I'm here, and I'm not here. There's a lot of restructuring going on in the house, so not a lot of actual cooking is going on. There's also a lot of restructuring going on in my life, which kind of makes me not want to cook. Among other things, I've got a new semester starting (and I'm trying to get ahead instead of the staying afloat I did over the summer) and I quit smoking. It's a lot of stress, most of which I don't really want to get into here. But I wanted to pop in and say hi, and let everyone know I haven't forgotten you (despite the fact that I haven't even been reading other blogs as of late). I've just sort of been in my own little world, and oddly, food hasn't even been part of my life outside of quick take-out for the most part. I haven't even been grocery shopping, other than to pick up some juice here or there. I guess it's a good thing I have a lot of food storage, so at least there'll be food to eat if I do wind up wanting to cook without shopping first. :)
I had a really good time in Nebraska, though it was entirely too short. I lost close to 20 pounds over the summer. I'm not sure if that's good or bad, but it does mean I've had to replace some clothes (which is kind of lame, since I hate shopping). The new semester is going well, and I'm plodding through in my efforts to get ahead of the game. That way, when things are tougher further into the semester, I won't need to worry that I'll get behind. So a lot of work there, though most of it happening because I'm imposing strict time constraints on myself to get it done early.
My plan is to start doing Food Waste Friday again in the next couple weeks, as well as resuming the Saturday spending logs. I'm no longer on the $10/week budget, but I do feel that being accountable to someone other than myself with my food spending keeps me from spending excessive amounts of money on food that may or may not get eaten. I won't be including shopping trips P makes in those lists, since he mostly shops as I've been doing lately (juice, sometimes some fruit or snack foods). I'll post recipes as I feel like cooking, but I think the most realistic expectation is that they'll be sporadic, since I'm mostly interesting in eating comfort foods, and y'all have all those recipes already.
So, that's the basic update on what's going on, and what'll be happening here in the near future. I'm not really sure if there's a time line we can expect for me to be cooking up a storm again or not, so I don't want to give one. But, I expect that once my life makes sense to me again, I'll be in the kitchen more often.
All that being said, I didn't want to leave you with nothing to eat here. When I was in Nebraska, D and I were extolling the virtues of my beloved banana peppers. He mentioned that he'd been told by a friend of his that using the brine from pepperocinis to brine cucumbers was really good. So, when my next bottle of banana peppers was empty, I reused the brine for cucumbers. 3 times. I don't think a fourth would work out so well. So, hope you enjoy!
1 bottle pepperocini or banana pepper brine
1 large cucumber, peeled and sliced
Put the slices in the brine, and refrigerate. Let sit overnight. If your slices are thick, give it two days. If they're really thick, give it three. If they're thin, eat them the next day. You can keep them for a week before they need to be eaten. Serves one (in my house).
(No picture, because I ate them all before it occurred to me you might actually want to see them)