Hoarding Food

I’m curious what segment of the population hoards food. I think it’s an illness; I’m pretty sure I have it.  Why does a person hoard food, anyway? Why do I hoard food? I think I’m hiding treats from the kids, because they’re kind of like a swarm of locusts when it comes to junk food.

There’s something alluring about stealing down the basement steps, sneaking furtive looks over my shoulder, and tiptoeing into the “Food Storage” room to get my sneaky snack. That’s where I hid the leftover Halloween candy last year, and boy was that fun! No one knew where I was keeping it, and I would appear with a Reese’s Cup like the good fairy. Yes,  I shared some of the loot.

I once kept a huge Hershey bar in my bathroom closet for three weeks, breaking off a square when I felt I needed a fix. This was during my last trimester while pregnant with Farley, when I lost my chocolate craving. At no other time would a Hershey bar last longer than three hours in my house. I kind of miss that time, because I had no desire to eat chocolate, unless there was a really bad parenting situation. I’m digressing.

I alternate kitchen cabinets for hiding loot as well. I also like to hide treats in plain sight. It really works, especially with certain genders who are somewhat famous for standing in a room and asking where something is while looking almost right at it.

I’ve heard of people stashing things in brussels sprouts boxes in the freezer. Of course that would mean you had to eat brussels sprouts at some point, so that you have the package. Personally, I love brussels sprouts, but I realize I’m strange. I actually like pretty much all of the vegetables in the cabbage family. But you don’t hear of people hoarding cabbages, do you?

So, do you hoard food? What kind? And where do you keep it?

Keep in mind, I don’t think Food Storage is hoarding food, per se. That’s more preparing for anything. Hoarding, IMO, is more like hiding the good stuff for greedy purposes.

So, here are some items that I hoard somewhat regularly:

  • Andy Capp’s Hot Fries
  • Clancy’s Hot and Spicy Pork Rinds
  • Corn Nuts, original flavor
  • Salt and Vinegar Potato Chips
  • York Peppermint Patties
  • Hershey’s Pot of Gold chocolate assortment
  • Russell Stover’s, choc0late assortment
  • Movie Candy, especially DOTS and Junior Mints

I’m trying not to go in the kitchen and eat the Hot Fries right now, actually.

Eggs Del Monaco

I can’t believe I haven’t blogged about Eggs Del Monaco yet. This recipe came from one of the best cookbooks of all time. I got it when DH and I got married. It was a tiny little paperback called Cooking for Two by Betty Crocker. It was crammed with recipes that served, you guess it, two people. So many of these wonderful recipes have since been adapted to feed six or seven. One of them is this lovely little egg dish that you can get to the table in FIFTEEN minutes. It is very adaptable too, in case you don’t have as many eggs, or only one kind of Cream Of Soup, or not much cheese.

2 to 6 hard-cooked eggs, however many you need to fill your family

1-2 cans of Cream Of Soup, tonight I used one Cream of Mushroom and one Cream of Chicken (undiluted)

1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese, or more if you like

Toast Points

Paprika, optional, but really, just add the paprika; it’s so yummy and colorful

Cut up your hard cooked eggs and put them in your UNDILUTED Cream of Soups in a saucepan. Simmer gently and add cheese. Stir occasionally ’til cheese melts. Serve over Toast Points with a dash of paprika for garnish.

Yes, that is it.

When Dale came home from track, he asked what was for dinner. “Eggs Del Monaco.” He exclaimed, “YES!” I was delighted. I didn’t know it was one of his ‘Top Five’ which I later found out.

Try this dish when your original plan of sloppy joes fails because the meat went bad in your fridge and your hubby will be home in ten minutes and you had to rock your feverish baby and clean up your daughter who pooped in the bathtub.

Gifts of Food

Open mouth, insert food.

So anyway, remember how I spent that evening chatting it up with some mature women? I happened to mention to them that I adored Pepperidge Farms Coconut Cream Frozen cakes. It was part of an anecdote involving birthday cakes and so on. I forgot all about it.

On Sunday, one of these esteemed women pulled me aside and said, “I’ve got something for you.” I said, “Oh…” and then kind of forgot about it because I was trying to keep track of certain little people.

I walked into the Relief Society room, and out of the corner of my eye saw two beautifully frosted cupcakes. Somebody’s a lucky stiff, I thought to myself. Not two minutes later this lady brought me the cupcakes. I thanked her in confusion. Ask and ye shall receive? Cool.

Brought them home after church. Hid them in my room. (Have I done a post on hoarding food yet?) Got out my pretty stationery set and wrote a thank you note to this lady. How did she know I had a weakness for cupcakes?  Waited until I couldn’t stand it anymore, and then inhaled one. COCONUT! Then it all snapped into place. The conversation, the coconut cream cake, cupcakes with coconut…well, I was feeling very blessed. What a sweet gesture from a sweet lady.

