Saturday, August 25, 2012
Saturday Pantry Suggestions
This week I've been pondering the Pantry Lifestyle more as I have been using what I have in my pantry combined with receiving items from a couple food pantries. It struck me that receiving food from any food pantry is much like a low income version of Chopped. :)
If you haven't seen Chopped on The Food Channel, the contestants are given a mystery box of food from which they must create a delicious dish. However easy it may seem to the viewer... it is not in real life.
In both cases, however, the person who succeeds is the one who has a combination of experience and creativity. Which comes in handy when given food not of their choice. Having said that... it can also be a fun challenge.
For instance, hubby brought home a pound of polish kielbasa (that was a first) last week. Half of it went into making lentil soup. The second half of the kielbasa was boiled later in the week with onions, carrots, and potatoes and then a layer of cabbage added on top to be steamed until tender.
Hubby also brought home a restaurant size bag of cole slaw veggies. I sauteed them in a little veggie oil-butter mixture until they were nicely cooked... two nights in a row. Once again thinking outside the box as there was no way we could eat a gallon of cole slaw but you know how much veggies like that shrink when you cook them.
Our attitude affects everything, doesn't it? I have to see using food pantry food as a fun challenge instead of stomping my feet and pouting that I don't have enough income to actually fill a cart in my favorite grocery store.
I went to the food pantry with my husband last month as we had an errand to run on the way home. I admit to feeling sad when I am there, at times thinking of the years that went to education and hubby's work ethic... why would God allow us at this season of life to be waiting in line with people obviously on drugs (although most people at the food pantries these days are those who had jobs but have hit hard economic times).
Why? Because we said "use us where you want us". For some reason, God chose not to heal hubby physically but instead He healed emotionally and spiritually. My husband is even on a committee to help improve the food pantries in the county.
There may come a day when your ability to go to the grocery store is limited due to job loss, the affect of a Middle East war on transportation costs in this country (most food travels 1,000+ miles from where it was raised), illness, weather, or a variety of circumstances. I can assure you it is much better to choose items from your own pantry than one where someone else has chosen the options for you.
As you stock your pantry with what God has provided (with a thankful heart no matter how much or how little is in your kitchen), it may also be fun to give yourself a Chopped challenge once in awhile.
Instead of immediately heading to the grocery store when the larder is low... what creative meal can you put on the table with what you have on hand? It can be a fun challenge!
This Week at My House
I was dealing with illness and nausea for much of the week so I played hooky with household chores and cooking (there was leftover lentil soup for dinner) on Friday to spend the morning with my friend, Linda.
She sent me home with onions and tomatoes from their garden. What a gift, if you are a gardener (whose veggies were not destroyed in a drought)... fresh produce is so appreciated by your friends. Unless they are the Twinkies and Ding Dongs type. ;)
I added a couple items to my Pantry Wish List this week as I thought of them..
I only use pimentos for potato salad but when I don't have them, the potato salad doesn't taste (or look) the same! I was reminded of them this week when I realized I no longer had any on the pantry shelves!
I also decided to add garlic infused olive oil to the list (I know Target has it in my area). I already use lemon infused oil. It was on the cooking show 5 Ingredient Fix where Claire Robinson said she relies heavily on the infused oils to add flavor to dishes. What a great idea for the pantry!
Yes... I know you can make your own garlic infused oil and if I ever grow my own garlic (which is the plan), I will definitely do so. However, it has to be refrigerated. This is one of those areas when a slightly processed food is better for the pantry (you will rarely hear me say that). ;)
I read recently that Dr. Weil is teaching old fashioned lard is actually not bad for you as originally assumed. I haven't had a chance to read further, has anyone else?
It reminds me of coconut oil... we were taught in the early days of the natural food movement to avoid it like the plague because it was solid at room temperature. Now we know it is actually good for you.
Also, we all know now that butter is easily assimilated by the body and the former "health food" margarine is horrible for you. (Why is it that I can't write the word assimilated without thinking of the Borg?)
Of course, once I found out chocolate was good for you... all was right with the world.