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Is there a Hell for Ingredient Accumulators?


Kerry Beal
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Just discussing the fact that we had made some chickpea flour with the express purpose of making Socca from Dori's new book and hadn't gotten around to using it. That reminded me that I had buckwheat flour that I had purchased to make buckwheat scones (and the figs to go with them) and hadn't done anything with it.

A further root around in the pantry revealed a whole lot of other items that hell was going to freeze over before we made anything with them.

So what have you got sitting in the fridge/pantry/spice cupboard that you bought to do something with and doubt you'll ever get around to using?

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The huge jar of pickles I bought while pregnant with my son comes to mind. I ate pickles every day for a week and told the husband that it would probably be much cheaper if we just picked up the big gallon jar at Sam's. Little did I know that they'd disgust me completely the next week. Really, I hadn't had a pickle spear since until I went with my sister to lunch last week and got one with my sandwich.

Also, I have a huge amount of canned beans that I keep thinking I'll do something with yet I never do. I did open a can of red beans and a can of black beans recently, but the Great Northern and the garbanzos, though I love hummus, are just sitting. The garbanzos probably have something to do with the fact that tahini is an ingredient I can't find within 30 miles of this tiny town, but I have no excuse for the great northerns other than the fact that it is just now bean soup season. I've had them for a year or so, though, so that excuse doesn't really work.

There's also some cheap hot chocolate that I got at an Aldi a year or so ago in an attempt to save money. It's awful, like I knew it would be, and therefore both cans of the stuff is sitting on the pantry shelves aging.

I have a couple different kinds of beer sitting around that I probably won't drink or use. One is a blueberry lager that sounded good at the time but now I can't think of a damn thing it would go with. The other is an oatmeal stout that's actually pretty damn good, but I've had it for a year and it's probably gone to meet the beer gods by now as to taste (and, really, carbonation).

Other than that, I can't really think of something I won't have use for. I do, however, have too much of a few things. Too much pasta, too many cans of Swanson beef broth, too much plain yellow mustard. Bah.

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Herbs....

Got ziplock bags and bags of rosemary, Marjoram, thyme, and peppermint, as well as bay leaves. All that stuff grows in our garden, and I've fobbed off as much as I could on friends and neighbors and can't bear to throw the rest out.

Other than that, not much. Think maybe a can or two of tuna. Can't stand any type of canned fish--the smell when you open the can reminds me of cat food...

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Oh... if there is, I'm in a little trouble. I went on a weird alternate grain spree last year, buying lots of buckwheat, quinoa, wheat berries, couscous, polenta, hmm...and a few others that I forget right this second... I also went and bought really nice locking containers for all these bulk grains. Then I made a meal or two from each, leaving like not-quite enough in each big container for another meal's worth, and not going to the bulk store to replace them. So, now I have like 7 containers with an inch of weird grains taking up acres of space in my pantry. It's been like this for over a year.

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Oh, I was just thinking of making a list and posting in the pantry thread. I was rearranging and found several things I have no idea why I have them, or have so many of them: cans of mandarin oranges for a bundt cake I lost the recipe for, pear nectar, I can't even remember what else now.

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Guilty. Off the top of my head (I'm too lazy to get off the couch to look)...

Canned water chestnuts

Almond syrup (the kind you put in coffee...we don't even drink coffee)

Canned chipotle peppers

I like cows, too. I hold buns against them. -- Bucky Cat.

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Ah, I have water chesnuts, too. And raspberry syrup, but I use that in iced tea in the summer. Chipotle I lay out on parchment or wax paper and freeze then bag. I mostly use them in smittenkitchen's baked beans recipe.

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I too have an assortment of gluten free grains that I accumulated, made a few things I wasn't thrilled with and now they sit there taunting me.... One day I will make a great loaf with them, Honest!

I have a couple of bags of sugar in the cupboard that have added fruit pectin - sent hubby for fruit sugar for a pastry recipe and got the pectin kind - twice. I finally did get the right kind but now I can't seem to find it in me to through out stuff that could be used for something...but what?

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I have a very well stocked toy box of "molecular" ingredients. When I see a new technique, I have to know how to do it. Sometimes it's something I never do again once I figure it out... but I have to know how. So the ingredients keep coming in.

It's kinda like wrestling a gorilla... you don't stop when you're tired, you stop when the gorilla is tired.

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I too have an assortment of gluten free grains that I accumulated, made a few things I wasn't thrilled with and now they sit there taunting me.... One day I will make a great loaf with them, Honest!

I have a couple of bags of sugar in the cupboard that have added fruit pectin - sent hubby for fruit sugar for a pastry recipe and got the pectin kind - twice. I finally did get the right kind but now I can't seem to find it in me to through out stuff that could be used for something...but what?

Sugar + pectin + fruit puree = pate de fruit, no?

"Commit random acts of senseless kindness"

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Clearly, what langusihes in others' cupboards is well-used in mine--like buckwheat flour or orzo. I tend to collect odd items from Asian markets--Mali Mali flavored water (and other things in little bottles with lettering I cannot read), coconut gelatin--thinking I will surely use them sometime. I don't.

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Rose Jam, sounded good, but haven't quite gotten around to coming up with a recipe yet...a whole buncha dried pinto beans when I know damn good and well I'm going to half ass it and use the canned refried beans next time I want mexican. Some little squiggly tapioca strings that looked interesting but I haven't a clue what to do with...plus 3 vacuum packs of tapioca pearls for making bubble tea, which is so much better out anyways. Random kinds of vinegar, when all I really ever use is apple cider, rice wine, and balsamic. I have about 10 different kinds of rice too, some probably 10 years old that moved with me from WI to OR. Eventually I'm going to use it, really...

