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Use It or Lose It

July 25, 2013

Talk about mixed blessings. My last story on All Over Albany was all about what to eat when it’s brutally hot outside, and it happened to run the week the weather broke. Now it’s delightful in the Capital Region, which renders my recommendation useless. On the plus side, we turned off the air conditioning, drove around with the windows open, and even enjoyed some time outdoors.

It was even cool enough to do all the cooking that has piled up over the last couple of weeks.

Here’s the thing. With the move, we’ve been working on emptying out the pantry in addition to the liquor cabinet and the chest freezer. And in one marathon cooking session I used up all the sweet potatoes, canned diced tomatoes, and semolina flour. I also made a considerable dent in the eggs, parm-reg and ricotta.

I can’t seem to find the comment in the archive. But there was someone who had wondered why we’re simply not just moving our comestibles down to Princeton. They must not have used a question mark. But it’s a good question. And really, there are many answers.

Logistical
The move is tricky. We need to be out of our house in a week (at the end of July). However, our apartment in New Jersey won’t be available until the beginning of September. Half of our stuff will be stored locally for the year. The other half will be hauled down to Pennsylvania where it will sit in a garage for a month before it gets to the Garden State.

The foods that are sitting around on our shelves have been doing so for a while. Many of them would deteriorate further in such storage conditions. And Mrs. Fussy is concerned about things like dried grains attracting vermin. That wouldn’t be pretty either.

Ideological
Part of me wants to make a clean break. I don’t want to be bogged down with the things that I haven’t used for years in Albany. What are the chances that I’ll actually use them once I’m in New Jersey? The answer is slim-to-none.

Sometimes I need a good kick in the ass to get things done. This is why I always work better when I’m under deadline pressure. Without something hanging over my head, these foodstuffs would certainly continue to languish on the shelf.

Practical
We need to eat. And it makes sense instead of buying new food to eat what we’ve got. And we’ve got a lot. The trick is just figuring out how to make all of the pieces go into reasonably well balanced meals.

Not that I’ve stopped buying food. Actually, that’s my problem. I can’t say no to new and interesting things to eat. Maybe I’m a food hoarder? Because we still haven’t made the fish sticks from fin that are now gleefully in my possession. After almost a week of having Rolf’s teawurst in my fridge, just last night I finally took my first taste of the forbidden meat butter (on some tasted Rockhill Bake House rye). And when I discovered that Stewart’s had Cappiello ricotta, I simply had to have some.

Thankfully just last night I made it into some dumplings with a bit of saffron, some Stewart’s eggs and the parm-reg. With luck I’ll get to eat them tonight.

If the dish works out, it will be a miracle. So will the oven roasted tomatoes. I’ve only done them with farm fresh specimens in the past. But now I’m testing a hypothesis, mostly because I had two cans of diced tomatoes just sitting on the shelf. Would the same technique work for drying and intensifying the tomato flavor?

I have no idea. But how bad can it be? And even if it’s bad, that’s still two fewer cans to pack.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Jeff permalink
    July 25, 2013 9:31 am

    When my parents moved to Florida they carried all of the spices they had in their kitchen since their marriage 45 years ago. Yeah, gross. They all pretty much taste the same at this point I’m sure…

  2. July 25, 2013 1:02 pm

    I find it funny… Didn’ you, in your early days locally, act all aghast at my love for Stewart’s? Now you are a true believer just like me. The world could learn a lot from concept of Stewart’s.

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