Monday, August 30, 2010
My Weekend in Food
Pantry and refrigerator destashing was this weekend's cooking theme. Since I was horrified at the quantity of produce I can throw out if a week doesn't go as planned (dinner cooked at home aborted due to long work days or nights out with friends), I was determined to not do any substantial food shopping until I used up what was perishable. It's just such a waste that all that produce ends up in the worm bin, compost bin, and garbage if I don't have a plan. "Use what I have" has become my mantra.
For me, this means making two small trips to the produce store instead of one trip at the beginning of the work week. I enjoy it, so it's not a chore, but it does require a bit of meal planning and scheduling. But, so far, this has led to less waste and some unexpected treats.
Pantry diving led to this salted caramel cinnamon ice cream, and it just may be my new favorite flavor (but I say this about almost every ice cream I create). I think I'll sprinkle some salt flakes or coarsely grind some Himalayan pink salt on top of my next serving to make it pop more.
I also found this steamed bread mix, an impulse purchase from Ranch 99. I didn't stuff the buns with anything, rather I made the whole batch and froze what we could not finish in a day or two. They came out more dense that I like, but perhaps that's the downfall of starting with a mix. I have no idea if the baking soda and baking powder were too old, which could explain part of it. Still, they were good enough to eat with some Korean BBQ chicken. And I'm sure it cost all of $1 to buy.
I also played with my pickle press some more, this time buying skinny Japanese cucumbers for a simple salt pickle. After I let the pickles sit for a day, I packed them in white miso and put the whole concoction in the refrigerator. These pickles should be ready to eat in two months.
While I was busy making food and cleaning up around the house and yard, the boy was busy making some shelves for our bathroom and replacing older fixtures. I'll have to post pictures when he's done, because it looks amazing! He figured out how to match the finish of our table so we can start designing and making custom furniture for our place, and I couldn't be more thrilled. I may have to make him a hand knit sweater after all.