February 21st, 2012

The Pantry of the Apocalypse Revisited

I saw crocuses. That must mean it is time to go into the Pantry of the Apocalypse (the months stock of food that I can't seem to stop us from accumulating and which serves to keep my fascination with Doom at bay and prevent us from starving when we forget to go to the store for a while) and throw away things which are two years past their best-by date.

Unfortunately, I did not find the marmalade I was looking for. I did find some other things, including the bag of dried apples that I bought (a pack of two very large bags -- this one was still unopened) a while back after reading a wacky study comparing that and dried prunes and the apples had a way bigger effect than the prunes on a variety of measures -- and the apples were the controls (they were looking for a bone health effect from the prunes, IIRC).

I also went down into the basement and retrieved a cruet (it might be on the large size to be considered a cruet) that I used to use to store home made salad dressing. I'd been thinking it would be nice to have some home made dressing around again that _wasn't_ honey mustard. Dressings tend to run very high in sodium and it isn't that hard to correct the problem if you make it from scratch. The problems lie in (a) having containers for the dressing and (b) having the ingredients for making the dressings. I'm pretty sure there wouldn't be such a huge market for salad dressing if I were the only person having these issues.

What pushed me over the edge is my recent obsession with sesame noodles. Po's BBQ serves a fantastic version, but the Roche Bros supermarket has a decent one in the deli, too. And I'm pretty damn sure they are ridiculously high in sodium. It also seemed like the perfect dish to do my usual number on: reduce the sodium, use organic ingredients, increase the vegetables and decrease the starch. Unfortunately, the noodle selection at Roche Bros is either split in more than one place and I missed part, or they didn't have any of the Asian noodles I would have preferred so I wound up with some whole wheat angel hair. Which, to be fair, turned out okay. I forgot the sugar entirely in the first attempt, but that was easily corrected. I'll keep tinkering.

The cruet I had upstairs from the last attempt at home made non-honey mustard dressing had balsamic vinaigrette dressing in it which, predictably, had stuck to the interior of the glass. At the bottom. *sigh* Poking at it with a chop stick didn't help, even having repeated soak and shake (and overnight soaking, even). So today, I went down to the Ace hardware store (on a bike. It's not _really_ spring out there. It was 34 degrees. That is brisk) to buy a bottle brush, which turned out to be a tube brush. That did the trick.

I also found the shortening a couple days ago and it wasn't past its pull by date. We had biscuits (yum) and chocolate chip cookies, which reminded me that I really haven't yet figured out how to make chocolate chip cookies using freshly ground whole wheat flour . They're okay, but they are Not Right.

Today's project is to use the grass fed ground beef (new at the Roche Bros. I was excited) and the rediscovered cans of black beans (a month or two to go on their dates) to make some chili.

In the back of my head, there's a little movie playing out that I can't seem to control for the life of me. It involves filling the chest freezer downstairs with a bunch of pre-cooked meals. Sunshine really pushes me onto some screwy paths.