Tag Archives: Eat From The Larder Challenge

New Moon – Melt-Water Moon Begins (First New Moon After Spring Equinox)

First New Moon after Spring Equinox is in Aries, Venus is in Retrograde, and we’re all revisiting old mistakes and lessons learned. Spring (and light, ye gods, finally!) has hope dripping from ever budding branch, every thawing snowbank. There are green things lifting their heads out of the ground. Last night was misty with evaporating ice. I went out with my coat open today.
I’ve spent the last few months – since shortly after my last Lunar Cycles update, actually – building new friendships and strengthening pre-existing ones, tightening the knots that bind my community together.
This is one of my favourite thing to do.
My wife asked me, last weekend, what would chuff me to death about an item. Like, if I found something fantastic at a thrift shop and then found out something about it that made it even more special, what would that something be.
And the answer I came up with boiled down to “This item connects me to someone I already care about”.
I love my “Babylon” perfume oil because it smells like a chocolate dessert. But I love it that much more because Miss Sugar made it, and decided to send it to me out of the blue.
I love my fermentation crock because it lets me do fermentation experiments in the kitchen (like the sour kraut I’ve currently got bubbling away[1] on the shelf), but I love it even more because it’s a hand-thrown piece of pottery made by a neighbourhood femme who is even more DIY and Nurturing than me (yes, it IS possible).
I love my funky, flared black cotton pinstriped skirt because it’s “professional” enough to wear to an office, and “edgy” enough to wear everywhere else, but I love it even more because it used to belong to a friend of mine who I don’t get to see very often.
I love my leather trench coat because it’s warm and practical and lets me Flag every time I leave the house. But I love it even more because it was a originally a courting gift from my mom to my dad, and I inherited it after he died.
I love my drop spindle because it lets me spin yarn anywhere, any time, but I love it even more because my wife made it for me.
I love my snail coffee table because, hello, it’s a coffee table shaped like a giant wooden snail! But I love it even more because it belonged to my grandmother.
I love the plants in my garden because they’re beautiful and they feed the bees and/or me directly, but I love them even more because they’re transplants from the gardens of my inlaws, my still-loved ex, my closest friends.
I’m delighted that our fridge and stove came from the kitchen of a deceased former-neighbour of my wife; that the desk at-which I’m typing this once belonged to my metamour’s father; that my kefir grains came from one femme friend and are currently fermenting milk in a jar that I originally got when another fem taught me how to make sour kraut – in a kitchen full of other witchy queers, no less – for the first time. The stories of connection, the stories that are connection, that’s what makes them special to me.
 
Horoscopes of late – because of the Venus Retrograde, which is all about checking over patterns in your relationships (to abundance, to material things, to beauty, to sex, to other people, especially romantic and sexual connections, but not only so) – have been asking me “What do you want (to be / to have)?”
 
Some Answers:
 
I want to have the kind of romantic relationships where I can trust myself to maintain healthy boundaries – the kind that allow for exploration and curiosity but that aren’t all about leaping off the cliff of attachment and hoping I don’t smash on the rocks (take a calculated risk – leap off the cliff having invested in a Wing Suit and mapped out a route with a variety of safe landing points on it)
 
I want to have many overlapping, inter-generational circles of friends that, really, are one huge circle of interconnected other circles that all relate to each other; a well connected network of networks, a zillion friends-of-friends who are linked to, and can call upon, each other, who show up for Solstice parties and pot-lucks, sewing circles and bulk-food-buying clubs, sick days and child care and ride-shares and crash space, who show up for each other.
 
I want a productive home, wherein I am a productive home-keeper. Lots of chosen family & nearby friends over for drop-in dinners, pick-up musical jams, crafternoons, brunches, and emotional support (but also who offer support to ME); lots of culinary and crafty projects on the go in the kitchen and the sewing (fibre arts in general) room; clean laundry on the line and the smell of fresh bread in the kitchen; stew in the slow-cooker, pasta on the stove, sausages & veggies on the barbecue, with enough for an unexpected guest or two to drop in; winter squash, cooking greens, herbs, tomatoes, sunchokes, tree fruits[2], berries, and rhubarb running riot in the backyard garden.
 
