Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Dinner Cost Me Squadoosh

. . .as Steven would like to say. ::grin::

Squadoosh means "nothing" for those that don't know my husband. hee

I know, I know. I haven’t been around. The whole *busy moving, enjoying the new house, sleeping* thing is a drag - but. . .I have been productive.
For one thing we have not ordered out or eaten at a restaurant this entire move. Not even when we lived in the country house temporarily.  We did go out for Squirrel's birthday but that was only because I couldn't cook for her with her at college.
So?  I would say that is a win, because there have been a lot of nights when I just wanted to toss in the towel, scrape change and order a pizza.
Finances and my hard head refused. Sigh. I need a softer head and more money I suppose.
Since that isn't happening anytime soon - let's chat about what I did today. Shall we?
It starts with a backstory:

My beloved Mother In Law always sends me old copies of magazines she subscribes to and I love them for the decorating and recipe ideas they give me. One article I read was excellent in pointing out how much food we, as Americans, throw away every year. Either because it is a wilted head of lettuce or leftovers we *leftover* too long in the fridge.

Everything in that article screamed at me, saying “Janine! This is you! Stop doing this.”

It was.
And I did

I always thought I was pretty good at stretching leftovers. Ask any chicken that has ever been roasted in one of my ovens on a Sunday. That bird is seeing [Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday] Thursday if I have my way - but there were so many other things I would throw out because I just didn’t want to DEAL with them.
No more.
Case in point. My family’s favorite soup is a Spicy Kielbasa, White Bean and Cabbage number I made up. I make it all the time and they love it, but I always want those main ingredients in the house when I do it. I get nervous if I don’t. What if they don’t like it if I use similar, but not the same, ingredients? What if I have to throw it away if because it isn’t perfect?

The angst. ARGH!

Ha! Nope. I kid.

I figure if I am going to throw out any leftovers I don’t want to deal with anyway why not throw it in a pot of soup?
I had what I had. And really? I didn’t want to go grocery shopping and spend money.

Steven had made me kale with ham for my birthday. LOVE! [And why there is any still left is beyond my imagination considering this is like chocolate to me but. . .] Oh and we had Pigs in a Blanket for appetizer on my birthday too. [We call them Boomettes....I digress]
As I like to say in our house,  “I jerryrigged the sh*t out of that [those leftovers].”

With the leftover kale and mini weinies from Monday ... I give you....
I had the ham in the kale along with the Lil smokies to replace the Kielbasa.
I used the can of cannelli beans [that has apparently made the trek all the way from Sterling?] in place of raw navy beans.
I tossed the kale in to replicate the cabbage.
I used ground ginger instead of fresh.
Jarred garlic because the season is over and I used up all my fresh about a month ago.
And I doctored a package of vegetable broth with water to use in lieu of chicken broth I normally have.
The rest of the ingredients I always have handy.
Celery, onion, jalapeno, cumin, salt, pepper...etc.

My house smells so good. Hee.
Hope you are all doing well. Seems to be some tough times out there in y'all's ponds. I am trying to stay connected and we should have full on internet tomorrow, with a phone and such by Sunday.
Please know we are thinking and praying for all of you. Take care. Much love and hugs, xo Janine





Southhamsdarling said...

Hi dear Janine. My goodness me, you are a superb advert for 'what to do with your leftovers'! An example to us all! I made some soup today with things I had in the fridge = some turnip, carrots, peppers, courgettes - hopefully it will taste ok! Most people when they move house, have takeaways for a few days, so you have done really well. All I'm hoping is that you are not overdoing things my friend. I'm sure you are being sensible (???!!!) and resting when you can. Sending hugs your way x

CWMartin said...

Brings back memories of mom or dad cooking a massive roast, eating on it for two or three days, then using the old hand-crank meat grinder to turn it into sandwich spread. Damn, now I'm hungry!

lotta joy said...

You are the only person other than me that has ever mentioned canelli beans! I guess that means something...I dunno what.

Tonight I fixed butter bean soup, tossed in leftover carrots and some kale. It was THAT good. Also made cornbread and used up the last of the honey in the mix. REAL good.

Linda said...

Navy beans, kale, and kielbasa? I will have to try that but substitute something for kielbasa that I never buy. Now about a free boneless ham instead? I might just give this a try this winter.

I hate throwing something out. I eat it, never put it in something else. However, I have trouble bending to see what is below the top shelf and sometimes waste something. I kick myself for doing that!

Joe Sixtop said...

I saw sportscenter at work today said NATS have slim but realistic chance at 2nd wild card so don't give up and I eat more Kale than (the most Kale-consuming entity imaginable) and I feel GREAT and good luck with Nats until y'all face the almighty Saint Louis Cardinals!

Gypsy said...

I use canneli beans in my minestrone, which I'm going to make the first week I'm back in Sacramento. I love leftovers and rarely have to throw anything away.

Jeannie said...

I'm sorry I missed your birthday. I haven't had a chance to check in with blogs much lately.

I admire your ability to turn leftovers into soup. I suppose we do much the same when we have a chicken (or other) carcass but not so much with other leftovers - unless it's throwing the veggies in with the broth from the chicken. Most leftovers get eaten as is for lunch.

I bought some kale but I surely did not fix it right because it was awful - and I'm a veggie lover! I really must have done it wrong OR I picked a lousy bunch.

I would not have done so well cooking during a move even though I too rarely eat out or get take out either.

ellen abbott said...

All leftovers, unless there is enough for two servings, get put in a freezer container. When it's full, we have soup. Very little food gets thrown out around here.

Anonymous said...

I am the QUEEN of leftovers, but just for me - my husband won't touch them - even leftover chili - wtf?!

So happy you are loving life Janine! Hugs and love!

Celia said...

We do what we have to do to keep to that family budget. Good for you being disciplined enough to stick to it.

Diane Laney Fitzpatrick said...

You are the queen of adaptation. :)

Anonymous said...

I went thrifting today with my daughter and Mom - so many snowmen, I kept thinking of you! :D

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