Monday, March 8, 2010

Every day I look into my refrigerator . . .

. . . and instead of seeing a bunch of stuff I don't want to eat, either because I already had it too many times, or because it has been in there a while and I'm not sure how it will taste now, I see opportunity.

I don't know about you, but I was raised by parents who lived through the depression and although we were certainly not poor, my mother wasted very little food. Her children, on the other hand, grew up in an age of more abundance and, well, we just don't have to settle for leftovers every Thursday!

Except, I am now older and trying to learn how to live more economically and greenly (is that a word now?) and, well, it is true . . . at a certain age we turn into our mothers. Argh!!!

For the last decade or so, I have been steadily building on experiences of taking stuff that I would ordinarily throw out and experimenting with it. I'll admit, sometimes it's not so hot, but most of the time, it turns out quite good.

I thought of writing a cook book, but how do you do that for stuff that you just have sitting around. One day its left over vegetables, and some eggs that have been around, and the next day its apples that are getting a little soft.

So, I thought I would just blog about what I am doing and see if anyone else is interested in talking about how to use food instead of throwing it out. And, perhaps, someone, including me, can learn what it takes to be brave enough to try new things with old stuff.

Today, it was the wrinkly apples -- and the hard grapefruit -- and the left over rice pudding that my awesome chef of a husband made last week.

I peeled the apples, probably four of them and cut them up. Same with the grape fruit and I added:

whole cardamon seeds (ground cardamon will work just as well)
and Splenda (I am sort of a freak about using Splenda instead of sugar)

So, I don't measure, but I know enough to go light on the ginger and cloves and heavier on the cinnomon and I added Splenda until it was sweet but still tart. I put this on the stove to simmer and after a few minutes, beat it with the boat motor (hand held mixer).

Then I took the rice pudding and mixed into it whole oats and some graham cracker crumbs. I pushed this into the bottom of a greased baking dish.

Then I went searching my pantry and found some raw sunflower seeds and old raisins. I mixed these into the fruit compote I had on the stove and after a few minutes, I took it off the burner, mixed in some more oats (not very many) and poured this mixture onto the rice/oat mixture in the glass dish. I topped it all off with more graham cracker crumbs

All of this went into the oven at 300 degrees. I will keep looking at it until I think it is done. I want the bottom somewhat crispy and the top definitely chewy, not watery. It may take a couple of hours.

Well, folks. I think I may have made some sort of homemade cereal bar. I'll let you know how it turns out and if my son and daughter will eat it.


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