Pantry Cooking Month: The cheating half

Does it count as pantry cooking month if a fairy (god)mother comes in and fills the pantry halfway through the month?

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Just so you know, the rest of Pantry Cooking Month, I’ll be totally cheating.

Well, not exactly. I’ll still be cooking from my pantries whenever possible without buying more food, but it’s not really fair, because my mother spent six hundred dollars filling them while she was here.

Let me repeat that:

Six. Hundred. Dollars.

And that was in about two days, since for most of her trip, we were either evacuating from the tsunami or attending FOGcon. AND that doesn’t include the roughly fifty pounds of meat she brought along with her.

My freezer? Full.

Fridge? CHOCK full.

Pantry? Full past overflowing.

And my extra can pantry. And any flat surface I could find. And so on.

Somehow, she managed to avoid buying me much in the way of fresh veggies (because I told her the Berkeley Bowl has cheaper, better produce than the places we shopped, and bargains rule my mom’s world). So basically, we’re gonna be buying some fruits and veggies and maybe a dozen eggs or so between now and the end of the month. This will really make pantry cooking month, well, kind of a joke.

A tasty, tasty joke.

Okay, so here’s the list of the things we’ve eaten so far this month. The rest of the month should be delicious and easy.

Day 0: Shrimp scampi, angel hair pasta, zucchini medley (zucchini, tomatoes, onions, garlic, butter)
Ingredients bought for this meal: None.

Shrimp Scampi

Day 1: White bean medley; herbed white rice
Ingredients bought for this meal: None.

white bean veggie medley and herbed white rice

Day 2: Nana’s fried rice
Ingredients bought for this meal: None.

fried rice

Day 3: Ate out with the family.
Ingredients bought for this meal: Uh, all of them?

Day 4: Veggie soup and grilled cheese
Ingredients bought for this meal: Fresh produce (onions, garlic, potatoes, tomatoes, green beans, mushrooms), sourdough bread, butter
Ingredients bought for the house: Eggs

Day 5: Garlicky spinach quiche
Ingredients bought for this meal: None
Ingredients bought for the house: Snack food run (chips and ice cream and soda)

garlicky spinach quiche

Day 6: Mark Bittman‘s braised pork in spicy soy sauce; white rice
Ingredients bought for this meal: Pork, ginger, a serrano pepper, a lime
Ingredients bought for a recipe I decided I HAD to try and then never got around to: Pickles, olives, dill weed
Ingredients bought for the house: Veggies, coffee, fruit, cottage cheese, eggs, baking soda

Day 7: Spanish rice, refried beans, flour tortillas
Ingredients bought for this meal: tortillas
Ingredients bought for the house: butter, a drink for the kid, 3 ciabatta rolls, half pound of fresh mozzarella that was spoiled when I got it home, small tub of marinated tomatoes

Day 8: Take-out burgers (I promised them to James if he cleaned the kitchen; he did, and the kid cleaned the rest of the house. Win!
Ingredients bought for this meal: All of them

Day 9: Spaghetti with vegan ragout; garlic-parmesan bread
Ingredients bought for this meal: mushrooms, garlic, olive oil, bread
Ingredients bought for the house: jar of roasted peppers (for mom, who comes to town tomorrow), fruit

Day 10: I honestly don’t remember what we ate. We were getting ready for mom’s visit.

Days 11-13: Now it really gets silly. Mom comes to town and we eat at hotels and the consuite. Then she goes home to my place from the con early and makes a HUMONGOUS pot of homemade chicken soup, which I eat for dinner that night.

Day 14: Beautiful Burger Buns that I stuffed with ground beef, onions, a little ketchup, and some bacon-cheddar cheese slices to make homemade cheeseburger buns. Delicious! (We also had some of the leftover soup.)
Need I even say that I didn’t buy anything for this meal?

Day 15: Corned beef, cabbage, and potatoes.
Ingredients bought for this meal: None
Ingredients bought for the house: Apples

I’ll post some recipes for these things in an upcoming post.

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Author: Serene

I run The Mom Food Project, which was born out of love for my mom and a desire to preserve the recipes of my childhood, which didn't actually exist in written form until I quizzed my mom and wrote the recipes down.