Heh. I feel like I have a long way to go on that last one. Two years ago, I was putting in my raised beds (about a month from now), planting more kale and chard than I knew what to do with, and routinely making bread and stock from scratch. Right now, in spite of having (at last!) a compost heap of my very own, I feel very much like I’m behind the (magic?) eight-ball when it comes to home-keeping. We’ve been eating quick-prep foods – pasta, sandwiches, 20-minute onion and/or noodle soup from the giant batch of stock I made two months ago, stuff from boxes – frequently and I feel a bit like I need to change up what I’m canning… and possibly borrow my friend’s pressure-canner (in exchange for a batch of canned chick peas, or something) in order to put up more “read to eat in minutes” dishes, because my plan from last year – to make a zillion ragout-type dishes using salsa, beans, and leftover meat… isn’t working so well.
 
April is just around the corner, and for the first time in years, I’m not sure if I’m really going to do the Eat From the Larder Challenge this time ’round. I mean, we could definitely do it. We have tonnes of food – including a slew of sunchokes that are still buried and waiting for the raised beds to thaw enough for me to dig them up – but what I have a lot less of, this year, is time. Getting home at 7pm and needing to launch into a FAST dinner for two very hungry, worn out people… that leaves a lot less room for creativity than having hours of “free” time in-which to wash dishes (to keep the kitchen functional), scratch-bake coffee cakes, bread, crackers, and savoury crepes; or long-cook dishes like roast chicken or braised pork hocks.
 
That doesn’t mean I won’t try to use up my preserves – bake turkey wings with salsa & serve them over rice, make new batches of stock from the (numerous) bones in my freezer, bake bread and/or muffins on the weekends, slow-roast the giant Fairy Tale pumpkin that I still haven’t cut open (I bought it back in October, and it’s ripened to a gorgeous milk-chocolate colour) and use it in curries and veggie-roasts, make rosee sauce using jars of crushed tomatoes and spooning it over pasta with frozen greens and diced leftover pork – all of this stuff is definitely on the list of things to do. But I’m also willing to go waaaaaay easier on myself if I decide to buy Box Lasagna or Freezer Pizza, or even discounted smoked hams, in the middle of the month. And that means that, this April, I will be less “eating down the larder” as a challenge to myself, and more just… business as usual.
 
Right now, business as usual involves a pork roast + mushrooms + root veggies (carrot, onion, celeriac, potatoes) + the last of my garden’s winter squash (a gorgeous, meaty butternut – long-keeping veggies for the WIN) cut into quarters roasting away in the oven. There will be apple cider with dinner[3] and – probably – ice cream for dessert.

~*~
 
Motion: Now that the ice is pretty much gone (Halleluia!), walking is a joy, as well as a means of getting around. I’m choosing to walk places more frequently now, which is really lovely. Additionally, I’ve been out dancing recently (and will be again, this Saturday), and have been doing a lot of modeling work that’s involved very short poses – like multiple hours worth of two-minute poses – which is proving to be a nice work-out and is helping to limber up my back. (On that front, the MRI turned out well, and I have additional Back Exercises to do, so I’m doing those too). Soon there will be raking the raised beds and turning the compost added to the list of ways I’m moving my body on the regular. πŸ˜‰
 
Attention: I’m paying attention to boundaries and behaviours, particularly my own. Moving cautiously forward, trying to be excited/curious instead of fearful when it comes to trying new things, especially with what one could optimistically (hopefully not too optimistically) call my romantic life. Trying to balance hope and desire with a realistic understanding of reality, and choosing my own actions accordingly.
 
