Somewhere along the packing up of the house, I realized that nothing in the fridge can be moved. It must all be eaten, given away or thrown away. Those are the options.
I'm a frugal person. When I eat out, I take the leftovers with me to eat later. I'll eat meals of collections of a few bites of leftovers from multiple meals, and think nothing of it. Half an enchilada, three raviolis, half a piece of pizza and a third of a Blizzard makes for a great meal in my book.
I imagine that comes back to my growing up years. I was recently reminded of the summer of the peanut butter sandwich. My dad's a preacher and my mom's a teacher (I know -- high rollers!) and one summer my dad's church couldn't pay him and so we lived on my mom's salary. Teachers' 10-months of salary spread over 12 months are really little. So, apparently after paying the bills that kept a roof over our heads, there wasn't much left for food. As a result, we had the summer of the peanut butter sandwich. We had them every day for lunch and dinner. Sometimes, to mix things up, mom would make peanut butter and butter sandwiches. Oooh, fancy. Anyway, as a result, I don't like to throw away food.
As I perused the freezer of soon-to-be-tossed items, I noticed two packages of lumpia wrappers. Lumpia is the Philippine version of the Chinese egg roll, and is one of my favorite foods on the planet. It takes a long time to chop all the ingredients for the filling, though. And then you have to roll them up in the wrappers. The wrappers are thin and sticky and they dry out really fast. So you have to peel them apart and roll filling into them and put them under a damp cloth in a few minutes or less. In a word, they are putzy food to make. The wrappers are just rice flour and water -- probably $1.50 worth of them in my freezer. My logical husband said I should just throw them away. But that would have wasted perfectly good wrappers! So I spent five hours on an afternoon and made 100 lumpia.
They have been really convenient to have around during all this packing, because once they are rolled up, you can fry up a few and heat up some sauce and have dinner ready in 10 minutes. It was my lumpia investment, and it sure is a tastier way to go than throwing away the wrappers.
The next part of having a gazillion of these things around is finding adventurous eaters who are willing to try food they've never heard of. So far, everyone I've fed them to loves them, and thinks they want the recipe (you saw the part about five hours prep work, right? You don't want this recipe). I've been selective about offering the result of my hard work, but still, that's good odds. If you get invited to my house for lumpia, just know you're in for a treat. I have four meals left of them. Do you want to come over and try out food you've never heard of?
The Monk of Mokha by Dave Eggers
3 months ago