Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Rummaging in the Refrigerator

It really all started with Josie saying she was tired of chicken, and that Adam was going to, hopefully, (if it didn’t keep raining) grill some good burgers. This put hamburgers into my mind – not new ones, but the ones leftover from the previous night’s supper. Nether Richard nor I had been terribly impressed with the quality of the meat, so I wasn’t looking forward to eating them reheated “au natural.”

It was a chili kind of day, one of those damp days where, whatever the thermometer says the temperature is, your toes don’t believe it. Time to take out the chili ingredients, which, in my case almost never starts with a trip to the grocery store. It usually starts with rummaging through the refrigerator to see what leftovers I can re-imagine as a new dish, in this case it started with those hamburger patties.

As I rummaged, I found a bit of a jar of salsa, several onions that had long-since spouted green tops, some chopped jalapenos that I had frozen several months ago, and a few cloves of garlic that were getting a bit past their prime. I also found two beautiful, crisp bell peppers, one yellow and one orange that Richard had bought for his sumptuous salad-making.

I did want some bell pepper in the chili, but I had two challenges in using these peppers. The first is that these peppers probably cost as much as everything else in my refrigerator combined. The second is that Richard would have to drive a minimum of twenty-three miles each way to replace them. Our local grocery store (only eleven mile away – one way) doesn’t carry such “exotic” ingredients. I opted for a jar of roasted red peppers from our pantry.

It was a bit of a challenge unearthing all these ingredients, as both our refrigerator and freezer are regular sources of avalanche activity. But, in these matters, I’m much braver than Richard; and a woman’s sometimes got to have mercy on her man. The only thing I asked of him is that he fetch the tomatoes that I had canned last summer.

He was happy to do so, and inquired as to how many jars I needed and where he would find them. He was a bit incredulous when I told him to look under our bed -- until I informed him that the reason our marriage was so fruitful is because we sleep on top of so many of the fruits of our labors. At this point, he just went to get the tomatoes, but still looked surprised that they were actually where I said they’d be.

While I was busy stirring my witch’s brew, Deborah called asking which day we wanted her and Charlie to come over for dinner. It seems that Richard had invited them over, but didn’t give them a date. How nice that I was already cooking enough for company (like I even know how to cook for only two.)

The chili got Charlie’s seal of approval, but since Deborah prefers not to eat meat I did a bit more rummaging and came up with the ingredients for spaghetti squash tossed with sun dried tomatoes, a bit of feta cheese and a sprinkle of sunflower seeds. We all loved Richard’s salad, and had a grand old time talking at our table.
See what can happen when we’re open to anything…

1 comment:

  1. What's more amazing than seeing what happens when we're open is seeing what happens when we make the most of what we've already got and then share the bounty. Who knew scraps & bits chili could be so profound?