Friday, January 7, 2011

Alternate History Bomb Shelter Cooking

Each year, as we enter January, I tend to focus on the following: 1.) Trying to recover from the immense number of buttery baked items consumed in the month of December, and 2.) Attempting to save a little money after the frivolous spending related to the holiday.

The third item I tend to focus on is clearing out the majority of our food reserves that have built up over the past few months. It seems quite plausible that I could buy little to no groceries over the remainder of January and we would be able to eat quite well. However, we would need to somewhat surrender to the will of our freezer and pantry.

So it is that I have decided I will spend as little money as possible on new food and try to dig us out of the ridiculous inventory we have accumulated. In order to make things more interesting I'm going to pretend that we are living in an alternate history where the United States and the Soviet Union engaged in global thermonuclear war at some point in the mid 1980's and we are forced to live out of whatever we have in our bomb shelter.

Avenge me!

After returning to New York on Wednesday I started by using the remaining tagliatelle and frozen shrimp and scallops in the freezer. I also used up some fresh tarragon, leftover green pepper, shallots, and the terrible white wine I opened last week.

I didn't exactly break any new ground with this salad but, hey, balsamic vinegar, beets, and goat cheese just taste good together. Add some pistachios into the mix and it's even better.

Tonight I used the remaining pork tenderloin from Jen's New Year's Eve dinner which I cut into medallions and seared. Then I added it together with some bacon, stewed onion, garlic, kale, carrot, white sweet potato, apple cider vinegar, and whole grain mustard.

For beer I had one of the winter ales from Smuttynose. I like it because it has and old timey woman from the 50's on the label. That's something I look for in a beer.

For dessert I thawed out some of Jen's fantastic lemon bread and rum fruitcake.

So, in winding down, here's a snapshot of most of the items I need to use up from the fridge in the coming month. But let's face it, if I can use them up by the end of 2011 I'll be happy. I left a lot of incidentals out of this list.

  • ground beef
  • chopped turkey from Canadian Thanksgiving
  • flour tortillas
  • coconut cookies
  • macaroni & cheese from Canadian Thanksgiving
  • part of a baguette
  • lemon bread
  • Antiguan run fruitcake
  • cranberry bread
  • fudge
  • Japanese noodles
  • buttermilk bread
  • stuffing from Canadian Thanksgiving
  • bacon
  • oxtail
  • homemade bread crumbs
  • edamame
  • turkey curry
  • rye bagel
  • pumpernickel bread
  • panko
  • cellophane noodles
  • raisins
  • dried cherries
  • dried cranberries
  • dried apricots
  • garbanzo beans
  • canellini beans
  • sardines
  • anchovies
  • sesame seeds
  • pistachios
  • shredded coconut
  • walnuts
  • pecans
  • semolina flour
  • goldenberries
  • forbidden rice
  • candied cherries
  • powdered dried porcini
  • couscous
  • nori
  • quinoa
  • sherry vinegar
  • purple basil vinegar
  • red wine vinegar
  • apple cider vinegar
  • champagne vinegar
  • rice
  • assored dried pastas
  • lasagna noodles
  • tomato paste
  • relish
  • chopped clams
  • clam juice
  • piccalilli
  • cherry jellies for barbecue
  • canned pumpkin
  • pasta sauce
  • croutons
  • assorted flours for making brown bread
  • pickled beets
  • seafood stock
  • beef stock
  • eggs
  • korma sauce
  • sauerkraut
  • dates
  • miso paste
  • cranberries
  • pickled beets (made by Jen's dad)
  • white sweet potato
  • carrots
  • celery
  • cream cheese
  • cocktail sauce
  • sauces, marinades, and condiments too numerous to list

Maybe a target date of 2013 would be more realistic.

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