Wednesday, October 10, 2012

so here's the story

For all of you who have been complaining that you miss my posts , I just want you to know that my life is so boring that there is nothing to write about. Drudge, drudge, drudge.  This is not a complaint; merely a fact.

I spent 3 hours in my mother's apartment this morning attempting, without success, to tidy it and throw out a lifetime's clutter. In the process, I filled a supermarket cart with, among other things,
  • well-made hangers that will replace the thin pieces of wire in my closet that become misshapen as soon as I hang heavy cotton sweaters on them.
  • dozens of neatly folded shopping bags from elegant stores no longer in business. One of them had a receipt from 1997 at the bottom (it was mine, from Eileen Fisher. What was it doing in my mother's closet??)  I have their clones in my garage - what am I saving them for?
  • an old wooden drying rack that I suppose I will take to my studio, where I do not have room.
 Then I went to the supermarket - the most fun I've had all week because it was not my usual one. Imagine how exciting my life is if going to a different market is the high point of my week.

The fridge was empty because on Monday I heard Melissa Clark, the wonderfully inventive NY Times food columnist talking about her new book, Cook This Now.  She periodically forages through her refrigerator for food about to rot and spontaneously creates imaginative dishes with them.
 Inspired by Melissa's creativity, I opened the vegetable drawer when I got home.  Uh. One hairy carrot,
one shriveled parsnip, a quarter of a cabbage about 3 months old, something green that used to be lettuce, half an onion, four ends of celery root that were turning blue, a few limp brown former stalks of celery and a few other unidentifiable items.  Hmmm... The makings of something.
I threw away the green slime, trimmed the black from the cabbage, the blue from the celery root, and peeled/cut up the other unhappy vegetables.  Then, into the pressure cooker with six cups of water, a variety of dried beans from the pantry; bay leaves, other herbs, salt, pepper, garlic.
 I added some tomato paste, pressure-cooked it for 25 minutes and it was SOUP!! Not bad.(which I always maintain is not the same as good). But it will do.
I feel so virtuous -- so far I have had two soup lunches and have two quarts more in the freezer for the winter.  Now I'm on a roll. After my supermarket trip this afternoon to replenish my vegetables and stock up on meat and canned goods, I will try to be more efficient and maybe even cook ahead. Maybe.
We'll see.

Meantime, as I cut up the pristine cauliflower to roast tonight I noticed all those leaves that I normally throw away and thought, "what can I do with these?"  I sliced them, cut up another half-onion, threw them into a pan with olive oil and a tinch of butter, added salt/pepper/a garlic clove and sautéd them together.  It was delicious.

8 comments:

Cathy Bargar said...

Well, you had better luck with your soup than I did with mine - I actually BURNED my soup yesterday! Thought I had taken it off the heat, went out to the garden to plant bulbs, came back in 3 hrs later and immediately had that "oh no!" feeling. Two inches of muck burned to the bottom of the kettle. I scooped out what I could get without churning up the burnt mess, put it in another pan, added a mess of water to re-hydrate it, then it tasted flat and - surprise! - watery, so I started throwing in soy sauce and wine vinegar and cubes of frozen homemade tomato juice and a little hot sauce to try to rescue it. Surprisingly, it came out not as badly as I expected, but by then my heart had turned against it and I sulked. On the positive side, I did whip up a pretty good vegan cornbread to go with. Tasted better tonight, by which time I had gotten over my sulk and was just glad I didn't have to come up with another dinner.

KrisR said...

you made me smile! Especially about the new (to you) supermarket....that's something that would add some flavor to my life too. I don't mind 'drudge' either....

Eva said...

Good not to waste. I try that, too. Means that I have fried bread for lunch 3 times a week because my husband so loves fresh bread and I keep buying new loaves. -- Guess I would have carved more printing stamps out of the celery.

Del said...

A great return to Blogging! I think you are a bit like the saying, "she could read the phone book and it would be spellbinding". Only in your case, "she could write about over-the-hill veggies and be captivating". So happy to have you back.

Nina Marie said...

LOL well at least I'm not the only one that have those kinds of weeks! I do love going to fun yummy supermarkets though! But still I would think that the advice "Take 2 Aspirin - go straight to studio and call me in the morning" is due! Not to mention I would love if you blog out one of those private classes - love when you do that!

Karoda said...

Actually, you're speaking my language. I love exploring new grocery stores...the kind that seem to have their own personalities, such as Trader Joe's, Fresh Market, etc. mix those in with the locally owned one and you have an adventure! Drudgery is going to the same old store, buying the same old things, and cooking the same old way if you ask me.

Robbie said...

Well, you made up for us missing your posts with a fun post!!

Sandy said...

Your vegetable drawer looks like mine, something I don't admit to anybody! I'm forever scraping things and cutting out the really bad parts and disguising things under a layer of red sauce, or sometimes a thick layer of cheese. I have some bean soup in the refrigerator made with Goat's Eye beans (don't ask) and it will probably still be there at Christmas. Don't tell anybody...