Wednesday, November 12, 2008
My name is Zarah.
I hoard food.
I'm not shy of stocking up the fridge, or freezer. But mostly, I hoard pantry items. Rice, flours, lentils, beans, grains, chocolate, dried fruits and nuts. Vinegars, oils, obscure sauces. Any cupboard or drawer, the smallest crevice in our build-in bookcase thingy, fabric bags on the hooks on the rail in kitchen - they're all filled with stuff.
Flours, I usually manage to use before they go past their due-date. Mostly, it's because I've gotten better at ignoring that a certain type of flour has to be used for a certain type of bread. Yes, if it's a specific type of bread, or texture, or a new recipe, I may insist on using what the recipe states, but if it's a version of the everyday bread, who gives whether I use rye or whole wheat? I make that bread often enough for it to be nice to have a slight change of taste every now and again.
There was a reason I brought home 5 pounds of Rancho Gordo Beans from my trip to San Francisco back in June. Besides the occasional chickpea, I very seldom cook beans, but with the recommendations they've gotten from all over foodblogland, I had to get some. It didn't matter that I had to rearrange all of my belongings, right here on the airport floor, because I'd packed my suit case so tightly it was ridicoulously overweight, and the nice lady behind the counter insisted I pack it into two bags instead. I just couldn't help myself. It's an addiction.
But the reason certainly wasn't for them to go bad, stuck in the back of a drawer, little white thingies covering the bottom of the bag of (luckily! only!) one of the bags. ICK! But they did. And see, this is was happens eventually, when you're a hoarder. There's just no way you're going to get to eat all of these things all at once, especially not when you're one to forget exactly what it is you have at home, or exactly how to use it. Or you're prone to need just that one other ingredient you can't seem to find to try the recipe you did actually find, that used the hoarded item.
I refuse to have that happen to the rest of the beans. And a lot of the other things that are fastly approaching their best-by date. So I'm trying to do something about it. I've been looking for recipes to use some of my stash, and I hope to try out these in the next couple of days. Weeks. Ok, soon. -ish.
Eye of the Goat beans - there's a nice hint here, but really, they deserve something more, don't they?
Chickpea flour - how about these chicken and chickpea dumplings? They sure sound nice...
Black Calypso Beans -supposedly, they taste like potatoes. And are good with bacon. Hmm. I'm hungry.
Red lentils - Luisa's lentil stew that she put up just the other day. When she can cut a 5-types-of-lentils down to two, then so can I (I'll try. I promise!)
Masa Harina - why, corn tortillas, of course!
Christmas Lima Beans - with mushrooms?
Cornmeal - corn muffins?
What about flageolets? The black beans? The whole rye kernels? My long grain brown rice? Or the 3 kilos of lovely chocolate?!?
You know, then, when I'm done, and there's all this precious room in the drawers, I'm going to have to go get me some black lentils for dal mahkani, and some black eyed peas for this Goan curry - oooh, and some yellow split peas for the dal! And maybe I do need that funny flour made of a local wheat type. Certainly, I will. Need it. I will.