Monday, June 16, 2008

Buying Too Much and Carrot Soup

I've been wondering lately how people without much money are handling the rise in...everything. The rising price of gas, of milk, of bread, of cereal, of rice, of bell peppers, of onions even. It seems my food costs have gone up about 20% in the past six months. I've been crabbing and kvetching...but no more.

Last night I threw away a produce drawer full of food. A know the one I mean, the one at the bottom of my fridge. I'd gone to the Farmers' Market two Fridays in a row. And bought way too much stuff. Even I knew that at the time. And then I went to Whole Foods. And then I went to WinCo. And after that I did my necessity trips to Safeway for milk and baby food and red wine (which are much cheaper than at other stores...).

In the end, produce never got eaten. It was as though everyone was overwhelmed by the bounty, and when they opened the fridge just thought, Oh. There's nothing in here to eat because I just see a forest of food.

Too bad there aren't any trees.

And so, when the trees began to smell, I finally tossed them.

I made a new rule yesterday. The cupboards and fridge can only be 1/3 full at any given time. I'll do the disaster stash someplace else. I think we don't force ourselves to eat what we have. From now on, I only replenish when we're absolutely empty.

Today for lunch I made carrot soup with all the carrots that made it out of the forest. They were still needing to be eaten, and I had bags and bags of them in baby version, sliced, and shredded (remember, the Bug has two false front teeth and can't bite into his favorite veggie). So I browned some red onion, two cloves of garlic, and a whole mess of carrots with salt, pepper, and a little curry powder. Then I threw in a box of generic chicken broth, a little extra water, and simmered till they were soft. I blended it with an immersion blender (a fantastic baby present!), added about two cups of shredded carrots, let it reduce another 15 minutes, and gave a quick whir again.

After adjusting seasonings, we enjoyed it topped with some plain yogurt left over from our Greek dinner. The Bug, the Baby and I all quite liked it (the Bug and I added more curry powder and I added some red pepper flakes), and then I fed it to my mother-in-law when she arrived mid-afternoon. She wasn't sure about the yogurt, until she had it. I'm pretty sure she enjoyed it, too.

I wouldn't have made it today...had I not seen the carrots waiting patiently. I probably would have just opted for a quick canned soup. I'm glad I saw them!

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