I really thought that I would have lots of room in my freezer once I removed the 1/2 turkey I had stored from last Thanksgiving.  I bought a 15 pound Bell & Evans bird, and decided that it would be wasteful to roast the entire bird for just two people.  So we performed a culinary surgery cutting the bird in half from tail to neck.  It was a brilliant idea – and we still had enough left over from roasting just half a turkey for sandwiches and a turkey bean soup days after the holiday.

Now that I’ve removed the 1/2 turkey from the freezer, it looks as if nothing has been removed. Even after  I re-arranged some things, the shelves look just as full as they did before I took out the turkey.  I also removed a package of Italian sweet sausages to defrost in the refrigerator and still no free space! Now that’s funny – at least to a food-a-holic it is.

I did need to shop today for some basics:  milk, celery for bloody mary’s on Superbowl Sunday this weekend, blueberries from Chile (I know, I should only eat blueberries in season here in the northeast, but these are delicious despite being grown so far away),  Italian frying peppers for a sausage/pepper/onion hero for Superbowl Sunday,  whole wheat hero breads, 7-grain bread for toast, loose heads of garlic not from China, bialys, black forest ham & muenster cheese for lunch sandwiches on Saturday, and that was all purchased without a shopping list and no extras were purchased!  By jove, I’m getting the hang of this – or am I congratulating myself a bit too early?  As I said yesterday, the true test will be when I’m in the city (Manhattan to those of you who don’t know that the “city” means Manhattan when living in an outer borough of NYC)

Today’s dinner is strictly “shopped” from the freezer, refrigerator and pantry.  Shellfish – frozen shrimp, frozen littleneck clams, frozen mussels, small piece of frozen salmon, French baguette.   From the refrigerator, parsley, 1/2 a cut onion, lemon for zest.  From the pantry, hot pepper flakes, saffron, fregula, Muir Glen fire roasted tomatoes,  College Inn wine and herb broth.  Can you guess what I’m making?  Okay, it’s a shellfish/fish stew.  The baguette is sliced, toasted and brushed with olive oil and rubbed with garlic.  So delicious when dipped into the broth and eaten with the shellfish.

Now think about this.  If I hadn’t previously shopped for frozen shrimp, clams and mussels, salmon, baguette, parsley onion, lemon, hot pepper flakes, saffron, fregula and canned tomatoes, I would not  be able to make this dish without going to shop for it.  That’s my defense for today….a well stocked pantry can produce lots of meals without taking too much time/effort.

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