Baking with Leftovers

Who else has heard about this rude richsplaining of why avocado toast is the reason millennials can’t afford down payments on houses?

While that is patently ridiculous, at the core of this terribly, terribly expressed thought is at least one grain of truth: food can be expensive. Not necessarily avocados… or toast… (Seriously, why?) But once any food gains enough momentum to be considered “trending” there’s this unspoken expectation that begins to come with it. If you rushed to get a Unicorn Frap before Starbucks took it off the menu, that’s the kind of thing I mean — and that’s just at the novelty end of the spectrum.

This post by Nimue Brown goes more into the economics of affording (or not) all the organic, non-GMO foods on the market these days, or even just the wares at your local farmers market. Essentially, not everyone can afford it. Not even just the food itself, but the gas to go the extra miles to the nearest Whole Foods. Nimue also raises points about the relative greenness of driving to buy organic produce vs. biking to buy non-organic.

Side note, I feel like there’s at least one country out there where it’s actually illegal for a car commercial to imply that just because a car is a hybrid, it’s “good” for the environment, because it’s not. It’s better, but it’s not good. American commercials tend to gloss over the part where it still produces pollutants, just arguably fewer. If anyone reading this lives in a place where there are laws on the books about this, please comment on driving vs biking to get groceries and if there’s any difference in attitudes towards that.

So there’s all that.

And here’s what I actually wanted to write a post about, before I got carried away: food can be expensive, so don’t let it go to waste. Actual statistics on food waste can be found here, but to be honest I only skimmed it before linking. I’m talking about letting your leftovers, or even unopened products or unused ingredients quietly going bad in a corner somewhere in your kitchen.

My reasons for caring are, admittedly, kind of small and petty. I spend money and time on food, I was looking forward to it, and suddenly I (a) don’t get to eat it, (b) have to worry about how much of the trash has to wait until next week to go out, and (c) if it’s fruit then there are going to be fruit flies. These small and petty reasons are my motivations for doing something about food waste in my own home, or even think about the larger problems of food waste by association, so don’t knock ’em.

Because I enjoy baking, I’ve recently started experimenting with using my leftovers and miscellaneous extras to test out recipes I’ve found online. (Following, among other things, this inspiring example.) Usually I have to do some scaling down or substitutions based on the ingredients I have on hand. The rule, I believe, is that if you change at least three of the ingredients and/or proportions then it’s no longer copying.


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Faux-Plum (Actually Apple) Crumble

I had two apples, a partly empty container of blueberries, and a gluten free partner who really likes stone fruit. Unintentionally, I made a crumble that worked with all of those conditions.

Serves: 2-4, depending on how you feel about portions Continue reading “Baking with Leftovers”

#AtoZChallenge — Y is for Youth

This is another fragment from my ghost story, Presence. I don’t quite know where it fits in, though… I suppose it’s at the end, after the ghost’s unfinished business with her ex is all wrapped up. This is Ariel’s “one last thing” before she moves on.

And yes, the bit in the middle will eventually be written and posted here. I’m not sure how long it will take, in terms of both writing it and how much time passes within the story. But I do know the gist, and no, I’m not telling.

499 words. Inspired by this prompt on The Prose: “Write an extremely short story with these three prompts. -time is looped -chocolate is good -main character isn’t human.”

Continue reading “#AtoZChallenge — Y is for Youth”

A Month in Review: April 2017

$_58I know that I started my March review saying it was a very busy month, but April was crazy busy! Recently I acquired a Boynton Wild Ones 2017 pocket calendar and the month of April is decorated with flying pigs. This is fitting, because I started doing store visits in April and, if you’d asked me a few years ago, the phrase “when pigs fly” would have been connected with this sort of thing. Plus, my parents came up one weekend for a visit, so we had to clean the apartment. Plus, our friends came up the weekend after that and actually slept on our couch, so we super had to clean the apartment.

So that was all wild. But the store visits mean bigger reimbursement checks, more exercise, and less stressful office time, and the apartment has never looked better.

