Monday, June 13, 2011

what do you think happens in the fridge, jenny?

surprisingly, this is not how it's meant to open

I didn't plan on eating at home tonight. I was supposed to go from work to a grad school fair.  And then I had an allergic reaction to the thought of networking.  I hate networking on a good day.  I loathe it after I have spent the past week meeting new people at a new job. So, I hemmed, I hawed, I called my parents to have them talk me out of going.  I chatted with a new coworker for almost an hour to just plain avoid going.  

So by the time I headed home, I wasn't just hungry, I was really mad at myself.  I had absolutely no excuse for not going.  And yet I still didn't. So I refused to let myself buy dinner.  No rewarding slacker behavior here (err, at least not today, that is). 

Instead I came home, and forced myself to cook.  I have a few bags of pasta sauce frozen for nights when I'm starving and either don't have time or don't have energy to cook, but pasta sounded terrible. I really wanted, I decided, a steak.  As the steak was defrosting, I debated a side dish.  I couldn't really stomach another round of plain pasta or rice, so I dug out my recipe binder that I threw together when the Lent adventure was gearing up. 

I realized that this would be the perfect time to use up a bag of spinach that was nearly expired in my fridge.  See, I have this irrational preoccupation with expiration dates and spoiled food.  I always hesitate to so much as touch expired anything, and I won't eat leftovers that have been in the fridge more than a day, maybe two.  My friend/former coworker Allison found this so stymying that she finally asked me "what do you think happens in the fridge, Jenny?"

I think things go bad, that's what!  So, this spinach was a ticking time bomb in the LKTC, and using it in a couscous recipe was the only way to defuse it without totally wasting it.  I got the garlic minced and the olive oil heating up, and went to open the couscous (which has been sitting unopened on my shelf since, oh, February).   I broke off a little tab...and nothing happened.  I pulled, I tugged, I tried to use a knife for leverage (I get a little irrational when I'm especially hungry).  No dice.

I thought about just reverting to plain rice or pasta, but then I got all Catholic guilt-y on myself. You can't just give up on everything today, Jenny.  So I attacked the plastic lid of the couscous with the scissors.  I'm sure the neighbors were concerned, as it sounded a bit like I had shot something.  Then again they spend 90% of their time yelling violently at each other, so, I like to think of this as inadvertent payback. My brief fit of rage against the couscous was a success, and I managed to whip up a surprisingly delicious complement to the steak. (I say surprisingly because I had never even tried couscous before tonight.  I have a lot of lost time to make up for). I can't say the PBR added much to the meal, but I've had a case of it since well, I won't even tell you what month (not to mention year), and the slowly dwindling supply of cans has been mocking me from the refrigerator for ages. 

I made enough couscous that there are, ironically, leftovers.  I'll be sure to eat them within 24 hours, don't worry, Allison!

ps-in case I left anyone particularly curious, the sweet potato biscuits were pretty good.  The girls at Sunday dinner were awfully effusive.  Then again they were probably just being overly polite to spare my feelings.  

pps-the couscous I now find myself borderline obsessed with is of the Israeli variety, and I think I will prefer it to the much smaller (regular) couscous. I say this like I have any idea what I'm talking about.  I don't. 

1 comment:

  1. You need to give your fridge a little credit! It will slow down the things that make food go bad for quite a while. Even after the expiration date :-)

    Love your blog!

    - Al