Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Eating well during my eat down

"I have such good news for you today," she said sarcastically.

Although I went to bed at a decent hour, I awoke early from a bad dream. I think I should be more awake than I am, but I feel sleep creeping dangerously closer and concentrating on work is difficult.

And so it's the perfect!time!to!blog!

What I have done all day (Ahem. It isn't even noon yet) to help me focus and stay awake is eat. I've eaten breakfast and lunch already. I'm not really hungry.

It must be true what they say about not getting enough sleep leading to obesity. I keep thinking it will help me wake up.

It doesn't.

For breakfast I had pancakes because I am tradition-bound and today is Shrove Tuesday. For lunch I had leftover oven-baked chicken and big, thick egg noodles with sweet corn from last summer.

I've been eating really well for a few weeks now because I'm hosting an eat-down at my house.

"Host" is such a strong word. I haven't invited anyone over or cleaned the house.

I just decided to clean out my freezer, but usually an eat-down is when I stay out of the grocery store and eat as much of what is in the house as I can stand. This is often accompanied by a sort out of the pantry. If it's expired, I toss it and if it isn't but I am not doing anything with it, it goes to the food pantry. I try hard to keep from throwing food away. I also try not to buy too much, but sometimes the canned goods and the freezer get away from me.

So cleaning out the freezer, which you know, takes time, turned into an eat down. Here's the current state of the fridge:

I may have cheated a little and not shown you the entire thing because I haven't cleaned it.

I've been too busy thawing, cooking and sorting to clean anything.

I often don't have very much food in the house these days. I look in the refrigerator and it looks OK, but there are three jars of jam and a carton of sour cream I had forgotten about and so it goes. It looks like more than it really is. I always sort of figure if I have a couple eggs, I won't starve to death.

[edit] You see the blank space to the left where the Swiss cheese is lounging all the live-long day? That's where the eggs belong. I just realized I don't have eggs. Can't make corn pudding. Does it count if I borrow eggs from a relative?

Anyway, the sour cream turned out to be just fine. I love food that lasts forever.

A friend of mine accepted a challenge from a food web site to clean out freezers and she wondered if I would do it with her. As a matter of fact, I had decided to take some things out of the freezer that very same day. So I said yes and now I report to her every day or so what genius things I've created.

I removed some beef, a whole chicken and some sweet corn from last summer. I've used pork, a ribeye steak, meatballs, noodles and freshly squeezed-by-me lime juice. From the pantry, I've made the soup and will make corn pudding this week. I'm down to four cans of beets (who buys this stuff? not me), three cans of creamed corn and one can of sauerkraut.

The beef turned into soup, the chicken went into the oven and was devoured and the corn got eaten along the way. I put the beef into the crock pot. It was a roast of some sort, but really small. I added salsa and when I got home, I added a little more fresh homemade salsa, a can of red beans and a can of creamed corn. It was delicious. Some thinly cut shoulder steak went into the crock pot with teriyaki sauce. Later I added a can of cream of mushroom soup and some mushrooms. I had that over potatoes.

It sounded like a mixture that may go radioactive at the table, but the teriyaki sauce and cream of mushroom soup behaved remarkably well together.

The only thing that didn't turn out is a recipe for a green bean side dish. I substituted Vidalia onion salad dressing for milk and used one can instead of two cans of beans and some Cream of Whatever was involved and although I ate a little I threw the rest away.

That's our secret.

As you can see from the photo above, I have the cutest Crock Pot ever and I buy meat at Target. I wait like a vulture for the end of the day when the meat gets little stickers on them for $3 off and I [*[pounce]*] on it.

Then I throw it all in the freezer when I get home so it doesn't expire and kill me. Who loves herself?

Oh and hey? I bought a DOZEN packages of Wholly Guacamole for 50 cents each over the weekend. They also had to go directly into the freezer, but that stuff is so delicious that if you put a bowl out and leave the room, angels will visit and sing.

Try it. It's very good.

There are still homemade pork tenderloins to be served and currently sitting in the fridge looking foolish is a pound of ground beef. I haven't any idea what to do with it when it thaws. I'm trying to stay out of the store and am making do with what I have. The corn pudding needs milk, so I may relent and buy a quart because I'll be using up eggs and some bread that needs to go before I leave town on Saturday.

Oops. See previous [edit].

I need to use the pound of ground beef without purchasing anything. Meatloaf maybe?

I've also been sorting and organizing cupboards, closets, drawers and all other storage areas. I've been ruthless about throwing things into a pile for our church's garage sale this summer.

My house feels a thousand pounds lighter and I just love walking into my dirty newly organized home. Only, like I said, I'm leaving it for a couple weeks on Saturday.


Sofia Reino said...

Good for you. I too am one freezer and half a pantry lighter. And all you've been making sounds amazing, now.. why is it we no longer live closer to each other? Meanwhile I was SURE you were indeed going to write a post but about being International Women's Day.

Wild_Bill said...

This was pretty interesting and funny! I cleaned out my freezer this past winter and it was amazing to see what was in there.

There were a lot of fish that I had caught but had forgotten about; fortunately they were still good to eat and made a wonderful fish stew.

Thank you for sharing this.

Rambling Woods said...

I was on an organization kick before I got sick and the fridge died...I am so hungry I was drooling here...Michelle