Friday, September 30, 2011

Pantry Antics

Last night, at our Relief Society meeting, we ventured into unknown territory! Actually, it could have been very scary territory. What did we do? Well, we created meals from things in our pantries. I know, frightening!

I forgot to bring my camera so you will have to use your imaginations as to what our meals looked like. Sorry about that.
Here's a short list of the things that were put on the table to create with:
Canned crab
Canned chicken
Frozen spinach
Stewed tomatoes
Cream of mushroom soup
Lots of canned beans
Canned pears
Powdered milk
Creamed corn
Cake mix
Chicken broth
Canned pineapple
Canned mushrooms
Canned green beans
Canned corn
A box of bow tie pasta
A can pf pasta sauce
Instant mashed potatoes
A can of Spam
An onion

We had plenty of spices, but no one brought oil or butter! Oops!

So, what did we make? Well, for starters. there were crab cakes made with the canned crab, powdered milk and Bisquick. They were more like crab pancakes but they were delicious!
Next up, a cake made with the cake mix, eggs and canned pears whirred up in a blender in place of the oil. What is it they say, necessity is the mother of invention? Yep, it is!
A casserole was made using the canned chicken and cream of mushroom soup, adding in canned corn and green beans and topping it off with the instant mashed potatoes made with powdered milk. A quick turn in the oven and done! It was very tasty!
Of course, there has to be a pasta dish. How about this one? Bow tie pasta with sauce, spinach and black beans! Really, it was good!
Two soups were made, one using chicken broth, canned chicken, canned beans and tomatoes. The other used RoTel, stewed tomatoes, canned beans and chickpeas, onion, and red pepper flakes. Both of them were very yummy!
So, what did we do with the Spam? We sauteed it with half an onion, added in canned mushrooms and creamed corn, some powdered milk (reconstituted), salt and pepper, made a few biscuits and voila! Dinner! It was surprisingly edible. And, good. :)
Dessert was canned pears that had been heated on the stove top so the juice made a syrup and the cake served with canned pineapple.
What started as an exercise to use what you have turned into a night of fun and friendship with a little culinary magic mixed in. We had the best time in that small kitchen, laughing and cooking, watching the sisters become inspired by what was placed in front of them and turning out meals fit for queens. It. Was. Awesome.
I would totally do it again.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Home, Safe, Home.

After a very long year, this boy is back from Iraq. For 9 days he was here, at home not just in the US.
He's not really a boy. He's a man- a handsome, intelligent, funny-to-the-bone, caring and kind man. And, he gives the best hugs. Which is good, because we all had lots of them for him.

Even if he did come home with new tattoos. Oy.

Nine days went far too quickly. They were filled with trips to Ikea, Delia's Chicken Sausage Stand, the shop, baseball games with his dad and brother, family dinners, visiting friends, all the fun stuff. And, of course, playing with Emma. Lots of playing with Emma.

Also, I don't think he should let me give him haircuts before he goes back to the Army any more. Really.

It was hard to say goodbye but at least he's only a couple of hours flight away, not halfway around the world in a terrible place where terrible people do terrible things.
I can breathe now.