Gathered Fragments: Week 3 of August

Posted by admin on

Friday:  Briefly today.  I made biscuits the other evening with the sour milk.  I used four for wrapping our Pigs n Blankets and I baked off the rest, about 10.  We had two each this morning.  I split them, toasted with butter and cheese.  I also pulled that last bit of Spam from the fridge meat drawer and managed to cut four thin slices.  It was an easy breakfast.

I used the last of the whey to make dough this morning.  I split the dough and used half to make a small loaf for Shabat and a pan of sticky rolls (not so sticky but delicious anyway) for John.

We went out for a late lunch today at our favorite restaurant.  We brought home leftovers which we had for supper.   And our dessert?  We finished off the last three chocolate chip cookies of the batch I made two weeks ago.

To finish off the day I was planning our breakfast for Saturday morning and decided we needed to use the two speckled ripe bananas on the counter.  John loves banana in cereal.  I checked the bit of milk in the fridge and guess what?  Sour.  Ho hum.  To be fair it's been in the fridge about two weeks, so I shouldn't be shocked.  I took out another quart from the freezer to thaw and I'll plan how I might use that sour milk next week. 

Saturday:  We had our cereal and ripe bananas for breakfast.   

For lunch, I made a hamburger veggie pizza.   Leftovers are in the fridge for lunch next week.

Supper tonight will be spaghetti with meat sauce.  I added in the leftover venison and tomato sauce from the pizza making today.  I expect to have a full serving of this leftover and if I do I'll make a spaghetti pie to have later.  If I can make room in the freezer it will be a freezer meal.  If I can't...well we'll be eating spaghetti again this week! later, not quite a serving leftover and John wanted seconds.  I encouraged him to help himself.

Home executive decision today is that I shall try to do a pantry and freezer inventory this week.  I'll just bet I find things to add to my Gathered Fragments plan for another week of pantry/freezer challenge eating.  Must remember to incorporate the perishable items FIRST.  

Sunday:  When we had meet and greet at church before pastor delivered his message, John came back and said "Benny said he's having pancakes after church.  I told him I was gonna ask my wife to make some for lunch!"   Well, consider me asked.  I almost said "Nope" but you know what, John very seldom asks for anything special and never anything that's really fussy to make.  I knew pancakes could be made easily and quickly.  I knew I had some bacon and two small chicken sausages in the fridge that needed to be used and sour milk.  By all means, let me make pancakes for lunch!

I used the Publix mix we bought on vacation which calls for egg and milk and oil.  I will say that it makes excellent pancakes but truly, I can do the same with my all purpose flour.  However, I'm using up this mix in a timely manner and at least it's been a good one.  I made six pancakes.  We ate three and I put three in the fridge for one morning later this week.  While I was getting my egg and milk from the fridge I found a small portion of cut apple that John had put in the fridge yesterday when he was snacking.  I chopped it up and put that in my pancake batter.

Our supper tonight will be a baked chicken and rice dish.  I am using two cups of the broth I made the other day.  I put 1 1/2 quarts in the freezer in two containers.  I have a bit over a quart of broth in the fridge.  

As I was mixing up the pancakes, I glanced at the fruit bowl and noted that a peach was beyond wrinkled.  It was well and truly spoiled.  I checked the fruit bowl and pulled three more peaches that had wrinkled skin.  I pared those and cut them into slices and added to my little quart bag in the freezer.  Now I have enough for a future cobbler.  I don't have room to put up more this year but canned peaches work just as well even if they don't taste quite the same.

Digging about in the freezer and fridge today make me even more determined to get into both and inventory and rearrange them.   I noted I had a small portion of corned beef brisket that is cooked.  I should pull that out to have as sandwich meat this coming week.

Monday:  First of all, that chicken and rice recipe was sooooo good!  I saw a variation of it on Jessica O'Donohue's vlog but she linked to the original here.  Did I make it right by her recipe?  Nope, I didn't.  I will say though that my changes were minor and this was delicious.  The aroma coming from the kitchen had John and I both very hungry by the time it came to the table.   The recipes 

I'll share the recipe on the recipe blog as I made it, but by all means refer to the original one I've linked above.  I will make note here that the extended cooking time is not the best plan for a meal on a hot day.  We had milder weather but the oven still heated up the living area quite a bit and kept the AC coming on more often than it might have.  I'll save this recipe for making in the fall/winter months.

Here's where I started my day today foodwise:  I didn't have any chicken left having used only two small bone in breasts, but I did have about 1 cup of rice left last night.  I'm thinking of maybe using that to make fried rice for lunch one day this week.  We'll see.

At breakfast, I was digging about in the cheese basket and came across about 2 ounces of Swiss cheese that I hadn't used.  It had one tiny mold spot on one side which I trimmed away.  The cheese had grown a little sharp over time.  Perfect to go in our breakfast eggs.  I have to say that Swiss, while I like it well enough in sandwiches or atop the Swiss Chicken recipe, isn't my favorite cheese.  So I'm usually slow to use up even 4 ounces of an 8 ounce block.   Glad to not have to add that to a list of wasted foods this month!

I sorted out my fridge this morning and I noted that I had cherries that I've had for about 5 weeks.  They look fine, but we've so much other fruit on hand and these kept being John doesn't really like fresh cherries.  I took these this afternoon and washed, stemmed, and pitted them.  Then I made my easy Cobbler recipe and used the cherries as the fruit in that dish.

I found 3 chicken nuggets I'd put back for Caleb's meals last week and completely missed and then forgot.   Those will go to the dogs.  Also one single serve of English pea casserole.  To be honest, it wasn't my favorite thing in meals last week and I could tell by the way John ate it it wasn't anywhere near his list of favorite things either.  That too can go to the pups.  At least someone is eating the food we won't eat this week so I don't consider it complete waste as when we toss something into the trash or compost.

