Thursday, March 21, 2013

The Only Spring Cleaning I'll Probably Do This Year

Despite being totally exhausted from insane work the past days, I have been having an excellent run on the dinner front. Since we are moving I took inventory of my cupboards to see what crazy ass crap I had stocked up over the years. There is nothing more annoying then getting to moving day, sitting there frantically packing and realizing you probably should have tossed or disposed of half the junk you're stressing over packing in the first place.

So - inventory. If you like cooking, chances are very good that your kitchen, like mine, has an above average share of Weird Ass Stuff for Cooking. A new brand of ketchup in your usual shop - you want to try it. You make the mistake of going to the Asian grocery store without a set list and buy four types of brown sauce, none of which you know what they are. Especially for me, my weakness is for interesting flavorings, pulses, and other long shelf life oddities. Is it normal to have three types of dry lentils in a household with a toddler? Probably not but I couldn't resist the shiny black ones this weekend. Even knowing we were moving and dried beans are heavy!

Once I had tallied up the damage, I went uber-organized; writing up a list of all the weird things (why do I have a pound of sesame seeds?) and then looking up recipes on how to use these things up before we move.  Sunday we had a yellow lentil and pumpkin soup that was fantastic, but made so much I was eating it for days. Less exciting on the third day, let me tell you. Monday I used up one of the packages of insta-dumpling mix we got in Prague last year. Still tasty but very dense those things. Tuesday was the grand coup. I had revisited the little cookbook I got from a cooking class I took ages ago in China. I do a lot of random stir fries that are flavored primarily with whatever combination of Asian condiments takes my fancy that night. They're edible but not memorable. I had a very specific flavor memory of those stir fries in China and so I finally looked up the correct combination of ingredients, bought the one thing I was missing, and bob's your uncle. So satisfying to get that right after such a long time mooning about it! And it was a double coup as I found a recipe to use up sesame seeds: take tofu, cut it into little squares, and roll it in the seeds along with pepper. Actually they were not very nice but I did use up a LOT of sesame seeds.

Next on the chopping block: risotto rice. Risotto is not a child-friendly recipe. Anything that involves you actually having to stay by the stove and manipulate is not compatible with weekday meals where there are tired, hungry small ones underfoot. I think more research is required. 

6 comments:

Renee Michelle Goertzen said...

Isn't there some way to make risotto in the oven? I'm sure it wouldn't be as creamy, but it would still probably taste good, and the preparation would be more toddler-friendly.

Dad said...

Did you and your mother have some sort of mutual astrological phase that caused this uber organizational fit!

alexis said...

dad, maybe mom inspired me after our call!

Lauren said...

Good for you! I moved all sorts of bizarro crap, and I threw away lots too. My grandmother said she was still eating things we left in the freezer months later! So when is the big move? How long do you have to clean out your pantry? When do you leave for the Far east?

Anyway, a friend linked this blog post on my FB wall this week and it is hysterical. I think you will like it too!

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/una-lamarche/how-to-be-a-perfect-parent_b_2888253.html

Enjoy and laugh your butt off!

alexis said...

lol, thanks lauren! we go to vietnam first and then the move. but time enough inbetween to get things packed.

alexis said...

lol - Lauren I just read the link. tee hee!!