I need to tell you about my shopping trip at Costco the other day. This whole thing started because I was hungry and wanted a slice of pizza for lunch. My local Costco is just down the road, and the pizza is cheap… oh and I had to gas up at their pumps. Yeah… that’s how they reel you in.
When finished smacking my lips and wiping pizza grease from my mouth, and hands, and the front of my shirt… I grabbed a shopping cart and hit the aisles. As usual the rotisserie chicken aroma seduced my nostrils as I followed the scent to the back of the store and picked one off the warming rack. That accomplished I headed to the produce section. And before you ask… NO that wasn’t on my shopping list. But really, in my defense I have to ask… who can walk into Costco and NOT buy a rotisserie chicken???
I planned on making Chicken Pot Pies this week to keep in the freezer… so I needed onions, celery, garlic, carrots and such. I plucked a net bag of garlic from the pile and threw it in the cart. Hmmm… there are a lot of garlic heads in that bag… but I’ll figure out a way to preserve them. I won’t have to purchase garlic for at least a year, I mollified myself.
Onions the size of Softballs were the only yellow onions available. No problem… I cook with onions on almost a daily basis. This gigantic bag will hold me over without any going to waste.
The big problem started with the carrots. A 10 pound bag to be precise. They looked so good… a nice deep orange. Eh… how bad could it be to try and use up all these carrots? I like carrots, so it shouldn’t be that difficult. One night I’ll roast them, I need some for the pot pies, I can make carrot soup, and I’ll bake up a batch of carrot and oatmeal muffins. Yeah… that’s good.
Next… the broccoli. Hmmmm…. well, I’ve gone this far, I may as well bite the bullet and grab this industrial sized bag of broccoli while I’m here. I don’t want to waste the time and energy it takes to go to another food store JUST to pick up broccoli, I rationalized. I’m sure I will find SOMETHING to do with it all. Yeah right, famous last words.
The chicken is no big deal. A bag of frozen breasts can last forever in the freezer, so I didn’t even flinch at the size of the bag. I’ve already ‘been there done that’ many times before. History has shown I can whip through that bag within 6 months all by myself and not break a sweat.
I actually made it out of the store without any ‘extras’ in the cart. I think this is a FIRST!!! No snacks, no clothes, no office supplies… no books, no cakes or pies… OK… I bought the rotisserie chicken… but that’s to be expected. Hey! I can squeeze 4 meals out of that bird then make stock with the carcass. That’s a lot of mileage for only $4.99.
Now home, I unload the car. Houston we have a problem. The chicken breasts are no big deal… plenty of room in the freezer for it. It’s the refrigerator I have issues with. Between the rotisserie chicken, huge bag of broccoli, 10 pounds of carrots and other items I picked up, like fruit… AND the stuff already in there… I have to be creative in the shifting and re-organizing of the shelves in order to get everything stuffed in.
The potatoes, onions, and garlic. Where should I put these items??? My kitchen is so tiny, every inch is already in use. I make the executive decision to open the basement door and place them precariously near the trash can… so they don’t roll down the steps. OK… all settled in for now.
The next morning I awake with all the good intentions of the world. I decide I am going to attack the bag of garlic first… then make soup in the afternoon. Thanks to the wonders of YouTube I found an easy way to peel the garlic. Step one, smash the bulb with the palm of your hand. Step two, place everything in a bowl, top with lid, and shake shake shake until your arm falls off. Ta-Dah!! Well… not exactly. I realized too late it needs to be a hard bowl or pot, like a metal one… I used plastic and only a few actually stripped down to their skivvies. Back to the drawing board.
After peeling enough cloves to fit into 2 small canning jars (and I DO mean small) I covered one with distilled vinegar and the other with olive oil… capped them both and placed them in the refrigerator. Whew!!
The kitchen smells heavenly as I also chopped the tops off three heads of garlic, drizzled them with olive oil, ground some fresh salt and pepper over the tops and tossed them in the oven to roast. 2 hours into my day… and two whole heads of garlic have been preserved, and three roasted. Only 20 more to go. I’ll do those another day.
Carrots. I now move on to carrot soup. No problem… I’ve got this down. Like a mad scientist, I don’t use a recipe. Chop one of those large onions, a few ribs of celery, throw in a garlic clove (or two, or three)… saute in butter. Mmmmm. Scrape and chop the carrots… throw them in the pot. Add some homemade turkey stock (from the Thanksgiving turkey) and bring to a boil. Peel and chop some ginger… throw that in the pot… oops… a little too much… oh well. Blend everything nice and smooth, season to taste. DONE! In record time… and oh so yummy. Break down what’s left into sturdy containers, and pop in the freezer.
I glance over at the counter… it doesn’t even look like I put a dent in the bag of carrots.Are they procreating behind my back? Oy! I guess I’m having roasted carrots with my dinner tonight.
The next morning I take a peek in the refrigerator to see what I can pull together for breakfast. I am greeted with the seducing scent of ‘eau du garlic’. Normally I would pull in a deep breath and inhale all of it’s goodness. However, it’s 7:00am and I JUST brushed my teeth with minty paste. Not a great combination.
My eyes rest on the ginormous bag of broccoli that hasn’t even been touched yet… sitting right next to the now 9 ½ pound bag of carrots. I shut the door and ask myself…
What was I THINKING????