan, made 1 to eat then, 1 for later . . . so tomorrow will be the 2nd mediterrean tuna noodle casserole. Have also had jarred spaghetti sauce a couple of times this wk, and heated up a grilled sausage of some sort to go with it tonight.

Now only have 2 kinds of rice, instead of 4 or 5, have only 1 canister of oatmeal instead of 2, and have only 2 boxes of pasta - - 1 long, 1 short. And i finished off 3 jars of mustard without opening a new one (still have several open in fridge). I went through a fair amount of beans and eggs, tho still have plenty.

My fridge looks better than it has in ages, showing me its a fine time to do a thorough cleaning . . . a perk I hadn't contemplated from this challenge. Am making headway in the freezer, today found burger patties labelled 06 that don't even have freezer burn. I can only hope I reused the ziplock and forgot to re-lable :shock: Have lots of frozen fruit and proteins still piled up in freezer, pantry now mainly the asian and latin supplies I tend to stock pile (fear of running out prevails, especially on these harder to find, specialty items).

I will be going strong for at least another wk. Do miss salad, and will eat lots of that when I do shop again. But know I will not do a big shopping again even after challenge formally ends, as this has taught me that I buy more than I use, based on habit rather than need. I'll never have a small pantry, but doesnt need to get me through this long of a stretch. My friends have always declared my house the meeting point in any kind of natual emergency, not because I'm centrally located for the group, but because I always have great provisions on hand. . . will still be true, just downsized.

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Oh dear, something happened. I was trying to ask Mr. Ross a question and somehow ended up posting his post. Sorry. Let me try again. What I wanted to ask is if he has a recipe to make Preserved Lemons.....

What a great challenge. It comes at a good time for me considering the disaster I wrought on my stomach last night.  I didn't use my resources appropriately and I suffered for it.  

Last night's delicious meal was composed of canned peaches, freezer-burned tamales, (previously canned tamales at that), dill pickle spears and Hershey's kisses left-over from Valentines Day. 

That certainly is not the type of meal that Steven is proposing we prepare for next Wednesday nights dinner.  (And it is not the type of menu that a self-proclaimed 'food sophisticate' would ever share with anyone but my friends here).  

But don't feel sad for poor destitute Mr. Ross.  I have plenty of nice things stowed away that I could have pulled out of the freezer had I not felt pity for my tired old self.  Feeling sad for yourself means you end up eating the above disgusting concoction.  I didn't have to go out and spend money at the take-out, I had wonderful ingredients on hand, I just didn't use them.

The following is a real-life example of what I could have prepared last night had I just done some thawing and pre-planning.  (And just maybe the type of dish that we'll see come out of our cupboards and freezers in the coming days).

I have some sweetbreads from D'artagnan in the freezer and a nice pot of homemade preserved lemons sitting on the counter.  I've got a head of fresh Napa cabbage in the produce drawer, along with a knob of ginger and some green onions.

What I could have done with just those few ingredients could have turned into "Crispy Sweetbreads" with a "Napa Cabbage Slaw with Preserved Lemon Dressing."  It would have been fairly quick to saute the sweetbreads and slice the cabbage and it wouldn't have cost an extra penney.  (Sans having sweetbreads on hand, I could have done the same dish using the chicken breasts I have in the freezer).

So I'm onto the challenge and look forward to seeing the whimsical and delicious creations that we'll come up with.

Edited by glorenzsonn (log)
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Oh dear, something happened.  I was trying to ask Mr. Ross a question and somehow ended up posting his post.  Sorry.  Let me try again.  What I wanted to ask is if he has a recipe to make Preserved Lemons.....
What a great challenge. It comes at a good time for me considering the disaster I wrought on my stomach last night.  I didn't use my resources appropriately and I suffered for it.  

Last night's delicious meal was composed of canned peaches, freezer-burned tamales, (previously canned tamales at that), dill pickle spears and Hershey's kisses left-over from Valentines Day. 

That certainly is not the type of meal that Steven is proposing we prepare for next Wednesday nights dinner.  (And it is not the type of menu that a self-proclaimed 'food sophisticate' would ever share with anyone but my friends here).  

But don't feel sad for poor destitute Mr. Ross.  I have plenty of nice things stowed away that I could have pulled out of the freezer had I not felt pity for my tired old self.  Feeling sad for yourself means you end up eating the above disgusting concoction.  I didn't have to go out and spend money at the take-out, I had wonderful ingredients on hand, I just didn't use them.

The following is a real-life example of what I could have prepared last night had I just done some thawing and pre-planning.  (And just maybe the type of dish that we'll see come out of our cupboards and freezers in the coming days).

I have some sweetbreads from D'artagnan in the freezer and a nice pot of homemade preserved lemons sitting on the counter.  I've got a head of fresh Napa cabbage in the produce drawer, along with a knob of ginger and some green onions.

What I could have done with just those few ingredients could have turned into "Crispy Sweetbreads" with a "Napa Cabbage Slaw with Preserved Lemon Dressing."  It would have been fairly quick to saute the sweetbreads and slice the cabbage and it wouldn't have cost an extra penney.  (Sans having sweetbreads on hand, I could have done the same dish using the chicken breasts I have in the freezer).

So I'm onto the challenge and look forward to seeing the whimsical and delicious creations that we'll come up with.

Preserving lemons is really quite easy. Use a perfectly clean glass jar -- I pour boiling water into the jar and let it stand a few mintues just to make sure it is clean. Slice the lemons from top to bottom as if you were quartering them, but not quite cutting through the bottom so they stay together, and sprinkle with non-iodinized salt -- Kosher salt is best for this. I use a generous hand with the salt --about a slightly heaping tsp per lemon. place them in the jar as tightly packed as possible and top off the air spaces with lemon juice. Close the jar and refrigerate for a couple of weeks. They are ready to use when the skins are soft and somewhat translucent. Very often if I have squeezed some lemon juice I sprinkle the remaining skin and pulp with some salt and add it to the jar. I know these directions sound rather sketchy, but in truth it is an easy thing to do and measurements aren't really necessary. Some people add some spices or even some herbs to the lemons as they cure, but I like to make them plain and then add what spices I want to the dish I am making. Hope this helps.

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