Gratitude: A wife who thinks I’m beautiful and who goes on dates with me. Deep discounts on turkey, pork, and root veggies at the grocery store. New friends (witchy friends, femme friends, cute friends who flirt with me, recently-moved-back-to-Ottawa friends) to have adventures with. Afternoons spent knitting with kinky pals. Green things poking through the earth. Rain, not snow. People who answer my questions thoughtfully and kindly and make space for me to feel my feelings and be vulnerable with them. Temperatures above freezing! New books of poetry to read! New lipstick to wear. Crows in the garden! Going to the Against Me show last Friday and seeing half my queer neighbours there! Longer days and shorter nights! Hope. HOPE. HOPE!
 
Inspiration:
Leah Lakshmi Piepzna Samarasinha’s poetry, as always, reminding me How To Boundaries and asking me “What Kind of Ancestor Do You Want To Be?”. Also: I’ve started using Pinterest again, making “Dream Home” boards because I find that Telling The Internet is a bit like Telling The Bees, and you can make magic happen by calling things in by using this stuff with your Intentions turned on. Plus it’s just nice to dream and play like this. πŸ˜‰
 
Creation: Wrote three poems today, including a Glosa. Two of them are pretty good. One of them is… probably more than one poem, and will need to be edited and re-constructed in order to see what’s what. Recently learned how to turn a sock heel! πŸ˜€ Working on re-prioritizing my writing, as I totally let that slide for, like, practically a year. Time to get back in the boat.
 
 
TTFN,
Meliad, the Birch Maiden.
 
 
[1] This is batch #3. Batch #2 went moldy and gross – though, underneath the layer of Ugh, the result was actually just fine. Mushy, but fine. Smelled like sour kraut, rather than mold or something rotten. So there’s that. I’m keeping a better eye on this batch. Fingers crossed!
 
[2] Despite renting out house, we are considering planting a super-dwarf cherry and/or a super-dwarf three-variety apple in our back yard. The western and southern exposure would mean (eventually) lots of fruit for canning, baking, fresh-eating, and sharing with Our People, so… if we can swing it, we’ll do it.
 
[3] We’ve been doing A Tasting – so far Thornbury kind of sucks, but Forbidden (from Coffin Ridge, which is also a winery, and located in Annan Ontario) is delicious – “chewy” with an almost apricot under/after taste. Recommended! Tonight it’s “501 Streetcar” from Brickworks Cider House in Toronto – I’m looking forward to trying their peach cider when it comes out.

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Eat From the Larder 2016 – Week Four (+ Month-End) Wrap-Up

Happy Beltane!
Unlike in previous years, I haven’t been celebrating by going out and stocking up on dry goods and not-so-dry goods from the grocery store just yet. Why? Because we still have tonnes of food. As such, I’m trying to hold off on the restock until I’m ready to do the Big Shop wherein I also buy half a dozen bags of soil from the grocery store garden centre (I’ll be getting thingd delivered anyway, so why not get a LOT of groceries at the same time?)
 
As I alluded to in my Week Three post, there wasn’t a whole lot of Eating from the Larder happening during Week Four. I bought popsicles. I bought a burito. My wife and one of her other partners and I went out for pizza and gelato because it was sunny out. I also used on-hand root veggies, the last of the winter squash (which I bought in October, y’all – Butternuts are AMAZING keepers), a variety of frozen veggies, a few tins of beans, a little dried fruit, and some home-jarred tomato products to make dinners on other evenings. Stew featuring a mix of meat and legumes + a mix of veggies and occasional fruits (and anything I can add to impart a smokey flavour – NOM!) will continue to be a Thing in our household. I used left-over pork ragu mixed with leftover burrito filling and some extra pre-cooked black beans + rice to make a super-fast, marvelously tasty stew last night (technically May, I realize).
 
