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Stevie's Crazy Kitchen

MY WINTER PANTRY 
 
Jan. 15, 2013 12:00 pm 
Updated: Jan. 18, 2013 9:05 pm
I began this post a while ago, then scrubbed it, whilst I got my thoughts together - it began a jumble of blabber, and went down hill from there!

First, I fell victim to the bug that's been going around, a nasty one this year, which lingers, and then seems to go 'round for a second time.  Fortunately I'm in week two now, and hoping that I'm heading on the way to wellness!  So, this post has emerged, as I've woven my way through the myriad of symptoms...

I first began by making some chicken noodle soup from scratch, as I had none on the pantry shelf - shame on me! Live and learn, I guess, but mine did turn out quite well, considering I began with a bone in chicken breast and water....   It took me about 4 days to make this soup, as I felt so crummy that could handle only a few minutes at a time, in fact, between long naps!  Fortunately, I had hung on to that chicken breast for some time, being the only bone in piece of chicken I had in the freezer...

As the following days unfolded, it became a bit of a challenge to keep food at the ready, when the hunger bug bit!  It's not easy to cook for two when you can remain awake for only an hour at a time!  It also has not helped, that the weather has been unusually cold here, with freeze warnings each night!  Definately not conducive to making a trip to the market!

Some of my standby staples, in case it may help any of you:
Soups - some for cooking, like "cream of," to use as sauces and gravies.  Condensed or chunky styles, any type/flavor.  A lot can be done with a can of soup!  I topped a can of chunky beef/vegetable the other night with biscuits, baked till golden and bubbly, "instant beef stew!"  Given the energy, you could also top a soup with dumplings, to make a meal in a bowl.
Boxed items, like stuffing mix...  I made a box last night, topped with pork chops that I'd baked low and slow (took a nap while they cooked!) and poured a mix of mushroom soup/milk to use as a "gravy" and served with canned veg's.  Minimal hands on time, but resulting in some good ol' comfort food.
Tonight, I'm making some swiss steak, canned tomatoes being a "must" for that recipe.  Doesn't hurt to have boxed mashed taters on hand for emergencies, but I really do prefer fresh.  I'm down to 4 large spuds, however, so may just make a mix of "instant" and fresh tonight!
Dry goods are also a requirement...  I keep saltine crackers on hand for snacking or soups, but I also like to dip buttered french bread in a soup or stew - or canned chili for that matter!  Anyway, I keep a loaf of french bread in the freezer for such times. 
Hot chocolate and tea bags and lemon juice, are two other needs!  Nothing more soothing on a cold night that a steaming cup of either, for that matter!  And, if so inclined, a splash of brandy for the cocoa, or whiskey for that tea (soothes a sore throat!)  Frozen juice concentrate comes in handy for that extra boost of vitamin C should you need it...
For snacking, keep on hand some English muffins, or bagels, with your favorite spreads.  A box of chocolates can come in handy, but my all-time fav snack food (to help cure that cold!) a big bag of potato chips can go a long way!

Other items I find I need when I feel like garbage are things like tissues/paper towels, plenty of pet food, and otc cold remedies - even the leftover dregs from last year's cold or flu!  Anything to allow me to stay home, bundled in my electric blanket, with a cat or two to snuggle with!

Ummm, the bread machine, doing most of the work to make dinner or breakfast rolls - that smell of yeast and baking bread once it's placed into the oven!  I guess if you can "smell" it, you should be able to "taste" it, but I do find that salt is one seasoning that I can taste at all times...  Whether or not that is a good thing, I don't know, but it is a fact!

I do believe that crazycook is in need of a bowl of steaming chicken soup, and then perhaps an afternoon in the kitchen working towards a dinner, and maybe a batch of homemade beef and veg. soup - yes, I enjoyed that canned version THAT much!

Be happy, avoid this hateful "bug," and be crazy!  Till  next time...
 
Comments
Jan. 15, 2013 12:31 pm
Took care of it, Stevie. Last time at the docs, I was shot with a flu vaccine and a tetanus in the right side and another flu vaccine and a shingles vaccine in the left side. That steaming chicken soup has become a staple up here this year. The flu is rampant throughout the state. Get yourslf better, Stevie!
 
Jan. 15, 2013 12:41 pm
Doing what I can Mike, glad that you're armed against the crud! My doc doesn't believe in the shots... might get one elsewhere, once this is GONE! Stay well!
 
