A kitchen experiment

I love to cook, I love to take photos of what I cook, I even want to make my own cookbook with my favorite recipes and photos (kind of the reason behind these cooking posts). But there are a few challenges I’ve been faced with recently.

1. Cooking is expensive.

2. I prefer taking photos in daylight, so I have a window of time during the day to make food, which isn’t always convenient.

3. Most importantly, our refrigerator is broken.

Around these parts, we are on the losing side of the war against appliances. They like to die on us, and we don’t like to pay to have them resurrected. It was a very cold war this winter when we didn’t get the heater fixed until February (it pretty much exclusively blew ice cold air since November). Oh, and our washing machine? It went roughly four years without being used after it broke. Thankfully, we had a back up to use, but still. FOUR YEARS. Most recently, our refrigerator has decided it only wants to refrigerate part-time. For a while, we were able to bang on the side of it in a very specific place to get the motor to kick back on. Now, it’s pattern has been to kick on for 12 hours, turn off for 24.

The reason why we haven’t had it repaired yet is partly because we’re cheapskates, partly because I just had to pay for car repair stuff, partly because we’re going to Hawaii next month, but mainly because the refrigerator in it’s place before was there for probably 20 years without incident, and is still working in someone elses house currently. The one we have was a brand new Whirlpool stainless steel side by side, purchased around 6 years ago.

So… the inside of the refrigerator resembles a ghost town, with only condiments and a few other things that aren’t going to give us salmonella if their temperature is compromised (hopefully). But I did manage to throw some things together for photos recently. We don’t like to eat out much because it gets expensive, so it’s kind of like a game to figure out what we can manage to put together between our cabinet items and non-perishables that isn’t just toast with peanut butter and trail mix.

 First, I made a spinach salad with my go-to salad dressing I almost always have the ingredients for. It starts off with a tablespoon of grey poupon,

about a 1:3 ratio of olive oil to red wine vinegar, a tablespoon or so of lemon juice, 1-2 cloves of chopped garlic, some chopped herbs from my garden (I have a massive pot of thyme year round),

some fresh ground black pepper and sea or kosher salt,

I also always put some freshly ground “everyday seasoning” from Trader Joes, and then whisk it all together.

I made a recipe from an episode of Everyday Italian I was watching one Saturday night for baked artichokes with gorgonzola, but it was at night, so no photos were taken. I had leftover gorgonzola, so I threw together some olive oil, gorgonzola, chopped thyme and salt and pepper and spread it on some sourdough rolls. I popped them in the toaster oven to melt the cheese and toast the bread up for about 10 minutes.

In my attempt to use some cabinet items, I also drained some garbanzo beans, threw in some mixed nuts, and made about a half cup of white quinoa for protein and substance for the salad.

Voila! Cabinet dinner in 20. Of course, the gorgonzola may need to be refrigerated but aren’t those stinky cheeses often kept at room temperature? Haven’t gotten sick yet, knock on wood!

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  • You can come cook in my kitchen any time. We would love to have you and your guy over for dinner.ReplyCancel

  • Mmmmm….your food photos always make me SO hungry! Cheeses in France are almost always kept at room temperature (or a little cooler), not in the fridge. My friends in France used to put them on the windowsill outside to keep them chilled in the cooler months, but they don’t ever like them to be too cold. I don’t think it’ll kill you, but it’ll probably go bad more quickly.

    Um, I really want that cookbook to happen. Let me know if you need someone to test out your recipes once they’re written out 😉ReplyCancel

  • Oooh, good to know! Thanks for the cheese facts 🙂

    The cookbook will happen eventually, it’ll just have to be a several year project so that there will be enough of them.ReplyCancel