One thing I’ve noticed (or haven’t noticed) this year is that, unlike last year, there’s not a significant rise in bank savings over the course of the month. Part of that is that I’ve been temping for three months (and covering 100% of the rent for a significant portion of that – though not for May) so the money levels are different from what I’m used to looking at. The other reason, though, is that we’ve been eating from the larder, in a fairly significant way (though not as big a way as during April) for most of the past year. Either getting the majority of our veggies from the garden (the rhubarb and Vietnamese garlic are up alrady, fyi, with the strawberries and sage coming along on their heels) during Summer and autumn, or else using home-jarred and home-frozen stuff over the winter. Our meat (aka: Francis the Pig) arrived, for the most part, a year ago and, even though I’ve also bought turkey, beef, duck, fish, and chicken occasionally through the past year, our groceries were paid for “up-front” in a way that they never had been before. Given how tight our budget has been since last Summer, when my lovely wife started up the Ottawa Leather Works and stopped (for the most part) working outside of her own business, I have to say a big Halleluiah for that one, since I know our usual grocery bill, pre-garden, would have been around $200/month and, instead, we’ve been able to put that towards heating bills and similar.
 
Take-aways from this year’s Challenge:
1) Praise the garden (and the forethought that goes into all that canning)!
2) Variety remains the spice of life
3) Make more salsa[1]
4) Baking bread in triple-batches and freezing 2/3 might be a good practice to get into. A lot of the bread went moldy (this is a common problem), and I’d like to avoid that happening in future, but also it’s a big help to have pre-made bread on hand when you run out and (a) the kitchen is a filthy mess with no counter-space, and/or (b) you are sick and trying to avoid spending effort on anything but getting well again.
5) Ditto for freezing stuff like waffles[2], pancakes, muffins, savoury scones, and other snacky baked goods.
6) We are still eating about a pound of cooking cheddar per week. I don’t see that changing any time soon.
 
So there you have it. The Eat from the Larder Challenge is over for 2016. Sit tight, as the garden-garden-garden posts will be starting up in short order.
 
 
TTFN,
Meliad the Birch Maide
 
 
[1] Strictly speaking, I make limitted amounts of this due to there being someone in the family with allergies to peppers and pepper-derived spices, BUT said person lives in Toronto at this point, and so isn’t around as often as she used to be. Next summer, I will (probably) make more tomato-peach salsa and (slightly) fewer jars of herb-infused crushed tomatoes (plain crushed tomatoes, on the other hand, remain a major staple).
 
[2] I love waffles, but our waffle-iron has a teflon coating, and that will kill our little birds very quickly if it gets too hot. I would really like to replace our waffle iron with one that has real, cast-iron plates. (Or, y’know, just replace the plates on the one we’ve already got. That would be even better!)

Eat From the Larder 2016 – Week Three Wrap-Up

The short version is: I got sick towards the end of Week Three.
 
Plus Side: I made one hell of a “Morroccan” pork ragu (er… sort of) using left-over roast pork + a pint of tomato-peach salsa + frozen greens + frozen winter squash + rice. You guys, it was SO GOOD (and SO EASY!)
 
Minus Side: There’s been a lot of junk food this week. A lot of rading my personal stash of fancy-organic-fair-trade-chocolate in the freezer, a lot of “Oh, hey, I forgot I had this cherry licorice lying around” on nights when my lovely wife was out for the evening and was “cooking” for one, a week of gifted food and breakfasts out, and I basically hit the Fuck-Its on Sunday. I mean, I spent the day in bed, editing my friend’s book, and seriously longing for a popsicle, and then basically slept for 12 hours.
I’m honestly looking down the paltry four-and-a-bit days remaining on this challenge, and just saying “Screw Everything, I still want that popsicle”.
 
Which doesn’t mean that I’m not still using on-hand (jarred and frozen) meat, fruit, and veggies + on-hand dry-goods to make meals, it just means we bought a loaf of bread on Sunday, and I bought those damn popsicles earlier today. And ate, like, four of them on the way home. My raw, feverish throat has informed me that nothing on earth has ever tasted so good.
None the less, it’s not like I couldn’t have *made* popsicles with the yoghurt in the fridge, fake vanilla in the cupboard, and frozen OJ in the freezer – and/or a jar of nectarine jam (for example). I just didn’t bother. (Which would be the kicker. The point of this exercise – in addition to the main goal of using up as many preserves as possible – is to bother). I maaay be feeling a little bad about that at the moment. >.>
 
Anyway. That’s my (very short) wrap-up for Week Three. Week Four’s wrap-up will be combined with the end-of-the-month summary, most likely.
 
