We have entered the phase of vacation preparations called "Eating Down the House", which means that we have to make do with what is here, and not buy anything new to eat this week. Otherwise, I will come home to a fridge full of slimy, furry lumps of yuck, that smell so bad the cat needs therapy.
It's not so bad in the beginning, we can make very nice dinners out of what we've got. By the end of the week, it's getting a bit more challenging. But by today, two days before we go, it's just awful....tonight I have to make dinner out of two beets, a rather dodgy tomato, some leftover Fettucine Alfredo and molasses. Toby is getting nervous, because he knows his tuna stash is next on the menu.
Thing 2 complained that there is nothing to eat in the house, and I replied "I know!
That's why we are getting out of here!"
I have a secret to tell you: I've been trying to save money on groceries (so I can spend it in France!!) and so the rest of my family doesn't know it, but we've been eating down the house for weeks! They just thought I was serving terrible food!
Now, I know full well that cheap food does not mean bad food, far from it; it's not all lobster and steak at Chez Loudshoes usually anyway. But we have been eating a lot of pasta and beans the last month or two, and I think they might be on to me. The Mister asked if we could have something with "real meat" in it sometime soon.
I think he is referring to the last batch of chili I made a few weeks ago. (Chili is one of Thing 2's and the Mister's favorites, and although I can take it or leave it, it is pretty easy to make in the crock pot and the leftovers are easy to re-package and sell as a whole different meal somewhere down the line. )
I put in some leftover quinoa I had cooked up earlier in the week. Quinoa is a grain, sort of rice-like, that is supposed to be a miracle of nutrition and the current darling of the health-food disciples. I like it because it's filling and cheap, and I can make a salad for lunch out of it in about 10 minutes flat.
Anyway, it has bit of chew to it, and since I had about a cup leftover sitting in the fridge, I plopped that in the chili.....who's going to notice?
Well, quinoa has a distinctive little white "C" shaped bit in it, that does not disappear when you put it in chili. The Mister came upstairs from eating his lunch at work and asked if I had put anything new in this batch, and I confessed that I had tried to stretch it a bit with the quinoa. He said he thought it might have had little worms in it. But, and here's the bit I really like, he kept eating it anyway. Even though he thought it was full of little white worms.
I swear to God, that man will truly eat anything.
At some point before that, I tried to make another crock-pot meal called "Chili Mac" which is sort of a cross between chili and macaroni and cheese. Again, cheap, filling and right up my family's oh-so-sophisticated alley. It didn't turn out quite as the cookbook promised; it was a bit gloppier than expected and not terribly tasty. The Mister ate two bowls of it and froze the rest for lunches, having christened it "BARFY" for identification purposes.
Undaunted, I tried an Indian inspired crock-pot dish called "Dal", which is lentils and coconut milk and spices served over rice....again, cheap and filling and sounds like it could be good. Again, not so much....a bit loose and bland, this was christened "INDIAN BARFY" and frozen for future use.
And yes, we've eaten the rest of those, too.
Beggars can't be choosers.