I was digging around looking for something for tonight's supper in the deep freeze and sorted out a grocery bag that holds odds and ends of herbs and marinades and such.  I found a baggy with some broken lasagna noodles and meat sauce I'd put up many months ago.  I dumped that in the crockpot along with a can of tomatoes, the last of the bottle of V8 juice, some beef broth, a container of sloppy joe meat, diced onion and green bell pepper.   I'll check it in a little while when it's hot and more thawed and see how that all tastes, but it's meant to be a lasagna 'soup' for this very mild overcast day.  I may add that last bit of grate Parmesan cheese and cream cheese to it but we'll see how it tastes before I start tossing in too many ingredients.

I plan to have this soup for supper tonight with either Cheddar Bay type biscuits or crisp garlic toast strips.

Speaking of Lasagna soup we had pizza and spaghetti for lunch and dinner on Saturday and here I am making Lasagna soup.  Does anyone else get stuck on a flavor profile and just want more of it for a little bit?  Typically I'm that way about Mexican/Tex Mex sorts of flavors but right now it's Italian tomato based items.  

I managed to turn the light on in my pantry, so I guess I should rouse myself to go start that pantry inventory while it's burning.  I wonder what I'll find we need to use from the pantry?

I brought out the bit of corned beef which we'll have for breakfast or lunch (or supper?) one day this week.  It's enough to make a pan of corned beef hash.

Tuesday:  I found one expired item on my pantry shelf...1 jar of apricot preserves.  I'm looking for recipes now for how I might use this.  I don't know why I purchased apricot preserves as we never eat them.  Mystery!

The pantry inventory went very easily, namely because I have finally figured out how my master list should work...and I'm storing foods together in the same categories on the shelves.  I've not perfected this arrangement just yet but I'm working on it.  Hopefully when I get more shelves I can really have it all together and work that much more quickly on this inventory.  

Did my freezer inventory in record time.  The new organization system there seems to be working just fine.  I tossed a container of creamed corn that's been sitting there since 2017 and a very frostbitten portion of squash casserole dated last summer.

Made fried rice from leftovers of Sunday's supper.  I added in a variety of vegetables including some celery and carrot sticks I'd cut up last Thursday night to go with my supper that I didn't finish.  Fried rice is one of those meals that can take on just about whatever you want to throw in and come out tasting yummy.  And it's a great way to stretch what is enough for one into a hearty meal for two (or three or four!).

Bess mentioned bananas this afternoon and suddenly I recalled that I'd put mine in a plastic bag over on the baking center (the coolest) counter.  I'd completely forgotten them.  Guess what's nice and soft now?  I'll be making something with those tomorrow but today was not to be a baking day.   Nor a day to use fragments.  Some days you just use what you stumble upon in the freezer that you think your husband might like.

Wednesday:  I reheated those leftover pancakes from Sunday lunch and added a partial package of smoked beef sausage I'd found in the freezer.  That made a good enough breakfast and it was quick besides.

For lunch today, I made John's favorite tuna pasta salad.  There were really no gathered fragments in this dish but it's such a good one that I wanted to mention it anyway.  It can be a receptacle for fragments and maybe in a way it was.  I used the tail end piece of a stalk of celery chopped fine, and some of the red onion cut for last night's supper and some of the yellow bell pepper I cut up for fried rice yesterday at lunch.  In the past I've added drained and rinsed Chick Peas and the remains of the olives in a jar or baby carrots no one seemed to want to eat.   I might even have added in some radishes or cucumber at some point.  

The 3 very ripe bananas might have become a banana pound cake or banana nut bread.  I opted out of the cake because it takes so long to mix and bake and I'm feeling a bit done in after my morning weeding flower beds.   I planned to make banana nut bread and discovered that I have NO walnuts which I personally deem the only nuts suited to banana bread.  I have pecans and almonds but both lose their toothsome crunchy quality when they are baked into nut bread.  I noted on my page that I could make banana doughnuts and that appealed to me, so I skipped nuts and took out my four doughnut pans and made 2 dozen doughnuts.  When they've cooled a bit I can glaze or sugar them.   They'll be a treat however I finish them off and all from what was really just food that I couldn't eat.  

No clue what we'll have for supper tonight...but I've made two meals a snack (and some for the freezer).

Thursday:  I'm calling this week done.  I have leftovers but not the sort that I can really 'make over' or gather.  I have Tuna Pasta Salad which is best eaten as is, a bit of last night's one skillet supper (Kielbasa, Cabbage, Potatoes and Apples) and that bit of corned beef that is destined to become hash.  I have leftover lasagna soup which is likely going to end up in the dog  pan as I think John is less interested in eating it and I've just had some of it for my lunch while he mows the grass in the rain.   I've made Pimento Cheese.  I am reluctant at this point to cook more of anything until we've gone through at least some of what is on hand, especially since we'll be out for supper this weekend both Saturday and Sunday.

I'm not at all unhappy with how my three weeks of August have come out in using up Fragments.  Just a quick note to say that I need to add four jars of peanut butter, all expiring this month to my 'to be used asap' list. I think peanut butter cookie dough will be a good place to start and maybe making up some homemade buckeyes or Chocolate Peanut butter cups.  I have a mini muffin tin in the shed that will do nicely for making those.  I can always keep them in the freezer.

As for the Apricot Jam...I've got an idea to make a cake of some sort or fruit bars.  We don't need so very many sweets though so perhaps I might glaze a turkey tenderloin with it?  Or chicken wings?  Oh the possibilities!


(C) Terri Cheney


Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published