 
TTFN,
Meliad the Birch Maiden.

Eat from the Larder 2016 – Week Two Wrap-Up

Saturday night, C was in town and came for dinner. It was nice to have time together, all three of us, again. I sent her home with a care package, and part of me is thanking my forethought when I was doing All The Canning back in August-September-October, because I was doing it with the food-needs of three people in mind, rather than “two plus occasional extras”. I admit that I’m proud to be able to hand off a couple of big bags of groceries (for one person, admittedly) and still have plenty left for in-house use, before any re-stocking needs to happen. Turns out, that’s something I want to be able to do at any time of year, which is good to know.
 
In other news: The rhubarb is up (barely – and only one bunch, the two from Ghost’s Dad may or may not have survived the winter. I’m keeping my fingers crossed, though, as they were kept pretty shaded until yesterday) and the Vietnamese garlic is up, too! Along with a few early dandelions and the beginnings of what might develope into this year’s crop of rappini (waaaaay too young to be harvested yet, but hey).
Tonight’s dinner (which I should brobably get going on) will most likely be a stir-fry of frozen greens, frozen zucchini, roast pork, and some carefully snipped bits of the above-mentioned garlic-greens, served over rice.
 
I’m about to run out of cream, so will probably pick some of that (or milk) up tomorrow (along with a few pharmacy items that are definitely on the Necessities list), but I’ve been making it (and the eggs) stretch quite nicely by opting for vegan baked goods, of-which there have been many. I made a tripple-batch of almond-mocha-apricot Wacky Cake (2 dozen cupcakes + a small tray of cake to slice into squares) yesterday, as an example. Also, I totally made crackers from scratch and, even though they’re ridonkulously easy to make, I’m completely chuffed that I Made Them Myself.
Go me. πŸ™‚
 
Possibly because I’m still re-stocking eggs and milk, and possibly because we are still eating out on occasion, this doesn’t feel difficult at all. I mean, yes, I’m definitely hunting up recipes that call for crushed tomatoes and diced pork as the main ingredients (this is translating into All The Ragu, All The Time, fyi), because I have lots of both to use up (hint: Green tomato chutney is a good addition to an improvised Lu Rou Fan type dish). But things have, so far, been going really smoothly. The jars on my shelves are slowly emptying, and it should be super easy to clean the fridge on April 30th (Note to Self: Make something with parsnips sooner rather than later).
 
Anyway. That’s my wrap-up for Week Two. Onwards to Week Three! πŸ™‚
 
 
TTFN,
Meliad the Birch Maiden.

Eat from the Larder 2016 – What to Do With Green Tomato Chutney

So, as I’ve mentioned before, I made a lot of green tomato chutney last October, when the frost knocked my tomato plants down, and now I’m not sure what to do with it.
Don’t get me wrong. It’s working out great as a sandwich spread (I’m about to make myself yet another roast pork sandwich with grainy mustard and GTC), and the sweet-spicy-tangy-umami mix of apples, mustard, vinegar, and tomatoes doesn’t hurt as an addition to lentil stew or some kind of bean-based dip.
The thing is, sandwiches don’t take more than a teaspoon of chutney each, and even a large stew isn’t going to need more than half a cup of chutney thrown in if it’s being used as a seasoning.
The sugar content makes me wonder if it would work as a stew-base, or if it would just be too sweet, but… I’m still hoping to re-jig a few recipes (like the following) in order to use up a couple of pint-jars of green tomato chutney (maybe with some crushed tomatoes thrown in as well).
 
Green Tomato Stew AKA Tomato Kootu
Thakali Masiyal
Green Tomato Pork Stew
Curry In A Hurry (also ft broccoli and sweet potatoes)
Green Tomato & French Lenils Soup
 
Wish me luck!

