Thursday, February 19, 2015

I hate tossing out good food...

Most of you probably know that cooking food is my meditation. It's the silence between the work day and the relaxation of the coming evening. I love shopping for food, I love planning a meal, I love improvising and I love cooking. In the restaurants it was a fantastic electrical charge to come up with interesting specials, from appetizers to entrees, to side dishes, daily. Once I stopped that work, I began to cook at home, and when I had Italo, Marco, Madeleina, Italo's girl Sarah and most of the time Chepa around for dinner, well, I could make a lot and know it would get finished sometime during the night or by next breakfast. When all but Madeleina got homes of their own, well, it took a while but I cut down on the amount I was preparing. So most of the time Madeleina and I can eat half of what we make, knowing that someone in the family is going to stop by the next day and grab the rest.
    But that doesn't always happen. And when it doesn't, I sometimes have to toss perfectly good food. And I hate that. But it's cooked, it's a couple of days old--refrigerated, of course, but still not the freshest--and no local church is going to take it to give to a hungry person.
    I just went through the fridge. I am tossing a few shrimp with veggies. No big deal, right? BUT, the veggies included garlic in olive oil, ginger, scallions, shallots, red and yellow Bell peppers, bok choy, Napa cabbage, spinach, and snow peas, all cooked in a bit of olive oil, a touch of sesame oil, some teriyaki sauce, freshly squeezed orange juice. Even draining the liquid to throw the food away it was fantastic. But we no longer have a pig or goats and the dogs and cats won't eat veggies or shrimp. So out it went.
   Then, two days ago, I made pastitsio and it was fantastic. I was going to have it again last night with Madeleina, but Italo's Sarah called to say she wanted me to make burgers for their baby Taylor Rain's birthday. So I made burgers, hot dogs, beef kielbasa, saurkraut (spelling???), potato and egg salad, cole slaw, asparagus in a vinagrette, broccoli and cauliflower, steamed. That was good. But it means that the pastitsio is now two days old and getting dry and I can't really serve it for dinner. So it's going to be part of Boots' dinner.
   I just feel awful watching beautiful foods grow old and useless and become something for the landfill. Darn it, we need more guests at dinner time. Where the hell are you all?

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