Lately things have been a little tight... I know, money is usually tight. But every now and then it gets just a little bit tighter and we have to be extra careful about every penny that we spend as well as every bit of food that we have around. I'm not one to waste (obviously) but when it comes to food, sometimes it happens if I'm not paying close enough attention. You know, the veggies that start going bad before you get to use them, the leftovers that we forget to eat... it happens.
But not right now (if I can help it).
So I found that my kids were looking for more snacky things to eat and my older two kids were going to an acting camp for a few weeks and needed to have lots of food to pack. I also found that without homework to do, my kids needed some direction so as not to drive me totally crazy.
So, I rummaged through the fridge and found that we had a lot of pears that were on the edge of going bad - still good to eat but I knew the kids weren't going to eat them in the state that they were in.
And then I rummaged through my freezer and found some coconut ice cream that no one wanted to finish and I served them together, so that no one could object.
And just because I haven't blogged in forever but have lots of material I'm just waiting to share with you, I will tell you about the garlic, which will give me a reason to talk about the farmers' market.
I had a lot of garlic this morning.
I'm not sure how it happened, but suddenly, there it was. Some free garlic from work. Some garlic gifted to me from a friend who shares his farm share with us now and then when it's too much food for him to eat. A bag of garlic still covered in dirt that a friend harvested and passed on to me weeks ago that I put out of my mind.
So, I sat down and went through it and came up with a plan of action. Sometimes, a plan of action is necessary to avoid food waste. This plan of action involved making pickles, roasting lots of garlic and sharing some with dear friends that were in town for just one night. So I cleaned it all and got ready.
First thing's first though - for pickles I needed more then just garlic. So, off to the farmers' market we went. I LOVE farmer's markets. While I do get my fair share of good local produce from work for a fabulous discount, I can't but help going to farmers' markets and putting my hard earned money directly into the hands of the people who grow/make the food. It really is such a great thing that has cultivated over time. To find a farmers' market near you or near where you might be traveling, go here.
And yes, lobsta.
But I digress.
So, this morning I went to said farmers' market and bought a bunch of pickling cucumbers. Quite a deal really - I think I paid $3 for a pound and a half of pickling cucumbers, and they made 2 jars of pickles for me. Considering how much my family loves pickles, I think that's a fair deal.
before, but I didn't follow much of a recipe this time. My youngest politely asked me not to put dill in them this time (what?) so I obliged. Mainly, it is garlic, onions and cucumbers in a brine of vinegar, sugar and salt. Pretty simple and I'm sure they will be great.
And then, I roasted up some garlic.
As for the rest of my fridge and freezer, it's time to dig through the back once again and eliminate anything that might have been neglected for too long. I will save anything that I can and make something from it. I've already made another crisp since making the pear crisp - an apple cherry crisp. The good thing is that getting creative helps both make use of something that might have been wasted AND makes hungry kids happy... that is, if you make something good.