Filed under: Backyard Chickens, Food Storage, Food Waste, Frugality, Peak Oil, Reducing Waste, Urban Living | Tags: beans, food, frugal, the good life
Some of you know that my hubby is from England, but some of you also know that I’m originally from Alabama, and where I’m from, ‘Hodge Podge’ never referred to food, but to a confused mixture of things. Seems his use of the word is perfect for leftovers though, right matey?
It’s the last day of January, and my last day of blogging about food~at least for now. I’m not feeling too well this evening, but luckily, I’d managed to put together Pad Thai for supper tonight before I started feeling icky, and coupled with a slice of homemade bread, it was wonderful. Putting a good meal on the table is really easy though when you have “Hodge Podge”, which is Michael’s word for ‘cleaning out the refrigerator and making a meal of it.’ For some reason, I think it sounds more appetizing to call it Hodge Podge, rather than ‘leftovers’~ I mean you KNOW what your leftovers were from supper last night, but Hodge Podge, well, you just never can tell! Whether it’s a few leftover potatoes or polenta, a bit of beans or greens, a cup of pasta topped with parmesan cream or pesto, a crust of bread, or half a jar of fruit, it doesn’t matter whether it ‘goes together’ or not, it’s always an eating adventure to have Hodge Podge and a good way to clean out the frig and resist the siren call to ‘eat out’.
But tonight, we’re going to talk about the southern version of this term too, because I have a little of this and a little of that I wanted to share with you, and since none of it is seemingly related, I’ll call it Hodge Podge too:
1. My C.O.O.P. cofounder friend Emily and I will be offering a new ‘Backyard Henkeeping’ class this coming Saturday morning, Feb. 2nd, at Mize Farm and Garden supply in Johnson City. The class will be from 10 to noon and if you stay til the second hour, you’ll receive a $5 off voucher for anything in the store! Please call to preregister: 434-1800
2. Did you know that you can rehydrate and plump dried plums (aka prunes) by simmering them in a little pan of water for 5 or 10 minutes? They are sooo good that way!
3. Storing fresh cilantro or parsley in a jar of water in the frig keeps it fresh for about two weeks! Snip off the bottom of the stems, insert into half full jar of water, then cover loosely with a plastic bag… PS Make sure the leaves are dry when you cover, so don’t wash them until you’re ready to use them.
4. I save the dessicant packs that come in new shoes, backpacks, and pill bottles. The little bags are used to absorb moisture and adding them to my jars of dried fruits, herbs and vegetables, keeps them from molding. Once the bags stop absorbing moisture, they can easily be rejuvenated by putting them in my dehydrator at 300 degrees for about 3 hours. If you don’t have a dehydrator, you can recharge them by placing them on a cookie sheet in the oven but I’d sure try to find a way to do this when I had the oven on low for some other purpose; perhaps while baking some potatoes, or even a crock of baked beans. You can also buy silica gel at a craft store and make your own dessicant packs, but why not ask everyone you know to simply save theirs for you and you’ll have plenty of them in no time!
Well, I guess those four things ARE related, seeing as how they’re all about food, but regardless, I’m calling it a Hodge Podge of ideas, just because I think it’s a cool term. Let this be the year that we start to lay the groundwork for a way of life that’s many, many times more productive, meaningful, and bountiful than the one we have today. Peak Oil and Climate Change be damned, transitioning to a different way of living is a journey~ enjoy it!
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