Saturday, March 02, 2019
Living the Pantry Lifestyle - Q and A on Comments (not just the pantry)
I had some great questions and comments in the past few weeks so today I will comment... on comments.
1) I stopped using taco seasoning packages a long time ago because my husband and children are very sensitive to MSG. I made up my own seasoning mix (lots of recipes available online) for awhile. Then when I decided to cook more like great grandmother used to cook, I realized she most likely just added the seasonings individually.
So I started adding about a teaspoon of sea salt, half a teaspoon of cumin (not my husband's favorite spice or I would add a teaspoon), a tablespoon or so of chili powder, a teaspoon or more of onion powder, and sometimes a teeny tiny pinch of red pepper flakes. I add them when browning the meat so it all gets nicely seasoned.
If I'm not going to use all of it at that time, I set aside about half to freeze for later use. Otherwise, I add about half a jar of mild salsa and saute a bit (more salsa if needed). This mixture works for tacos, taco salad, nachos, etc. Of course, homegrown tomatoes and peppers can be used but I always have salsa on the pantry shelf.
2) Now that I have had to cut down on sugar in baking, it seems like most of the old recipes did have a great deal of sugar. I have been able to cut down on quick breads and such as well as pies but I'm always looking for more ways to lessen sugar. So thank you!
Did you see the episode of The Great British Bake Off where the contestants had to make "American" pies? Paul Hollywood mentioned that he usually does not like them because they are too sweet.
3) I love sauteed cabbage and I have cabbage in the refrigerator now to use this week! It always reminds me of my mother because she made cabbage a lot, except she mostly boiled it. She was of a generation who seemed to think veggies were alive and had to be simmered for hours to be edible. ;)
One of the meals I used to make a lot was my Boiled Midwestern Dinner (changed to "Midwestern" when my New England son-in-law reminded me smoked sausage or kielbasa was not in the original recipe). I make it with potatoes, carrots (sometimes), the smoked sausage or kielbasa laid out on top of those, and thick wedges of cabbage on top of the layers. Yes, I stopped making it a lot when I became bored with it, too. Maybe it is time to add back.
Another cabbage dish I make is colcannon and I always make it for St. Patrick's Day (which is coming up!). Some recipes call for cabbage and others for kale. I will always choose cabbage over kale for anything. I started making it for St. Pat's day as a tradition but it is my husband's favorite way of eating cabbage so I make it more often now.
4) The easiest way to deepen the pantry is to keep buying an extra can or jar or bottle, etc. for the pantry shelves and not to use up everything in your pantry except in an emergency. Add the newest items to the back of the shelf, bringing the oldest items forward and you should be able to use everything before it goes bad. If you are only storing what you eat or use regularly.
You may remember that I made the mistake of letting my husband stock the pantry and we ended up with things going bad because he accepted canned goods from food pantries that we didn't eat... just in case we needed it. Thankfully, we don't have to go to food pantries now (once I got off of Obamacare but that is a nightmare I want to forget) and I stock most of the pantry while he stocks a few items only he uses for his special diet.
Non Pantry Related
5) I don't put in my planner those things I do everyday like cooking and dishes. Unless it is something unusual like remembering to make soup stock from leftovers. I do write down those things done only once or twice a week. Of course, appointments and special days are written down (Holidays, birthdays, etc.).
Sometimes when I feel like not much was accomplished in the past week, I can look at the planner and realize I actually did do more than I remembered. It also reminds me of things I forgot to do that can be put on next week's pages.
6) I love Eugene Peterson's Long Obedience in the Same Direction, too. I have it on my Kindle, where I can bring up where I last stopped reading. It is the kind of book that is easy to take in short reading times and come back to later.
I have the review reader's copy of As Kingfishers Catch Fire that I find extremely good. I know he apparently said he supported same sex marriage (as does his denomination) later in life but then he retracted that statement and said he continued to believe the Biblical view of marriage. Who knows? Another reason to remember that even our favorite Christian authors are not perfect so we must use discernment. The good stuff is still quite good.
7) I was asked about the Illustrated Larkrise to Candleford and completely forgot about it until writing this post. This is a lovely abridged edition that is illustrated with scenes from that era in England and various colorful flora and fauna.
Remember that the TV show is based on this book, which is a nonfiction account of the author's growing up in an era she knew was quickly passing. Think more Gladys Taber writing than a fictional account. There are regular non-illustrated and non-abridged versions available but this one is fun to read. It does take one back to another time, when even the poor could make a life that is good.
Mentioned in this Blog Post
Long Obedience in the Same Direction... here.
As Kingfishers Catch Fire... here. (This is for the hardback version, the paperback version is available for preorder.)
Illustrated Larkrise to Candleford... here. (Third Party)
Disclaimer: Most links to Amazon.com are Associate links.
Image: Shady Patio; Allposters.com (we can only dream of such color in the North)