Hoarders Anonymous


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.


Anonymous said…
Nice! Heard good things about those beans. We were in NY last month but I forgot all about beans them - had my mind set on Dean & Deluca, Union Sq Cafe, Spotted Pig, Zabar. Ahh.. NY is such a nice place to eat and hoard :)My bagback was loaded with Scharfenberger chocolate, D&D and Zabar's coffee, Bundt cakemolds etc... How I would love to go back :p
Anonymous said…
Hi, my name is Jennie, and I too, am a hoarder. I shop for the apocalypse or something. I've had about 20 lbs of rice sitting in the cupboard for a year now. Does that go bad? Your post just reminded me - I'm low on beans (gasp!).
Jeanne said…
I'm so relieved to hear it's not just me! I have all sorts of things lurking in corners of cupboards that are hurtling towards their expiry dates, and I'm sure in the past I have set some sort of record for the length of time AFTER a use-by date that I have eaten something (and survived!). And the sad thing is that apparently I have married another hoarder - when mu husband heard that the price of rice and pasta was on the rise, he bought a 10kg bag of Basmati rice and 3kg of pasta. Oi vay.
i begrudgingly confess that i am a hoarder, too. and i don't know WHAT i was thinking, with my cupboards already overflowing, when i bought a bag of black-eyed and a bag of adzuki beans last week, just because someone told me they were good for me. yeah! probably not when i combine them with the other 5 kilos of legumes i have in my kitchen and eat them all in one go ;-)
PS; my husband also has a vice: he buys cornichons every time he goes to a supermarket. and i mean: EVERY TIME! know any recipes which combines the two???
ps: (apart from zarah, all hoarders seem to start with a "j": jesper, jennie, jeanne, johanna... maybe your own name is just an alias???
Heather said…
Oh, you must just eat them up, I know it's so hard because they are so lovely to look at that they practically become a little centerpiece on the table *but* (and this is what I tell myself when I start to hoard them) - part of the reason they are such amazing beans is that they are much fresher than the beans in the store. Eat 'em up!

I do the black calypso beans in the pressure cooker with carrots and onions and stock, then seperately sautee leeks and sausage, then throw them all together with lots of salt and pepper - oh goodness. Really, simple is so perfect for how amazing these beans are.

(Can you tell that I am a recent convert?)
Gemma said…
Yep, forever buying bags of flour for a recipe and only using about 100g! I have also been hearing so many great things about rancho gordo, will have to try and resist the temptation next time I'm in the States.
Heather said…
I just got your lovely comment, and the goofy thing is that I have been reading your blog for ages and ages! I am getting over being comment shy lately though, with such pleasant results.

I look forward to seeing what you do with those beans!
Zarah Maria said…
Jesper - oh I agree! NY is PARADISE - with regards to hoarding and oh so many other things!

Jennie - GO GET BEANS!! NOW!! ;)

Jeanne - as we always say, it says "Best by" - that doesn't mean that it's unedible later, now, does it? ;) I'm definitely the hoarder in our household - M's actually quite good at getting things used, so I guess we complement each other quite well. 10 kilos rice? Oi vay indeed!

Johanna - *giggling* PLEASE don't eat them all at once. You'll be one big... oh, let's not get into that ;) And the cornichons. Sorry, can't help you there. I mean, I like cornichons, but EVERY TIME? And with beans. No.
PS: My middle name starts with a J. does that count?

Heather - I did it, I had some yesterday, just like you suggested - boy were they good! Now I have a new problem though - where will I get new ones when I run out of these? Oh the HORROR!!

Gemma - ditto! And you should definitely get some Rancho Gordo. They're worth it. I'm a convert, too.

Heather (again ;))- we should all be better at commenting. I have a couple blogs that I comment on regularly, but that first one, on a new blog, or even on one you haven't commented on for a while? So. Darn. Hard. I love any and all comments, but I prefer to say something thoughtful. Or funny. Or topic-related. Or heck, all three! At once! And sometimes, all there is to say is just: loved the photo. Loved the writing. I have to make this. The point is, we should do it, and you have to start somewhere, so why not with a Hi! I delurked, just because I want you to know I like reading what you write. The next comment will be so much easier. I think comments are a big part of what makes blogging fun, and not just "me on my soapbox" activity. So there. I'm glad you de-lurked. Now, I have to go comment somewhere :)
Anonymous said…
Hi! I'm Ang, and I'm a hoarder, too!

Although, I'm trying to be better about it, and try to just replace things that have run out. You know how it is... it just doesn't work that way!

Still, come the apocalypse I'll have plenty of beans, pasta and rice to survive on!!!

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