What would My January Rest be without creative fixes (figuring out how to use something up) and of course flops? Both keep me entertained along the way. As the final days drift away, I’ve been discovering some interesting, and sometimes disgusting, food items.
Flop: yes, the scariest thing so far, was something that looked like gray chicken meat, that had green slime on it—yum. NOT! I was severely confused as to what it was. It was on our top shelf in the freezer, which is the shelf that I plan on turning things over the fastest. It wasn’t labeled (will I ever learned?!) and I don’t remember putting in into the freezer. After it thawed a bit, I finally figured out what it was: avocados. My theory: Mr. did it. However he denies it. I taught him to make guacamole—which he does well—and sometimes he picks up avocados to make a batch. He won’t fess up and says he doesn’t remember either. Mystery item resolved, but guilty party remains unknown.
Fix: The last shriveled apple sat on the countertop and I knew no-one else was going to have mercy on me and eat it, so I hatched a plan. In order to use it, I peeled it, largely diced the flesh, and put it in a skillet with a dollop of butter and a heap of cinnamon. After it was soft (which didn’t take long for the poor squishy thing) I added some pecans and for this gal, who hasn’t had sweets, it was a treat! I will do that again!
With three days left, the old fruit was finally all gone. This morning I went to the store, to purchase a gift, and carrots for soup. The last batch of carrots froze, and ended up in the pot roast. While picking up the carrots, I saw fabulous, fresh apples! After a long walk, and no breakfast, I washed it and promptly took an enormous bite! It was fresh, satisfying, and delicious.
Fix and flop: I had some roasted and salted almonds that were on the edge. Mr. bought them by mistake. I prefer raw almonds. I ground them with a small amount of honey in the beginning of MJR before I chose to rest from honey! My plan was to use them in oatmeal. I’ve done this before with nuts and was a tasty treat. While it worked, I wasn’t a fan of the flavor. Used half, pitched the rest.
Fix: We had honey roasted ham that needed to be used up. It went into the freezer after company left one time. I had a small amount of shredded cheese, so I made a quiche, with the leftover cheddar, mozzarella, and asiago cheese, chopped honey ham, onion, and fresh spinach. I made it crustless and even the girl asked for seconds!
Fix and flop: Remember the stale fruit and nut mix? And the troublesome tempting pineapple? The plan was to sort the assorted berries (they were fine) for oatmeal, stale nuts and bananas (for the squirrels), and that left the pineapple in a pile of its own. The plan was a good fix, but those few pieces of pineapple didn’t have a place to go, per se, that is why they ended up in my month, and caused me a cheat!
Flop: this item caused me some bewilderment. After further exploration, I realized it was a fall beet, steamed then frozen. Beets are growing on me, but after thawing, it was squishy. I like beet salads, beets in borscht, and beets diced in green salads. But frozen then thawed beets? Never again after I down the remaining, half-eaten one waiting in the fridge.
Flop: Although it looks so pretty, don’t let looks fool you! This one caused me consternation! I knew darn well what it was. It was the remainder of a fruit smoothie made with beets. Some health site must have said you can use beets in smoothies, but why would you, is what I would like to know! I clearly remembered it was in there before MJR began and knew I would have face it down. It took me three days to get it finished. If only I had used less beet, then the raspberry flavor would have saved the day. I’m not a fan, however it made me feel healthier. But believe me when I say, I will never put a beet in a smoothie—ever—again! And next summer when I make something I don’t think I care for much, I won’t put it in the freezer for MJR, unless I want to play a joke on myself: nah.
Flop: The biggest flop was the organic, already dried apricots. Sorry, no picture, and you can thank me later. They got lost in the pantry, and were overdried, and brown. They tasted ok, but were too chewy. I decided to boil them, to rehydrate them—good thought in concept. I thought they would be good in oatmeal. Isn’t a theme developing here? Anything that I need to get rid of, put it in oatmeal, right? Beets? Nah! Anyway, I ate a couple plumped apricots, then decided they were too far past due. Sad. I love apricots!
Fix: once again, I found something unlabeled. Unlabeled—definitely a theme! It looked scary. Probably because I took it out at the same time I took out the incognito avocados: I was suspicious already. Then I remembered it was a small slab off the roast that I browned a few weeks back. It would have been overcooked, so I threw it in the freezer to make some soup. And I did! It is my favorite fix. My friend made italian beef and there was about a cup of broth left. I used the broth, my piece of beef (diced), a can of black beans, a stalk of celery (diced), a large carrot (sliced), two onions (diced), bell pepper (diced), a can of stewed tomatoes, a can of potatoes (sliced), and a jar of my mother-in-law’s yummy tomato juice. I added garlic and black pepper and put in my new pressure cooker for 9 minutes (after sauteing the veggies right in the same pot—sweet!). I am loving my Instant Pot pressure cooker that I got as a Christmas present. Thanks hubby.
We used all our fresh potatoes earlier and I found one can of potatoes in the pantry. I find a bit of irony in discovering them today—we don’t buy canned potatoes anymore—I used to. My father-in-law loved when I’d cook him fried potatoes with peppers and onion, with an egg or two. Canned potatoes made it a quick fix, because it was hard to get David to commit to eating, so when we got him pinned down, one needed to cook quickly.
When I asked Mr. why he bought canned potatoes, he said that he hadn’t. They must have been someone else’s that got in our cart. So they sat in our pantry, until today. David hasn’t been to our home for years because of failing health. Earlier last year, David died. Today is David and Rosie’s anniversary. Finding them today was a sweet memory.
The memory and the soup was great!
I live with much abundance. While I do understand this, I often lose sight of how much I have, and waste! MJR wakes me up to my waste, but also to options.When deciding what food to consume and which food to dispose of, I am painfully aware of the lack, even starvation that many face. Forcing myself to renegotiate what is still palatable and safe, by moving past my prejudices, is of great benefit for me. My husband continually pushes my comfort boundary with what he is willing to eat. Besides eating questionable food, he has been known to eat hot dogs or ramen noodles daily. Hey, to him it is about quick, so he can keep working.
What are some things you have decided are fine to eat, that once you would have thrown away? Do you love or abhor leftovers? I love them so much that my friends and neighbors donate theirs!
Enjoy all you have and have a great weekend.