Eat From the Larder 2016 -Week One Wrap-Up

So far, so many meals out.
Or things along those lines, anyway. I got gifted a couple of slices of super-fancy cake on Tuesday night, and both of us have had breakfast out at least twice this week. Yesterday’s Queering Power activities included a pot-luck lunch (I made mint-chocolate-cherry cupcakes based on the Wacky Cake recipe found in How It All Vegan, thus conserving eggs and milk, so go me) but also a dinner out with a bunch of out-of-town friends. I regret nothing. πŸ™‚
 
Beyond that, I’ve been using up perishable (or more-perishable, at any rate) veggies this week, because: priorities. So there’s been a chickpea-cauliflower curry (we have left-overs for lunch tomorrow) and a lentil-quinoa stew inspired by ratatouille (pre-sliced mushrooms, frozen golden zucchini, frozen eggplant, green tomato chutney (half a cup – I still have so muchof this stuff lying around) a cup of jarred tomatoes, and a handleful crumbled tomato-chips, plus lots of parmasan cheese on top. I also did a (really delicious) sausage-potato-beets dish with pumpkin seeds and bacon[1] (two kinds of pork in one dish, and one of them wasn’t lard! I feel so decadent!) on Thursday and a pasta with tinned salmon, mushrooms, onions, and alfredo sauce for unexpected company on Wednesday.
 
I’m running low on (meaning running out of) mayonaise, which I hadn’t expected, so the tuna sandwiches I made the other day maybe the last I make until May. Or maybe I try my hand at making home-made mayo. We’ll see. I’m also (having used half a cup of it in the cupcakes this weekend) running low of cocoa powder and rotini. Not that I don’t have other options, but it’s something to be aware of, particularly the pasta since I tend to rely on that stuff for quick-and-easy dinners.
 
I have fancy cheese and patΓ© in the fridge, but need to make some crackers before we can get on with enjoying those lovely items. Also to make: bread (for toast and for cheese sandwiches), muffins or similar (for breakfasts, snacks, and similar- thinking I’ll do pumpkin-apricot-chocolate-chip with a little bit of almond flour worked into the mix, but we’ll see what I come up with.
 
I’ve got a shoulder roast (or possibly an uncured ham) in the oven, roasting with potatoes, onions, butternut squash, and a little bit of white wine, which will do us for a spiffy dinner tonight (and probably several more times this week – it’s a huge roast, by my standards – done as a stir-fry with reconstituted dried mushrooms + frozen greens; dice and tossed with oregano, garlic and jarred, roasted tomatoes over (more) rice; sliced onto sandwiches (possibly with apple butter, possibly with green tomato chutney); or thrown into a stew with black beans, and either salsa or a mix of crushed tomatoes, diced onions, and dried apricots).
 
I’ve got family coming down from Toronto to visit this coming weekend (it’s C’s anniversary with Ghost – and would have been ours as well, but that’s life for you) and I’m hoping to send her home with a (raw, frozen) roast or two, plus some more preserves (I admit, I wonder if she’s getting sick of tomato sauce, but you give what you’ve got, so there we go). I fully expect us to go through both of those packages of patΓ© this week – one with C, and the other (along with a lingering wedge of fancy cheese!) when a heart-sick friend comes by for tea/wine and a friendly ear later this week.
 
Going over old Eat From the Larder posts, it’s amazing how much I remember events by the food that we had. I remember who brought the ice cream and the super-spiffy balsamic vinegar (I ration that stuff like butter in WW2, you guys). I remember who brought the box of fancy cookies, and what went down during that less-than-fantastic visit.
In theory, this is the point where eating strictly (even for my not-very-strict version of “strictly”) from the larder starts getting hard. The fresh veggies dwindle, the eggs run out, you have to plan snack-food and make stuff from scratch that you’d usually buy pre-made (crackers and pasta come to mind for me). Let’s see how this goes. πŸ™‚

Eat From the Larder Challenge 2016 – Pre-Game Show

It’s April First! Which means this year’s Eat From the Larder Challenge has officially begun!
 
