June 14, 2007

Operation Freezer Flush

OK, so day one wasn't a challenge at all. I had defrosted a package of ground meat (i buy the big packages on sale and re-package in ziploc baggies) so with half of that, i made us each a hamburger served on a bakery roll, also from the freezer, and we ate that with trader joe's salt & pepper potato chips. They're ok, not as good as the kettle brand, but they were $2 a bag instead of $3.50, so i thought it was worth a try.
I took the other half of the seasoned burger mix and made little meatballs, cooking them in the cast iron pan while it was still hot from dinner. They'll go into a soup of some kind later this week. I think.

Also, today was the day i'd designated to make "The Lunches". See, i make a whole bunch of lunches for Kelly to take to work. I take one or two days every six weeks or so and make a large batch of five or six different entrées. I package those up in plastic containers and fill up the freezer, so Kelly can just grab one in the morning before he leaves for work. If he's clever, he takes one & puts it in the fridge the night before so it takes a little less time to defrost. Usually he forgets.

For a few days before the day of cooking orgy, I nag ask him to think of what he'd like to eat. He's either totally clueless, or absolutely definitive and knows exactly what he wants. The former is 99% of the time, and the latter 1% remaining is usually something that doesn't freeze well or is out of season. He tries tho.

Here is what we came up with, with much coaxing from me:
  • Chicken Cordon Bleu Pasta This is a combo of grilled chicken and seared ham over rotini pasta with mornay.
  • Chhole an Indian dish of chick-peas and onions in a tomato sauce
  • sweet & sour pork over brown rice I do it 'naked style' meaning i just stir-fry the pork instead of breading and deep-frying it. The sauce & veggies are the same.
  • Chili & Cornbread He likes the chili i make with beans, that's bulked up with bulgur... and i just use the standard corn bread recipe from the box.
  • Korma Jasmine rice, dried fruits, nuts, whatever.
  • cashew chicken He has eaten this three times in the past two weeks, and he saw i had cashews so he asked for it again.

Now, the tricky thing is that we came up with this menu LATE LAST WEEK. Before i opened my big mouth and banned grocery shopping. So, yeah. I have taken the chicken, pork & beef out of the freezer to thaw. I'm a little light on veggies, but i bet I can make it work with what's in the freezer or in cans, but i don't have fresh milk or swiss cheese for the mornay sauce. I have powdered milk i use for baking, and there's some kind of cheese in the fridge. I think. Fact is, typing up this post is a lame attempt at procrastinating the cooking.

Actually, that's not entirely true. It's 90ºf here today, but it's breezy. I don't want to heat up the house, so i took the toaster oven outside and i'm roasting the chicken. I also took the rice cooker out there, and have a big batch of brown rice going. Later, I'll haul out the electric burners and the crockpot and whatever else i need to do to get stage one in motion. I <3 appliances="" my="" p="">
I think i mentioned before that the night of the Challenge was the night i finished my baking. I bake for breakfasts. I had enough bananas in the freezer to make three batches of banana bread. I had also made those 30 or so scones. So those are all in the freezer, wrapped in portions and stashed away to be taken out a couple at a time. I'm not sure if i can get those to last two months, but there are also bagels, English muffins and sliced bread.

See what i mean? I always joke that if the grid ever goes down, like in an earthquake, I'd open a neighborhood restaurant. Propane, butane, canned fuel... i've got it covered... but i never realized how much food I'd have at my disposal, too.

Well, i've gotta go get some lunch for myself, I've had a pear/ginger scone, half a peach, a plum and an apricot. Then, before i sat down to type this, i had a little slice of banana bread. That did more to pique my appetite than suppress it.

I'll post about tonight tomorrow. I think that's gonna be the best way to chronicle this, because as this progresses, i'm going to have to stretch my imagination a bit.

Last thing I ate or drank: slice of the banana bread mentioned above :-)

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