Tag Archives: pantry


I never said that as my husband will not eat them. He’d rather say “let’s go out.” But his mother doesn’t do that.

It is a matter of making leftovers different and tasty. You’ll never make what I did this evening because when I think we may be moving I make full use of frig and pantry and yours will not be the same.

No meat, I just made fettuccine Alfredo in a 2 tbsp measure of cream, butter and parm, and added the same amount of fresh chimichurri with parsley, lemon, garlic and jalapeno. Tyler Florence, gaucho steak + chimichurri at foodnetwork.com

Shopping at home is a necessity and a duty. My husband stocks us in paper goods so there is always an extra roll of toilet paper or paper towels, tissues as well. I stock us in food and always have a full pantry of pasta, flour, herbs and spices and baking stuff.

When the thought of moving or being without a job is pre-eminent I work through the frig and pantry. My family moved enough as a kid, and I learned to do it much better with a physicist husband. Uniform boxes, all the best equipment (I’m a whiz with a well-worn professional moving tape dispenser and box cutter) and the dog already has her 4″ orthopedic bed in the back of my SUV.

We do what we can with what we have. My frig has many possibilities but my pantry can expand it tenfold. I used to subscribe to a delivery service that gave us milk, juice, bacon, et al. I got the service for their apple juice and a $15 surprise package that would test my culinary skills seasonally.

Last week my dog received a wooden puzzle in which her owner places treats. There are six pegs and three sliding wooden pieces. She’s played it six times and can now do it in a minute. That’s like me and the surprise culinary package. It’s fun. Cooking for you and your family/friends should be fun. Dee



I am retiring this blog at 3,000 posts. There are fewer than 30 to go. Should I stay on WordPress? What can I write about that will interest you?

If I stay on WP should I bring over some recipes and the Pantry and Cookbook series? I had it in my mind to quit at 2,000 and yes, I’ve heard about that. Now it’s 3K and a done deal. Pantry and Cookbook and How to Eat a Concord Grape are my mainstays.

Writing keeps me thinking and creating, just as finishing crossword puzzles is another item in my day that makes me happy.

My husband returns from a business trip today. I need to find something for dinner. Now I need to ask him to switch blogs. I’ve a solution, find the right person to help me do it, it’s like you really don’t want your dad to teach you how to drive. If we have a plan, someone else can make it a reality. Brilliant. Thanks, you already helped! Dee



No, Ma’am

My husband is a Southern gentleman. The title words are suitable for another post. Coming Soon to Blogs Near You.

He was raised with cows, dairy cows. The first time I flew in from California to the farm I got up at 6:00 a.m. to go to the bathroom, turned on the light and there were nine pairs of huge eyes staring at me. They thought I was Jim’s father, waking up to feed the bulls in the near pasture. Scared me to death! All those eyes. Very creepy.

Now they have a cattle ranch and we’ve been together over ten years. First date he opened his car door, took my hand and has never let go. If I let him, he’d still be opening the door for me everywhere. But, truth be told, he opens doors nonetheless, figuratively if not literally.

I’m so glad that he doesn’t have a four-hour layover today and will be home three hours earlier than expected. Shhhh don’t tell the dog, she won’t understand. Ten-plus years and I’m excited that my husband will be home early. Imagine that.

Oh, and there’s nothing in the frig! Perhaps I’ll consult my pantry list, but I’ve shopped there too. My cookbook compendium may provide more fodder.

What the heck, I’ll put on real clothes and we’ll go out to dinner. It’s only money. Cheers, Dee

Before and After

Before last week’s layoffs I wanted to make mincemeat tarts and even have mincemeat in the pantry, but my muffin tins are in storage half a country away. Before, I would have bought muffin tins. Now, I won’t.

We’ll work our way through the frig, freezer and pantry as that’s what people do when there’s no income and expenses remain the same. I don’t know that I can get it down to $10/day but that was years ago. Maybe $15? That’s just grub.

My husband bought me a fur Cossack hat before Christmas and it doesn’t fit and I’d love to send it back and get the money but he says no. That was before.

I bought him $12 worth of undershirts for his birthday before Christmas. He bought me the hat. Zoe our dog bought me a $20 heater for the guest bathroom so I could take a bath as that room is not properly insulated. It’s where she gets a bath, too, so was not entirely a gracious gift.

Luckily we didn’t spend more than $200 on Christmas, including filet mignon for dinner, or take a vacation. Now that vacation time for three years is in the bank  we just have to sign our lives away to get two weeks severance pay.

After that and insurance issues, the before is over, and our next step is 100% of our work and concentration. That’s what we strive for. As for me, I don’t ever want to think that I could afford a muffin tin yesterday, but not today.

I see the ceo of this company, $3 million dollars richer as of a week ago, cashing in stock before it plummeted and he canned 25% of IT staff and know that he’ll go about life without a care, while 57 families know their health insurance runs out at the end of the month and they only get 1-2 weeks severance. Also that in this economy and city it can’t absorb these layoffs.

We must look toward the future for ourselves and for those my husband has been taught by, and those he mentored, over the years. If I was in his field, (and not his wife) I’d like to learn best practices from him. There’s a reason MIT tagged him at age 15. He was living on a dairy farm and didn’t know what those initials meant but was in AP classes and driving his math teachers crazy, questioning everything.

After will be a good place, perhaps not in the mountains but somewhere we can thrive. In-between is the toughest place. Don’t worry, except you may hear from me more sporadically until we get settled. Cheers, Dee

Avec Eric

When I sat down to lunch today, I turned on Avec Eric, a 1/2 hour show with a book that I bought about a year ago and hate the small print. Today’s topic was service, with stops at the CIA (Culinary, not Langley), Le Bernardin, and the kitchen where he as a cook prepared crepes and sauce. Then as a waiter, he finished Crepes Suzette and brought it (fictitiously) to the diner.

Of all the chefs I’ve seen and not met, I find Eric Ripert to be at the top of his game, a perfectionist, always learning, and at heart, a kind soul. Kind soul is not something most chefs are known for. He may scream at his staff but I don’t see it and would prefer not to see such behavior. I believe he’s built up a kitchen brigade and front of the house staff that realize the importance of their work as he creates the whole dining experience. Accolades build up and yet his reputation is not larger than himself, he is a silver fox who seems comfortable in his skin.

Thank you Bravo, for bringing us talent to watch and sadly, not taste. Seeing excellent chefs compete, the diversity of their dishes and quality of the judges makes good tv but it also makes my meals better. I now have zatar, smoked paprika, achiote, sriracha and kejap manis in my pantry. Oops, must update my pantry item blogs, not that anyone ever reads them. Check them out, a five-part series. Also cookbooks, I looked at many and chose few and many are available for just a few dollars. No, I don’t sell them, but there are links on each to Amazon. Cheers, it’s nearly fifty degrees today, HOT! Dee