MJR—Food Antics

One of the main focuses of MJR is food, glorious food and sometimes the lack of! While trying to save money, whittle down my surplus, and relieve my icebox of freezer-surprise, I often experience some funny circumstances. I define freezer-surprise as that which goes in unlabeled and at some point surfaces to a perplexed would be consumer. Hopefully the exclamation is, “What is this?” not “What was that!” The later proved the point: it should have been labeled and dated before going into cold storage; before becoming some extinct version of who knows what.

Yes, I find humor in MJR’s process of eating up what we have and concocting odd dishes or dinners. Sometimes they even end up very good instead of simply sustaining my strength. Here are a few of this month’s good, bad, and otherwise food antics.

Waffle bit the dust.

My husband hates, with a capital H, to waste food. I try, really try, to manage food well. I could write a humorous post on this alone, but I’ll focus on the lone waffle. It was left over from a family breakfast from before I started my gluten free (GF) fast. It had been bagged in the fridge for long enough and I couldn’t eat it! I sat it out for his breakfast and left. When I came home the poor thing was still there; the waffle, not my husband. Cringing at the thought of wasting it—he would have still eaten it—I quickly put it down the disposal.

Southwest Salad

 We love Southwest salads with all the fixings. I made a lacking attempt at one because we were missing many of the tastier ingredients. However the smoked chili powder rubbed chicken breast helped made up for the missing black olives, cilantro, peppers, tomato, avocado, and corn.

Eggs and Spinach


I had over a half of carton of organic spinach that was at the point of “eat me or soon you will be pitching me.” That is a lot of spinach in one sitting, unless you wilt it. I sauteed some red onion—of which I am finally down to only one lone onion—then wilted the spinach, cooked a couple farm fresh eggs in it, with a bit of feta cheese, then promptly ate it all. Yum! Sorry, no picture of the finished dish as I ate the evidence.

 Pretzel-crust Pizza

Before doing a GF fast we made a pizza out of a pretzel mix that we purchased from a school fundraiser. In fact, we still have another box ready to go when I go off my three week GF test! I thought the pizza was very tasty as it was slightly sweet as well as the salty. We used salami for pepperoni. Salami is just big pepperoni, right? We used a good pizza sauce I had stashed and correctly labeled in the freezer, canned stewed tomatoes (I didn’t have any fresh: they worked great), and the best part is that we topped it with cheese curds we got in Wisconsin over break.

Burnt Potatoes

This is the favorite part of the story because I get to tell on my husband! Yes, he is a good sport for letting me. Did I mention that he HATES to waste food? Our friends gave us some potatoes over Christmas. They were really good potatoes and they grew them. While preparing the pizza, my husband decided to cook the potatoes, and cook them he did!

We took our pizza and salad and went to watch a movie as we normally do most family nights. It wasn’t until we started hearing the smoke detector go off, that we realized something was up. When we came upstairs to investigate, we were not sure of what was causing the alarm. Soon our noses informed us of the offense.

He did, he really did, eat them, burnt ones and all. He did cut the burnt parts off! My daughter confirmed that they tasted fine. I partook by documenting the incident.



We have many tasty goodies still in the freezer, but we ate Santa. Yum! My mother-in-law and aunt make amazing sweet treats and we usually secure a good stash for our home enjoyment. We’ve shared much of what we have with friends and family which made us enjoy them all the more.

Hummus with Almonds?

Hummus with almonds? Yes! I have a version of hummus I make called Yummus Hummus. It is made with hot pickled cauliflower. I’ve always used peanut butter in my hummus. Because I haven’t been eating my steel cut oats during my GF fast, I had leftover ground almonds that I generally topped my oatmeal with. So, I decided to give them a try. I loved it. I’ll post my normal recipe within the next week or so. It is worth a try. I want more but I used my last can of chickpeas. Next, I’ll try some other kind of bean dip or spread. Stay tuned.

Hummus on a toasted GF wrapper topped with a tomato.
  Great with sweet potato chips.


I had been saving and savoring my GF wraps. Our new toaster oven isn’t very nice. It routinely burns things and I haven’t figured out the best setting yet, obviously! Plus the clock on it also routinely gains about five minutes per week. Did I mention that is it new? Shame on it; don’t you think? I burnt my last wrapper and I will not have any more until February 1. Sigh.

Beans, Lentils, Grains, and Nuts

I’ve been working on my stash of dried goods. I am sorry to confess that I pitched some hambones and now I have none. Almost. My neighbor and number one supplier of hambones has one for me as soon as I get it picked up. I feel a split pea soup coming soon.

I made curry lentil stew with the last of our garden carrots and I used red onion because I am still out of any other kind. I didn’t have ham, so it is vegan. I didn’t even have peppers or celery. It still turned out very tasty.

Coffee Fiasco

Don’t even asked me why I attempted to make coffee in the microwave. Yes I am creative and curious to a fault. Sometimes I try something different, simply to engage my environment on a different level. I didn’t want a big cup of coffee, so I attempted to boil water and steep, then strain the coffee (sort of like the French Press that I neglected to take out of my cabinet, which would have been easier!) I should have boiled the water, then added the coffee. Lesson learned. So much for a quick cup of coffee.

I hope you have enjoyed reading about MJR food antics. Sometimes life gives you all the ingredients you need for a successful outcome. Sometimes, you are missing one or even many ingredients, and you have to look somewhere else to make up for what you lack. In the search remember to enjoy the journey, share it with others, and laugh at the mistakes along the way.

What food disasters have you had? What was one of your most successful food improvisions? Your worst?


  1. I’m with you all the way on this: I often have great fun of making a meal out of what we have. When disaster strikes I always try to find a way of rescuing valuable ingredients. No disasters in the last few days but that’s a dangerous statement to make.

  2. Oh, the burnt potatoes. How many times have I scorched something! You should see the rabbit pellets I made yesterday. I’ll post them on the blog one day–a kitchen disasters tell-all.

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