It seems like the only possible way to get rid of this stuff is to have a "cleaning out the pantry" party and only make dishes from the ingredients I have on hand.

Pinto-Bubble-Forbidden Rice pudding anyone?

If you ate pasta and antipasto, would you still be hungry? ~Author Unknown

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Blueberry lager ought to make smashing beer bread.

Everything else sounds like it's just waiting to become halohalo, eGullet-style. almond syrup, forbidden rice, various tapiocas and coconut jellies, maybe some semolina-cube-like bits of non-gluten starches, the chickpeas and pintos cooked in sweet syrup (pectin sugar?), mandarin oranges - all we need is some coconut milk.

(I love rose jam mixed with plain yogurt, either as is, or frozen. I also love it as a component in a supercharged PBJ - Russian black bread, rose jam, and almond butter.)

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I went on an 'eat healthy' kick about 2 years ago and bought 27 different kinds of whole grains, most of which are still untouched. Quinoa, black rice, red rice, whole wheat flour, rye flour. I may set up a fancy buffet for the chickens one of these days.

I also have a can of spinach (gack), and a can of potatoes that someone left here after not making something.

A month or so ago I dumped 7 jars of home canned green beans from 2005--they were some weird variety that didn't taste good fresh--I don't know why I thought canning them would improve them.

I'll take your garbanzos--the guys at work like my Cowboy Caviar--one can each of garbanzos, black beans (or black eyed peas), corn, and hominy, and one big jar of salsa. Add some chopped fresh tomatoes and onions if you want to get fancy. Serve with chips or as a salad.

sparrowgrass
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I went on an 'eat healthy' kick about 2 years ago and bought 27 different kinds of whole grains, most of which are still untouched. Quinoa, black rice, red rice, whole wheat flour, rye flour. I may set up a fancy buffet for the chickens one of these days.

I also have a can of spinach (gack), and a can of potatoes that someone left here after not making something.

A month or so ago I dumped 7 jars of home canned green beans from 2005--they were some weird variety that didn't taste good fresh--I don't know why I thought canning them would improve them.

I'll take your garbanzos--the guys at work like my Cowboy Caviar--one can each of garbanzos, black beans (or black eyed peas), corn, and hominy, and one big jar of salsa. Add some chopped fresh tomatoes and onions if you want to get fancy. Serve with chips or as a salad.

I'm liking this idea of suggestions for the odds and sods - I'm going to suggest adding the canned potatoes to stew - I have one recipe I buy them for - because it tastes better with the canned added at the end than with fresh.

RE the spinach - yuk - deep six for sure.

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I went on an 'eat healthy' kick about 2 years ago and bought 27 different kinds of whole grains, most of which are still untouched. Quinoa, black rice, red rice, whole wheat flour, rye flour. I may set up a fancy buffet for the chickens one of these days.

Tangy Quinoa Salad would use your quinoa supply rather quickly and you might find yourself going out to buy more. Cooks quickly; tastes wonderful.

We (I) did a massive cleanout a few months ago and currently am in Ingredient Heaven. :raz:

Darienne

 

learn, learn, learn...

 

Life in the Meadows and Rivers

Cheers & Chocolates

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I finally trashed a box of matzo ball soup after a couple of years. I bought it on a whim thinking "Gee, I've heard of this so many times in my life, I ought to try it." Having never had it, it was hard to ever be in the mood for it. I probably should have made it that day, but I was at the grocery for more immediate needs anyway.

Finally, I had to admit to myself that a two year old, boxed, dry, matzo ball soup mix was probably not going to be a fair representation of the dish.

Still leading a matzo deficient existance.

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I have a frozen goose that I got half price , cause it was out of date , in March....,

gonna take the breast off and fix that, and then confit the legs and the massive amounts of fat to go back to the freezer, "ONE OF These days".....sure....

Bud

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Lord, Please don't make me inventory my Pantry again.

Last year when I did I found grains with moths in the bag and such things as canned Escargot- sp[?] dated with grease pencil in 1979, beans that were at least 5 yrs. old.

What does one do with Pensey's dried Cilantro when it is 5+ years old? What does one do with it when it is new?

I'm afraid to do this.

Robert

Seattle

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  • 3 weeks later...
  • 2 weeks later...

The 12 volt battery in my 24 foot sailboat died. When I pulled it out of its compartment in the sole of the locker under the cockpit, I found six large cans of peaches carefully duct taped together and hidden away behind the battery. As near as I could decipher the date code, they were from 1986 - the boat was made in 1983, so it's possible that the original owner put them there. I didn't eat them.

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The 12 volt battery in my 24 foot sailboat died. When I pulled it out of its compartment in the sole of the locker under the cockpit, I found six large cans of peaches carefully duct taped together and hidden away behind the battery. As near as I could decipher the date code, they were from 1986 - the boat was made in 1983, so it's possible that the original owner put them there. I didn't eat them.

But did you keep them?!!!

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LOL, are you sure they're not full of cocaine and the former owner was a smuggler? What an odd thing to find.

As for the pantry stuff, I could survive a long and hard winter using up things I needed then and there and never got around to. Of course, living in California brings a very limited chance of that long and cold winter, but it's always good to be prepared :-)

I guess in case of an earthquake we'll be eating like kings :laugh:

"And don't forget music - music in the kitchen is an essential ingredient!"

- Thomas Keller

Diablo Kitchen, my food blog

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