Unexpected Kitchen Adventures


mason jars with bread crumbsYou know what they say: When life hands you lemons, make breadcrumbs.

Ok fine. They don’t say that. But they should… at least today.

Last night I came home with a trunk full of frozen, grass-fed beef. We’re talking 100+ pounds of steak, roasts and ground beef. More on that experience later, but suffice it to say, I was pretty excited! I flung open the garage door and carried one of my heavy boxes of frozen beef to the refrigerator. During our CSA season we use the fridge to store harvested veggies overnight before delivering them. During the off season we’ve been using the freezer to store things like meat and frozen veggies that we’ve picked up during really good sales. To my dismay, I discovered that the freezer wasn’t working – and many, many pounds of chicken, salmon, perch, peas, carrots and green beans were beginning to thaw. Yikes!

Not only that, but now I had two banana boxes full of frozen meat with no home. Double yikes! Since it was below freezing last night, I put both boxes in the (unheated) greenhouse where I could monitor the temperature. (I have a wireless thermometer in there which I can check from the house.) I pulled a frozen planter in front of the door so critters couldn’t get inside. (Never underestimate a raccoon.)

This morning my buddies at the Weather Channel said it would be 27* or colder all day so I thought I had some time to make a plan.

Wrongpants.Very wrong.

Meanwhile, the temp in the greenhouse began rising: 34*… 35*… 36*…  Triple yikes! To avoid loosing hundreds of dollars of grass-fed beef, we had to make room in the kitchen freezer. (And thank God for our great neighbors – we were able to take half to their house for safe keeping!) Mostly the kitchen freezer was just disorganized. I was able to make quite a bit of room by moving things around. But we still needed more… so here’s what I did.

I dehydrated four pounds of frozen veggies (purchased on a super-duper, buy one/get two free sale!).

computer and dehydrator with peas

I was multi-tasking :)

Two more pounds of veggies will hit the dehydrator when these are done.

Next I dehydrated two packages of hot dog buns in the oven. (I put them on cookie sheets at 250* for about 1.5 hours.) We don’t normally buy hot dogs or buns but I purchased these for an outreach event that ended up being canceled. (Plus I got them for the same buy one/get two free deal!) I kept one bag and I’ll be using these two for bread crumbs.

SAMSUNG bread crumbs from hot dog buns

Needless to say we’ll be eating a lot of meat this week to make more room in that freezer!

In a somewhat unrelated note, today was grocery day. As I was putting things away in the fridge, I noticed a sourdough starter lingering in the back… from September. It had a very thick (maybe one inch?) layer of hooch on the top. (No, I am not mocking the sexuality of my sourdough.) I wish I had thought to take a picture of it, but instead I just stirred the hooch back into the starter. I added a cup of white flour and only a half cup of warm water (because it was already very watery), let it sit for a while (maybe 1.5 hours) and I had this:

I left this sponge out for about another hour after taking this photo and it was very frothy.

I left this sponge out for about another hour after taking this photo and it was very frothy.

Bam! Sourdough Sponge. Can’t wait to make my first loaf of sourdough!

This is not how I planned to spend the day, but in the end it made me feel pretty resourceful. Let’s hope I somehow find time to do all the other things I was supposed to be doing!

Have you had any unexpected adventures on the home front recently? What have you been up to in your kitchen?

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