Open Letter to the Punks Who Egged Our Cars

Dear Punks,

You know who you are. I just wanted you to get a little more info on the family whose cars you vandalized. We’re average. Maybe a few more kids than most families, but very average. Older house that needs a paint job, lots of toys in the yard, (I wish you had tripped on them.) Your parents probably drive nicer cars than we do. The oldest kid in the family stays up ’til 10:30pm every night trying to get his math homework right. He gets up at 5:30am to attend an extra class that will build character.  The youngest kid in our family is not yet two. He dances like a crazy man, and has kissable squeezable cheeks. He also gets up in the middle of the night almost every night, so the mom in the family, that’s me, is pretty tired every day. The next oldest kids, 12 and 9, are good kids who have extra responsibilities heaped on them every day because they have to help take care of the baby and the 7 year old daughter. The 7 year old daughter has Autism Spectrum Disorder. She gets bugged pretty easily. If there is a hole in the wall, she won’t enter the room. She only likes certain music, because a particular drum beat sends her into hysterics. Everything has to be just right in order for her to get to sleep at night. Thought you might like to know that Monday the 15th, the day we woke up to find egg yolks on both our cars, was our Autistic daughter’s birthday. Any ideas how we might explain to her why you kids did what you did? Anyway, in addition to that, we found out on the same day you egged us that one of our cars needed over four hundred dollars of repair work done. I’m not trying to get sympathy from you or the other people in my life. I just wanted you to realize that the next time you start to launch an egg, you might want to consider that there is a family of stories behind that car, that house, that yard. There. I gave you the scolding your parents should have. Now I want to give you an invitation. You may come to my house anytime, and I will give you lemonade and sugar cookies. My boys will play basketball or XBox with you. My daughters will admire your hair cut or your cologne. (My autistic daughter is very sensitive to smell.) This is the kind of family we are. But when you come, please bring buckets and sponges. I’m leaving the egg on just for you. If you don’t come, it will be a testament to the kids who thought it was funny to vandalize someone’s house without knowing how far-reaching the consequences would be. And if you come to wash it off, I will smile at you and forgive you to your face. As it is, I forgive you right now. That is all.

Ho Ping House Review

There is a new Chinese restaurant in town. I find it intriguing that Dale and I were completely on the same page with regard to the service and the food. He said, “Well, the customer service makes up for the food.” DH was like, hush! be polite! And I was thinking to myself, exactly! The jumbo shrimp was overcooked and bland. My entree, which sounds good in principle, was kind of awful. Prawns wrapped in bacon and eggs and fried. Served on a platter of vegetables in hoisin sauce. I think I’m going to reschedule my trip to the lab to get my cholesterol checked. Now, the rest of the food was actually quite good. Bob ordered the Honey Chicken. O. M. Gosh. Amazing lemon and honey sauce on batter fried chicken. The beef sticks were also good, and the crab rangoon was EYE ROLLING delicious. I mean, get a room. DH had the Dragon Meets Phoenix, (General Tso’s chicken and a seafood that he can’t remember). He said it was very good. Dale had Orange Beef; he said it was pretty good. Farley and Tori ate bits and pieces of every one’s food. We had a very sweet and competent server.

The ambience of the restaurant was very nice. Simple but elegant decor. It wasn’t overdone. Pleasant music barely audible, just the way I like it. Beautiful place settings and white tablecloths.

Ho Ping means peaceful harmony, and it seemed to work, because Farley and Tori, neither one known for their patience at restaurants, were very well-behaved. Seriously, if you can take your child with Autism to a busy restaurant, and not have a meltdown the entire time, you’ve got Peaceful Harmony going on. It was, however, pricey. It made me glad we haven’t eaten out for the previous two weeks, because that’s about how much it cost for the one meal out. Oops! So, good service, substandard shrimp/prawns, but heavenly Crab Rangoon and Honey Chicken with Lemon Sauce. I’ll give it a four out of five stars.

Biddies and Cooking Mistakes

I had a lovely evening with friends last night, some of them I might refer to as ‘old biddies’, but they weren’t that old. I was sitting at a table with these ladies who are old enough to be my grandmas, and we started talking about cooking. You know my ears perked up when they said, “Lard.” Then they talked about how ‘we’ don’t cook with it anymore. They seemed to have this wistful expression when they talked about it. I told them you can still buy it at the grocery store, and some seemed surprised. None of them said they were going out right after dinner to pick it up though. It occurred to me they might enjoy hearing a story from when I was a newly wed. I decided to make DH some fried chicken. I knew it takes an hour to bake chicken, so I thought I had to fry it that long too. They laughed and laughed. Silly newlywed! Silly girl who doesn’t know how to cook! That was fun. Then they spoke of measuring for recipes. One lady said her grandmother had a recipe for vinegar pie. She tried it out, but it didn’t set, so she called her grandmother who said, ‘Oh that’s right…I forgot-that recipe is wrong so every time I make it I adjust the measurement’. Another lady said her grandmom used the word ‘gallomp’ (?) for a measurement. I was on the edge of my seat. What other old world knowledge would I glean from these esteemed women? The woman to my right said she controls her portions; leaves a space on her plate for dessert and only has one helping. She’s clearly not from the South. To be honest, I was disappointed. I didn’t want to hear advice about portion control. I wanted some recipes calling for LARD. Oh well. I’m gonna go get myself a gallomp of vinegar pie.

