Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Stop Me Before I Cook Again

Because I've got time.  My wanderings have been curtailed.  The weather is currently too icky for yard work. And I have the supplies despite some sections of our grocery stores looking like we've been hit by a plague of locusts.

I have to say the stores have done a good job of keeping the produce stocked; that's the most important section of the store to me.  Meat, currently minimally available, tends to be an occasional thing for me and rarely the center of the meal.   I'd rather have dishes like South Louisiana White Beans and Rice.

Various combinations of veggies, beans, pasta and rice are my staple meals and since I had stocks of  pasta, rice and beans already, as well as a wide variety of spices, every package of meat in my freezer can be extended into multiple meals.

And then there's the eggs from the lady down the road.  Truly fresh, free range,  and cheap - the chickens are her pets and the eggs are just a side benefit that allows her to keep a large variety of breeds just for fun.  Green eggs, brown eggs, blue eggs, white eggs - you never know exactly what you are going to get in the carton but they all taste just fine.

I'm also quite content with completely vegetarian meals.   One of my Christmas presents this year was an Instant Pot, and I am in love with it.  Yes, it's just an fancified pressure cooker, but if I'd known how much easier and cheaper it makes cooking things like dried beans I would have had a pressure cooker long ago.   Canned beans are more expensive, but cooking the dried beans can be a time consuming chore that starts with trying to remember to pre-soak them and sometimes ends with scorched beans because you forgot you've had them boiling on the stove top forever and the liquid has boiled off.  With the Instant Pot you just throw them in with water, set the time, and then go do whatever.

Cook some dried chick peas, throw them into a vegetable dish like Spicy Garlic Eggplant (which is food crack), toss it over pasta or rice and voila! A complete meal.

Thing is, there's just me.  Each dish I make is usually four meals worth.  It's not that I really HAVE to cook all that much.  But I like to cook and I like to try new recipes.  And the recent requirement to stick closer to home has led to more cooking.  And more cooking.  I'm freezing portions for the future. The upstairs freezer is filling up.  I'm not conscious of any particular paranoia about actual food shortages, but the anxiety and patches of empty shelves must be affecting me a little:  when I'm in the grocery store I find myself looking at food I don't need yet and thinking things like "Oooooo, fresh broccoli!  And cheddar cheese!  I can make a quinoa, broccoli, and cheese casserole!"  So I buy the broccoli and, being fresh, it has to be cooked soon.

Which leaves all the processed foods for everybody else.  And they've scarfed most of that up.  I stick my head around into aisles just to see what's there and what's not and I'm seeing patterns.  Processed stuff, with the exception of margarine, is largely gone.  Apparently people here have not fallen for the "I can't believe it's not butter!" ads because you can get margarine but a stick of butter is not to be found.  Canned vegetables are largely gone with one exception, and it made me laugh:  there's plenty of beets.  That's one of only a couple canned vegetables that I like, particularly pickled, and there's still plenty on the shelves for me.

Oh, if you were wondering, I already had plenty of toilet paper before the insanity started.  We had a little snow problem during the 2009-2010 Winter.  At one point it was 3 weeks before I was able to get off the Mountain.  You better believe I had a good stock of tp before the next December, and since the mice have never bothered it I've just left it alone.  I'm still good for weeks.

Now excuse me, I've got broccoli to chop up for the casserole.  The yogurt won't come out of the maker for 3 more hours, but I'm thinking of baking bread this evening as well.

It's a good thing the pup and I walk a lot or I'd be fat as a pig by the time they let me roam the world freely again.


  1. I usually fix four portions on Saturday and Sunday, that gives me leftovers for the next week, and by then I'm TIRED of whatever I fixed the week before... LOL

  2. Drat. My cancer treatments have destroyed my sense of taste, or I'd be all over these recipes. Maybe in a month or two, when it returns.