Monday, December 27, 2010

Happy New Year!

It's been a while.
I've been busy/sluggish. It didn't take much to keep me busy given the sluggishness.

ANYWHO, I'm at a hotel right now next to the Spokane Airport. Very classy. It's supposed to snow and freeze-thaw overnight and I have a flight in the morning so easier to drive today (and cheaper than getting a new car).

I continue my poo-paper research and will post the results of a survey soon.

I did want to update the pantry consumption/no groceries efforts.
Overall, it's going well. Boredom with delicious chilis and bean soups (featuring dehydrated peppers so much like chili except not as thick) has been broken up by the holiday meals offered everywhere and a few trips into town where someone said "can I buy you lunch" and I head for the nearest place offering a nice club sandwich and some SALAD!
I bought groceries to make spiced nuts for holiday giftery...nuts and spices. Other than what I tasted and an over-run on the curry powder and cinnamon, all went to gifts.
I DID buy groceries for the house before the holidays. I am getting a bit sick of having so little fresh food. I grew sprouts but forgot to eat most of them. Oh well. So I bought myself three bags of salad mix and some oranges and an apple. Surprising how good salad tastes after a few weeks without much fresh food.

My pantry food has been delicious. Black bean chili. Salmon with brown rice pilaf (that lasted 4 days...2 meals each day. I was actually sick of salmon). Fresh sourdough bread once or twice a week. Dried apples for snacks. Black bean soup with a tomato base from the tomato powder I made by pureeing tomatoes (all but the cores) and dehydrating the result in fruit leather trays. It turned out really well. There has also been lentil soup and veggie soup in chicken boullion broth. One failure was a veggie soup in a veggie bouillon broth. I knew the bouillon powder was kind of yucky and used it anyway thinking it just needed some spices to fix it up. Wrong. Ended up chucking a pot of soup. Lesson learned. That bouillon will go in the compost. Hope the bugs like it more than I do. I have chicken bouillon left and I'm sure I can make a broth mix from dried veggies too.

I still have 3 small squash and 1 big hubbard squash in the root cellar/front bedroom along with a head or two of elephant garlic (a little fried garlic makes a bean soup really good). Quince are still awaiting jamification but I'm counting on them to give off that gas that ripens things since the small squash are still under ripe. Today I had a pb&j sandwich for supper on homemade sourdough. The jam was strawberry from 2008 and was still excellent though a bit dark in color. On the side I had some butternut squash from the freezer heated up in the hotel's microwave. And 3 oranges (they are clementines, not very big). For lunch I had candy...not smart but delicious. One friend gave me a big bag of various candy and a box of ding dongs for christmas. I have been cutting back on candy and she must have thought it was through cheapness rather than fatness. I was going to share it all at work but the dove milk chocolate thingies filled with peanut butter are too good to share.

So was the ghirradelli bar (spelling?).

And the Ding Dongs.

Hence the appearance that I am wearing the hated jeggings. In fact, I'm just so fat and so bloated with water from the salty holiday dinners that my jeans look like jeggings. I've cleverly disguised my post holiday muffin top (it's more of a cake than a of those giant cakes strippers jump out of) with a baggy sweater. That paired with my aversion to bust-support has me looking like a refugee. Oh well. Tomorrow is another day and they do make bigger pants.

Back to the groceries. I also bought sea salt. I was going to muddle through with the regular table salt, but I can't use that in the neti pot unless I want my sinuses to feel like I just snorted battery acid. And it tastes better in soups and things.

(This hotel computer is next to the entrance to the lounge so the blog post has been previewed by traveling drunks who keep looking over my shoulder on their way into the bar.)

I'm almost out of high-gluten flour and may need to stock up on that in a few weeks. I have not been successful making sourdough with all whole wheat flour as my whole wheat is a lower gluten variety. I wish I had some all purpose flour as well since trying to make a cake or cookies with low-gluten whole wheat and/or high gluten white has not been going well. I've eaten the cakes and cookies, but the texture has not been good enough to share.

So far, eating out of the pantry along with using the freezer-soup-bucket has meant less waste than usual. When nothing is fresh to start with, not much goes bad before it is eaten.

I must say that the dehydrated onions are delicious and rehydrate very well this year. I dried them at 190degs Fahrenheit, much higher than recommended, and until they were very very crisp. They taste like toasted onions and make up a little bit for not getting to fry them for soup base.

OK, the spell check isn't working well on this so pardon bogus spellings.

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