Basically, this is something I started doing a couple of years ago and have decided to try and keep up with every year. The idea is that we spend April using up the past year’s pantry staples and preserves so that there’s space in the larder for when the fresh produce (and, thense, new preserves) start showing up in the not-too-distant future. In the case of Erica, who started the whole thing (see link, above), she’s in Pacific Northwest of the USA, so her growing season starts a solid month, sometimes more, ahead of mine. So I’m not expecting fresh greens to go with my frozen eggplant and crushed tomatoes. But I still like the idea of it.
 
One thing I’ve noticed myself doing (this year, but also last year) is, well… hoarding my preserves for April. Part of that is just that fresh produce – even when its all root veggies plus cabbage, maybe some winter squash, mushrooms and increasing bruised apples – are preferable to stuff in jars. Remoulade, beet salad, and apple-cabbage slaw bring crunch and (sometimes) colour to a winter table that, otherwise, would be heavy on the browns and beiges (meat, grain, legumes, yoghurt) and low on texture that wasn’t soft. The other part is just… I don’t want to run out. It’s less of an issue these days – I have an income quilt, such as it is, and so does my lovely wife – but I’ve had enough months of unemployment, enough years of on-again-off-again contract work, in the not-so-distant past that the thought of running out of food is still something that preys on my mind, even when I can look at the vast quantities of dried, frozen, and jarred/tinned foods (veggies, fruits, meat, grains, legumes, nuts, mushrooms, herbs & spices, even powdered milk) I keep on hand and know that it won’t happen. So there are a lot of preserves that I haven’t used yet. Lots of jarred (and dried) tomatoes & green tomato chutney[1], lots of frozen eggplant (I’m foreseeing at least one round of ratatouille – or something like it: diced eggplant, chopped onion, reconstituted dried mushrooms, red lentils and red quinoa tossed with a pint of crushed tomatoes & dried herbs, and baked in a skillet under a heap of parmasan cheese – in our future, maybe tonight). Lots of pork from Francis the Pig that we haven’t eaten yet. Lots (ish) of tinned tuna. Lots of flour and yeast and cooking oil.
 
It feels almost like cheating to be this prepared. And yet part of the point of this is to take what you’ve got, get creative, and keep churning out meals when you can’t just swing by the grocery store and pick up turkey legs that aren’t frozen solid.
 
My own rules for this challenge include:
It’s okay to buy: milk, eggs, coffee, tea, wine and junk food.
BUT: Try not to.
Use the jam and the fruit butters to replace both the sugar and some/all fo the eggs in the baking recipes. Drink the raspberry thriller tea in order to conserve the cream in the fridge. Make cakes, cookies, and muffins, instead of buying chocolates or ice cream for dessert.
It’s okay to stock up beforehand IF things are on sale – so, just before Easter Weekend, the grocery store was clearing out as much as it could, and cheese was on for $4/lb. As such, we could now go through a pound of cheese every week, and still have extra by the time Beltane rolls around.
 
But when we’re out of butter, we’re out of butter. When we’re out of crackers, I need to learn how to make them from scratch (finally – how hard can it be?[2]). Pot-luck dishes cannot be picked up, last minute, from a store on the way to the event. If I forget to plan ahead, and thaw out some pork chops (or similar), even on a Friday, I need to rely on the tinned tuna, sausages, frozen fish, or legumes that I’ve got on hand and use my creativity to make something Fancy with what’s available.
 
As with previous years, you can follow along using the Eat From the Larder Challenge tag, and I’ll make a once-a-week post talking about how the month is going.
Wish me luck! πŸ™‚
 
 
Cheers,
Meliad the Birch Maiden.
 
 
[1] I made a LOT of green tomato chutney last October, and we’ve eaten absolutely none of it. Unlike August’s chokecherry chutney, which I LOVE and will absolutely be making again, I keep giving my GTC the side-eye and wondering if it will actually taste good, or if it’ll just be so much over-sweet, not-quite-right Glop that never works with anything. Some of it will go in that ratatouille – why not – but some of it was supposed to get poured over a pork roast and… I worry that it will make everything Too Sweet. And this is the time of year when I find that out. :-\
 
[2] Famous last words… πŸ˜‰