Jan. 15, 2013 1:12 pm
I also got the flu shot.So far so good,hope your on the road to recovery Stevie.
 
judy 
Jan. 16, 2013 5:42 am
hey stevie, so sorry you have the bug, hope you get better soon, i wondered where you had been keeping yourself take care friend.....judy
 
Jan. 16, 2013 2:26 pm
manella, guess I'm one of the few still in need of the shot, though I heard something on the news about this year's shots... missed the story! Keep well!
 
Jan. 16, 2013 2:29 pm
Hey, Judy! Yes, I've been in a funk plus having the crud... not been in much of a mood to hang out here. Stay well!
 
Jan. 16, 2013 3:20 pm
Sorry you've been under the weather. Seems like everyone is either ailing with the flu or has a painful sounding, unproductive cough. I had my flu shot back in October so far, so good. Now I have to ask about the shingles vaccine. I DO NOT want shingles. Feel better soon, I personally think a kitty cuddle is the best way to fight off illness.
 
Jan. 16, 2013 7:44 pm
BigShotsMom, my mom had shingles a number of times as a kid... have only ever run into one other person who had it. Kind of confused just why it's hitting the news these days. Is it really that common? Think I'm getting better, bit by bit - tomorrow will help, supposed to be 70F. That will feel good! Stay well, and give your kitties a hug for me!
 
Jan. 16, 2013 7:51 pm
Stevie crazycooks,i see you live in Pheoniex,we are going there on Sunday,to visit my sister,she lives in Sun Tan Valley,i love Arizona,so clean,and warm.
 
Jan. 17, 2013 11:27 am
manella, it's not been all that warm of late - sunny yes, but hi temps in 40's-50's. I've been freezing, not to mention feeling crummy! Today is supposed to be low 70's :)! Hope that I can open the house up for a bit this afternoon! Have a safe trip, and be well!
 
Jan. 17, 2013 12:05 pm
Thanks Stevie,hope you fell better real soon.My sister said 70 by the weekend.Warmer there then here.
 
Jan. 18, 2013 12:06 pm
I'm sorry to hear you were ill. I so agree with you, there are some basics to be held at the ready for those sudden illnesses. Juice, crackers and broth are mine. Hope you are on the mend!
 
Jan. 18, 2013 9:05 pm
Cat, guess I may be on the way to "healthy" once again. Saw doc today, who didn't offer any advice... I do like to keep oj concentrate in the freezer for times like this! (Note to self, buy more oj!) Be well!
 
 
 
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Stevie crazycook

Home Town
Lansing, Michigan, USA
Living In
Phoenix, Arizona, USA

Member Since
Feb. 2008

Cooking Level
Expert

Hobbies
Quilting, Gardening, Music

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About Me
Started cooking many years ago, and learned as I went. First meal may have been "steak & chips" at age 15, in Birmingham England, where I lived for several years. Mostly grew up in MI, transplanted to the desert 30yrs ago, or so. Favorite cookbook is "Better Homes", also enjoy "Great British Cooking, a well kept secret." Hesitate to call myself "expert," but friends do rave...
My favorite things to cook
Italian has been my "specialty" for some time, and my "signature" meal is Lasagne, salad, garlic bread, which I first made 20yrs ago... from SCRATCH, very first time I made it. (Never again, folks...) Now start with a big jar of sauce!
My favorite family cooking traditions
Thanks to my heritage, I have enjoyed trying foods from different cultures. We still have beer battered fish, and chips of course; ground meat dishes often, chicken occasionally, pork too. I would love to submit a bean dip recipe, however, my ex who gave me the original has passed, and I have no way to verify that it didn't come from another source! I also enjoy British cooking (with a few yankee twists) and once made Plum puddings, also known as Christmas puddings, as far as I know... what an ordeal that was, but well worth the effort. Today, there is mail order!
My cooking triumphs
Greatest triumph was not too long ago, when I held a sit down dinner for 12, Lasagne being the entree. It was a fund raiser I chose to sponsor, and am proud to say that "we" raised over $1000 from that meal alone, minimum donation being $25. All proceeds collected were donated; my partner and I provided the meal and beverages.
My cooking tragedies
MEATLOAF of all things! Went through a stage of "winging" it each time, and I pulled one after another out of the oven that were almost unedible. As yet, not too big on baking... no sweet tooth here! Have dabbled, but find doughs/pastries especially difficult, perhaps as it's 90 degrees in my kitchen much of the year.
 
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