Here are some of my other March highlights:

  • I wrote 23 short stories in 30 days!!! When I went through and counted likes/comments/views, both here and on TheProse.com where I was also posting these almost daily, the top six were:
  • All of the comments I received were wonderful. Thank you so much for reading!
  • My partner is the best for reading through all those stories on such short deadline. I am the luckiest writer in the world.
  • This past weekend, when our friends came up to visit, we did a two-day wine and food tasting event and it was so much fun! I don’t remember the different wines so much as the different foods, especially towards the end of the days, but we had a blast. Would do again, and I feel like we got our money’s worth.18095201_1879429792308282_3893139896772067328_n
  • The cat’s out of the bag… We got a third cat and told both our parents over Easter. She’s a little all-black kitty with yellow eyes and her name is Noodle.

And here’s what I am currently:

Writing stories for X, Y, and Z. I didn’t get to them for the April challenge, but I still have ideas for them and will get the stories written eventually.

Planning to bake more often. I saw a post on Instagram that gave me the idea of keeping dough in the fridge at all times and using it to make pies out of leftovers. Also, we got some gluten free noodles that I’m excited about, including some lasagna noodles. For lack of a better pan, I am eventually going to attempt a lasagna in a pie dish, haha.

Making a new habit, or trying to anyway. I’m gradually trying to work abdominal crunches into my daily routine.

Anticipating my birthday! 29 isn’t a landmark year, unless you look at it as my last birthday in my twenties. I haven’t decided how to feel about this yet, but I’m looking forward to everyone coming up here for a birthday dinner rather than me and my partner having to drive down to the South Bay.

Reading through a bunch of blog posts from the A to Z Challenge.

Watching The Great British Baking Show. My partner and I have watched a lot of cooking shows, but they always seem so stressful. This one is by far more relaxing, and based more on technical and fundamental skills than throwing stuff at the contestants and see how they do off the top of their heads. In this show, the contestants alternate between some challenges they can prepare and practice for and some that they can’t. I like it a lot.

Feeling tired. The past two months have been non-stop… I have my fingers crossed that I’ll be able to slow down a little bit. Not one of my strengths but I am trying.

Needing a new primary care doctor. I need to get my anti-anxiety prescription renewed, and I’ve made an appointment but I’m going to run out before that. Today I managed to start the process of getting a one-shot refill that’ll tide me over, so fingers crossed. I’m also hoping to get the dosage bumped up a little when I have the actual appointment.

Loving my partner and our cats, even though someone in this house gave me ringworm (and I literally have no idea and no way of ever knowing who). This is another reason I have a doctor visit this month.

Hating how hot it is. I know, I know… Summer is coming, and I was getting really tired of all the rain and flooding. But this is such a sudden change that I’m getting whiplash here!

Hoping my partner gets a job soon. There have been a lot of interviews lately, we’re really hopeful!

#AtoZChallenge — W is for Watch

WA small note: not all weres are necessarily werewolves. In Sunshine by Robin McKinley there are mentions of weresquirrels, wererats, and even werechickens… and it’s implied that the latter are probably the most embarrassed.

465 words. Fantasy, the same monster hunters from J is for Journey, and things that go bump in the night! Please leave a comment if you like what you read. 😊  Continue reading “#AtoZChallenge — W is for Watch”

#AtoZChallenge — T is for Trust

T

Just in time! This story was inspired by a prompt on TheProse.com: “///// Nightdwellers ‘Beginning Line’ Challenge (April) ///// Write a piece of literature with the beginning line ‘Twilight, and the ocean breaks…’” (Here.)

1274 words. Adult content, LGBT themes, and no marine animals were actually hurt for the writing of this story. Please leave a comment if you like what you read. 😊  Continue reading “#AtoZChallenge — T is for Trust”

#AtoZChallenge — S is for Shallow

SFor today’s story, I took kind of a silly idea and just went with it. Remember C is for Casual? This is the prequel.

818 words. LGBT theme, plus that sort of je ne sais quoi combo of privileged neglect. Please leave a comment if you like what you read. 😊 Continue reading “#AtoZChallenge — S is for Shallow”