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What to cook when cupboard’s bare?

December 6th, 2007 · 4 Comments · Food preparation

I don’t mind grocery shopping, but somehow I haven’t kept up lately. My cupboard is nearly bare, and it may be better stocked than my refrigerator. I guess I’ve been busy, since I’ve neglected the blog, too.

I’m out of cereal and peanut butter, vegetables and lettuce. I’m down to one egg, about 1/2 cup milk, a couple of small bits of moldy cheese, one carrot, and a handful of greens past their prime. The freezer holds bread, frozen stock, a frozen chicken and some frozen, roasted (local, pastured) chuck roast. (There are more bottles of water to reduce energy consumption in my fridge and freezer than there is food.)
These are not the makings of a good meal, at least not yet. I can’t make my usual fall-back meals: cereal, scrambled eggs and toast, soup—at least not soup with much in the way of vegetables.

I thought I’d make a lentil soup; I seem to have plenty of beans, and I have half an onion. But I like to include potatoes, which I have none of, except a couple of sweet potatoes, along with carrots. Maybe I’ll just do onion, carrot (singular), lentils, and canned tomatoes plus herbs. That might work.

I suppose I could make some kind of beef-noodle soup, with one diced carrot and the wilted greens. I’ve never made sweet potato soup; maybe I’ll look into that.

Out my window, snow makes neighbor’s house look fogged inOf course, I could go to the grocery store, but did I mention it’s snowing? Yes, our first real snowfall of the year is coming right down, which adds to my interest in soup. I have certain rules about shopping and snow: 1) Never shop when snow or ice is predicted within 12 hours (such forecasts bring people into stores as if supplies will never arrive again), and 2) never drive if I can avoid it while snow is falling. That’s when it’s the slickest.

See the snow flakes?Fortunately, I’m resourceful. Hmm. Maybe a pasta e fagioli soup? I could substitute great northerns for cannellini, and one of my cheese lumps is Parmesan, which is barely moldy. Too bad there’s no salad. Yes, I’ll think of something; I won’t be going to the store.

What do you make when the cupboard’s bare?

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4 Comments so far ↓

  • Jennifer (Baklava Queen)

    I know what you mean, Janet… I’ve been facing that this week, with snow and a lingering respiratory infection on top of it. I got lucky last night and realized that not only did I still have kale growing on the windowsill, but a stash of sweet potatoes, too! So I ended up with a quick saute of garlic, thinly sliced sweet potato, shredded kale, and a dash of raspberry vinegar. Made me feel so much better… but I do need to restock on other staples this weekend!

  • Laura

    Right there with you. Between traveling to see my grandmother and everything else I haven’t been to the farmers market or the “good” grocery store in more than 3 weeks. We’re eating the dreggs of what’s left. Canned soup, frozen veggies, eggs. Good thing I have time to do some shopping tomorrow!

  • Janet Majure

    Good to know I’m not alone! I wound up making a lentil soup of lentils, a little onion, garlic, the one carrot and some green peppers I’d forgotten I’d chopped up and put in the freezer. Then I threw in some dried herbs and a can of tomatoes. It was OK, but kind of boring. When I heated it up for lunch today, I added about 2 tablespoons of salsa, which made it much tastier. I also got out to the store (streets are cleared after a final snowfall of about 2.5 inches) and socked in a bunch of produce, milk, eggs, cereal. Guess I’m good for another week, which is a good thing, with freezing rain (YUCK!) forecast for tomorrow.

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