Monday, May 17, 2010

At Least It's Not Casserole of Meat

What do you get when you cross a chicken pot pie with a shepherd’s pie? Answer: my dinner. The second week of the escapades is coming to a close, and I’m already beginning to run out of creativity and imagination to turn my questionable options into gourmet fare. I could’ve eaten a can of black-eyed peas. Just by itself. But where’s the fun in that? I’m sure no one would want to read about that. I have a cookbook that was given to me by my grandmother, and it includes such post-War classics as “Casserole of Meat”. I’m hardly down to the dregs of my pantry, but I’m getting very bored with what’s available. This is why I made tonight’s version of Casserole of Meat. Or, as I like to call it, a Salute to the Freezer. I heated some of my frozen diced chicken, tossed in some frozen peas and frozen mixed vegetables, added half a can of cream of chicken soup, then topped it all with leftover instant mashed potatoes and baked it until bubbly. As odd as it was, my Salute to the Freezer was better than some restaurant meals that I’ve had. I still have half a vat of minestrone in my refrigerator, so I am loathe to make another dish that will involve a week’s worth of leftovers. Instead, I made a single serving of chicken pot-herd’s pie.

When I started the escapades two weeks ago (!), I thought this would be a lot easier. I said to myself, “I have such a variety in my pantry that I can have something new all the time, I won’t get tired of it, and it will go quickly.” Ha! Who was I kidding? LA was in the same predicament , in that he and I had purchased many of our packaged meals at the same time. He told me over the weekend that he couldn’t stand another boxed meal. Last night, my dinner was Apple Jacks. I did have milk with them, but that still constituted my dinner. It was a welcome change from what I typically consume. I felt like I might actually be intaking vitamins.

I have worked very hard up to this point to stick with my escapades. I resist temptation whenever possible. In the checkout line at the supermarket, LA was eyeing a box of julienne potatoes, and I ordered him to step away. For the sake of our sanity, if not our health, we cannot go down the path of the boxed food again! We must take the road less travelled, for it will make all the difference! My Salute to the Freezer was a welcome break in the monotony of dried starch. Ok, it did have the potatoes on top, but they were remnants of the last package, so I won’t have to eat those again! As determined as I believed myself to be at the beginning of the escapades, I am starting to reconsider. Two additional farmer’s markets will be opening this week. I don’t know that I’ll be able to handle three days of seeing and smelling fresh fruits and vegetables only to come home to Kraft dinner. I want to stay strong. I want to succeed. I want to eat something that tastes good! I think this may be a losing battle. To my credit, I am eating at home much more often and saving money. So I guess I’m still winning. I may lose the battle of the pantry, but I still win, because I will be eating foods that are fresh, delicious, and, best of all, homemade.

FYI, the Piedmont Farmer’s Market on Winecoff School Rd. will now be open on Tuesdays from 4-7pm, as well as Saturday morning. The NC Research Campus Farmer’s Market begins this week and will be held on Thursdays from 4-7pm, across from the Kannapolis train station. I’ll be on Winecoff School Rd. tomorrow night. Tomorrow’s post will be full of photos and I will regale you with stories of fresh produce. It should be a much more interesting post. A bientot!

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