Tag Archives: food

Not Wasting Food

For about a month, I’d been craving a meaty hand-pie. I have no idea why, since I’ve never had them before. I guess it was too much time spent watching documentaries on historic British “houses” (more like castles or palaces) and thinking about the food of Harry Potter.

Since I’m a timid soul who doesn’t like exploring new restaurants on my own (and my husband has a tender stomach), I knew that I’d have to make these pies on my own. And since I’m cheap, I knew I’d be making the pie crust by hand (because why should I buy something that is just flour, butter, water and salt, all of which I always have on hand even though I don’t bake that often).

In my head, I knew that I wanted the crust to be chewy, not the flaky stuff that is traditional for most kinds of pie. When I looked up a recipe for the pie dough (because while I know the ingredients I don’t know the proportions) a peirogi dough immediately caught my eye. I thought it would have the perfect texture for what I wanted.

I have a (relative) lot of homemade jams and jellies that were given to me as a gift for Christmas, so I figured that while I was making meat pies, I could make some fruit ones as well, using the jam as filling.

I made a fabulous meat filling using some pork chops (diced up), grated cabbage (out of a bag of coleslaw mix because I can’t eat a whole head of cabbage), some grated carrot, onion, and some sweet potato (in retrospect, I should have left out the sweet potato). I cooked the pork, onion, and potato fully before stuffing the pierogi dough. I wanted the veggies to stay crunchy figured they’d cook enough in the oven.

This is where I seem to have made the critical error. I’m a lazy cook and love to just throw stuff into the oven and have it come out cooked. I have bought frozen pierogies 3 times before and have used all three cooking methods recommended on the box (saute, oven, and boiling) and had already determined that boiling was the ideal way to cook them. I did NOT take my own advice after making a pierogi dough for my meat pies.

I stuck those suckers in the oven and what came out was a tasty rock. Well, not a rock, but they definitely took some serious chewing to eat (I’d also miscalculated on my fruity pies which leaked and seemed to not have enough filling, either).

So, I found myself the unfortunate owners of some pretty, but not the tastiest meat and fruit hand pies. Did I mention that the meat pies were quite dry because I hadn’t included a gravy? Yeah…

After a couple days in the fridge, I knew I had to do something with them. I hate the idea of wasting food, though, so I didn’t want to throw them away without a second chance. So, I cut 2 of the meat pies up  into bite sized pieces and threw them into a pot of chicken stock. The pierogi dough sucked up that liquid beautifully and finally got the texture that I’d craved. I had enough to cover my lunches for work for the rest of the week. I put 2 more meat pies into the freezer for future enjoyment.

By the end of the week, I knew I had to do something with the fruit pies, and I found another meat pie that I’d packaged for my lunch before realizing that I needed to do something better. So, I cut the fruit pies up into pieces  and put them into a baking dish along with an apple I’d cut up and a can of sliced peaches (including the light syrup). This I put into the oven for like an hour and a half at 325 (stirring occasionally and looking for the fruit to be tender, but not completely mushy).

The result was delicious! Kind of a deconstructed fruit pie.

As for the “final” meat pie (since I still have 2 in the freezer), I chopped it up and threw it into some left over canned baked beans. Also delicious! And not one bit of my cooking adventure ended up in the trash!

But I think that the next time I want to make a meat pie, I’ll use a traditional pie dough and I think I’ll get some personal sized pie dishes to make them in so that I can enjoy some proper gravy.

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Best Pun EVER!

Okay, so I’ve been having trouble with my milk tasting sour after only a few days of being open in the fridge.

My husband and I are watching Inlawfully Yours, a cute Rom Com. One of the characters is a pastor and as he poured some milk over cereal (out of a wide mouthed glass jar no less), I wondered aloud at how he keeps his milk fresh.

My husband replied that it is in a church (earlier the character said he lives in a room in the back) and that its protected.

So, of course I said, “Well I want some milk that’s been pastorized.”

😀

Idea Bank #60: My earliest memory of food is..

Hmm…Well, my earliest memory of food is actually one of my earliest memories period. This is what I “see” in my memory:

“I’m sitting on a wooden office desk that’s one of a row of office desks running down the center of a room. At the far end is a HUGE button making machine (even though the actual button making portion is quite small) Around me are presses of various shapes and sizes. Someone has handed me a Frosty that’s literally as big as I am. I am happy.”

My dad tells me that this is me at one of the various print shops he worked at (or just hung out at, I’m not sure). This one specialized in making novelty items (buttons and personalized pencils are the two things I remember making with the help of the older kids). He’s not sure what’s up with the row of wooden desks, but I suppose that it could have been a bunch of work tables (but he’s pretty sure I probably was sitting on someones actual desk). The frosty was given to me a few times when a mom would bring her kids frostys, but I doubt they were giving me one that would have been extra large.

The button machine wasn’t as huge as I want to remember. It was tall because the base would have held some kind of motor and it probably wasn’t that tall since I was tiny and had to get picked up to play with it. It was probably made of cast iron.

My only other memory of this shop was being at the receptionist’s desk which was where the pencil embosser was. Or so my memory says, I’ll have to ask my dad if this was true.

Trick for eating cheaper yogurt

I’m kind of new to the whole “eating yogurt” thing. It wasn’t something my parents bought for us when we (I have a younger brother) were kids. But since I first ate it on a whim, I’ve been happy with the taste, but not so much with the texture.

Shopping on a budget is definitely my thing. I don’t buy anything unless it’s on sale and even then, if I know there will be a better sale later I won’t buy it. Generally I won’t buy a more expensive brand if there’s an acceptable alternative for a cheaper price. Yoplait yogurt is one of these items.

When it comes to yogurt, I like it thick. The three brands of yogurt I’ve tried are Dannon (the thickest), Yoplait, and Great Value (Walmart’s storebrand which is like soup). With my dad buying Great Value it was imperative that I figure out a way to get it to the consistency that I would enjoy eating. The freezer was the obvious first choice.

I’ve been surprised to see so many posts on Pinterest enlightening people about the easy summer snack: a yogurt pop. I can’t remember the last time I ate yogurt at refrigerator temperature (except when I’ve forgotten about my frozen yogurt and it’s melted on me). While Yoplait won’t really work on a stick, it does play nicely with tough spoon. At $0.39/cup on sale, I’m one very happy camper.