Sunday, June 27, 2010

The Mother of Invention

"She gets up while it is still dark;
she provides food for her family"
Proverbs 31:15

I am ashamed to say that I've neglected my grocery-shopping responsibilities lately. I've gone for last-minute incidentals, but it's been several weeks since I've gone on a bona-fide pantry/refrigerator/freezer re-stock mission. We're moving back to the States in less than one month, so I could use that as an excuse. I wouldn't want to end up wasting food in the end. Still, we must eat in the meantime.

This morning I got up (long after sunrise) wondering what nutritious breakfast to fix for our family. Craig had already begun his Sunday morning Bible study and discussion with Caelyn, and the other children were allowed to sleep (super) late after yet another Tolkien movie marathon last night. I had such a happy feeling as I figured out what to prepare, but oh, the pickin's were slim.

We were out of bread, so I started with a batch of four loaves to accommodate Craig Grayson's 27 PB & Js that he'll request this week. While the dough was rising, I moved on to muffins. I began with a basic muffin recipe from the Bread Beckers, but rather than just using wheat, I started snatching random grains from the pantry. I ended up with a combination of hard red wheat, kamut, spelt, flax, and millet before remembering that I could have used my Ezekiel mix. Oh well. Maybe tomorrow. To that, I added shredded carrots, a spoonful of ginger, and some chopped dates. I opted for a streusel topping, but I should have had one of my expert helpers handle that part, as mine turned out dry and not quite sweet enough.

Anxious to see what delicacy I was concocting (and, I'm sure, a bit curious to see how I was making something from what seemed like nothing), Caelyn joined me for the remainder of the preparation and contributed fried eggs (in a drizzle of olive oil, of course, with only a little pat of real butter). Mid-process, I discovered that we also didn't have enough cheese to go around, so I used what few tomatoes we had left for salsa (albeit sub-par), and brought out the remainder of our Texas caviar to garnish the eggs. We never missed the cheese.

Morgan and I went for coffee and groceries this afternoon, to no avail. I did get some coffee, but the stores were closed. Bummer. Just when I was planning to make this for dinner tonight. Affordable beef tenderloin is definitely something that I'll miss about living so close to South Africa, and I've been saving it in the freezer for when I finally got up the nerve. If only I had all of the accompaniments... We'll have to wait until tomorrow, I suppose. You know the saying about good things. In the meantime, necessity will have to do some more mothering in our kitchen.

**Recently, I had a couple of requests for our Texas caviar recipe. It originally came from a dear friend whose husband was once Craig's battalion commander in the Army. We've since altered it a bit, so here it is, from Morgan's memory (since we left in behind in the States), in case you're interested:

Texas Caviar

1 16-oz. can black beans (original recipe used black-eye peas)
1 small jar pimientos
1/2 onion, chopped (I prefer red and/or spring onions)
1 whole bell pepper, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
8 oz. black olives, sliced
hot sauce, to taste
1 8-oz. bottle Italian dressing (better with Ken's light Caesar dressing, not creamy)
dash of salt and pepper
optional: 1/2 cup, or so, whole kernel corn (Morgan and I differ on this, but Caelyn's on my side)
optional: a bit of chopped tomatoes

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