Why Do I Do This To Myself?

I go to the grocery. I am always so good at the grocery. I turn my nose up at the Ho Hos and the Ding Dongs. That stuff is sooo bad for you. Why do people buy that crap? Then I get home and put the groceries away and putter around the house and think, Why didn’t I get any twinkies? I could really go for a twinkie right about now!

So here I sit, cussing myself because I didn’t buy any of the soft chocolate chip cookies, or snack cakes or bags of candy bars…Dang nab it! I didn’t even buy any chocolate chips. Where is that post about desperate snacking? I might have to go read it again.

But, it’s lunch time, and instead, I think I’m going to eat a proper lunch. That should help.

Quick Dinner

Okay, I know I was bragging about how wonderful emealz is. But there is one problem with emealz. There isn’t a contingency plan for when you’ve stayed up past your bedtime, awoke at 2:30am to feed Farley, then tried, in vain, to take a nap in the afternoon instead of cooking. So you get up from your aborted nap, change the poopy diaper, clean up the syrup that was dumped onto the counter and defrocked Farley, whose shirt was sticky, and realize that DH will be home in fifteen minutes. Now, don’t get your panties in a bunch; DH isn’t the kind of guy that demands supper on the table right when he walks in the door. Far from it, but that’s a tale for another blog. However, I LIKE having dinner ready right when he gets home. I’m usually pretty hungry, and so are the kids. And it looks like I’ve been working all day, instead of sitting on my babushka reading Super Freakonomics.

So I love having a jar of spaghetti sauce in the pantry and a box of Cheese-Topped Texas Toast in the freezer. (Thank you ALDI!) We also have leftover salad. Ta Da! A little side note about salad. As you may have divined from my previous posts, I have a little problem with junk food addiction. (I can stop anytime.) But lately salad has sounded really good, and not only a nice leafy green salad with tomato chunks, but I have rediscovered that it tastes really good with just salt and pepper. No dressing. Finally, something approaching nutritious that I can’t get enough of.

Happy Eating!

Pop T*rts Refrain

So, apparently, I’m the only one who feels the way I do about Pop T*rts.  So be it; but I don’t have to eat them. Now, let’s talk for a moment about Toaster Strudels and Toaster Scrambles. (Do they still make Toaster Scrambles? Comment if they do…then I’ll go shopping.) Toaster Strudels are what Pop T*rts wish they could be when they grow up. You can not get away without toasting these little dreamboats. Careful! The insides are quite hot! Use their freshly toasted steaminess to advantage by drizzling the little packet of frosting over the top. Personally, I cannot get the packet to tear without ripping the whole side off, and then the frosting comes out in an unappetizing lump that I have to spread with a butter knife.  But so delicious! So dreamy! If Matthew McConaughey was edible, he would taste like a Toaster Strudel. Blueberry, Strawberry, Mixed Berry, et cetera. Yes, they are quite yummy.

That being said, Toaster Scrambles (Harrison Ford in The Fugitive) are by far my favorite instant breakfast. Or at least, they used to be. Especially when I was newly pregnant with E. That should have been my first clue. I ate an entire box of Toaster Scrambles in a couple of days, and decided I COULD NOT LIVE another day without having more. It was worth going out in snowy weather with five-year old Dale and two-year old Bob. Then I ate that entire box too. Toaster Scrambles are the polar opposite of Toaster Strudel. Where the Strudel is sweet, the Scramble is salty. Where the Strudel has gooey frosting, the Scramble has a dry crust. Pockets of melted cheese compliment the scrambled eggs and pieces of actual bacon in the Scramble. Delightful! Chock full of cholesterol, MSG, preservatives, trans fats etc. Be still my beating plaque.

So, you take your half-eaten Pop T*rts, your toasted Pop T*rts, your easy-to-tote snack. (Gag.) I will pass and dream about my Toaster Scrambles.

Julie, Julia and V1ct0r1a

My Other Mother loaned me the book, My Life in France. Shortly after that, I watched Julie and Julia. I had no idea that blogging about food was not my original idea. Bummer! But anyway, what a fun read, and a fun movie. My extent of familiarity with Julia Child was occasionally seeing it on daytime television in black and white, and therefore, not interesting to my young eyes. My Life in France is so well-written, I feel I have a much better handle on who Julia was as a person.

Learning that the movie was based on ‘two true stories’ really made it more fun. So here is the link to the Julia/Julia Project. I will warn you; her language is profane in some parts. But I appreciated where the Julie was coming from. An unappreciated writer; you don’t feel like a writer unless you’ve had something published. And even if you have had something published, (see here), if it wasn’t published recently, than it feels like you’re back at square one. So I admire Julie’s spunk in creating her blog, using the food and the keyboard to unwind from her crappy job. I salute her for making it into a book and a movie (could I be so lucky?).

And I slink back to my piddly essays on candy bars and cooking fish. But that is okay. Because I don’t think I want to publish a cookbook or a cooking book or even a cooking movie. This is my training ground for discipline, so that I can get to work on the books I do want to publish someday. Now snap to it!