Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Cleaning Out the Closet

Jim was off the last two days, hence my erratic blogging. With the kids at school, we were able to power through several projects that had been mocking us. One of the biggest projects was cleaning out and organizing our closet under the stairs. That particular closet was a catch all for miscellaneous things. It was also the place where many of my craft supplies resided.

In organizing this closet, I took a long hard look at each thing I came across. A giant box of brand new fabric from freecycle was a keeper for future sewing projects. A half done latch hook rug was put in the pile to be donated. Lanyard that had been lying around for eons went in the donate pile. The more I dug my way into the closet, the more I discovered that really needed to be donated. There were 10 x 13 picture frames that I passed on to my daughters to use for collages of friend's pictures. (The largest pictures I ever get are school pictures and those are 8 x 10.)

Jim installed some shelves (plain pine board and L brackets) on one wall of the closet and now we have a much more functional, organized and less cluttered space. Suddenly, we can find all the leftover paint for touch up work!

Jim was so inspired by the lack of clutter that he attacked his record collection, finally sorting out the records he didn't want. I'll head to the thrift store to make a donation on my way home from work today.

Yesterday was our last CSA pick up of the season. My fridge is stuffed, my freezer is stuffed and I've got baskets of squash and potatoes in the cooler locations in my house. I think we're pretty well set with local, chemical free produce for the winter. YEAH!

Now, the cooking challenge really shifts to using what I have on hand. I have to put my thinking cap on while looking at recipes not forgetting to vary things or risk being left with a freezer full of some less loved veggie to slog through day after day.

The first thing I intend to use up is the lettuces, mainly because they are the most perishable. I don't really care for lettuce in the colder weather but its here so I'll us it. I like to make it a little heartier by toasting some sunflower seeds in a dry cast iron pan and sprinkling them over the top of my salad.

More on working my way through the fridge over the next several days.


Ruthie said...

Oh how I love a freshly organized space.

You may think of adding chickpeas and/or pastas or cooked grains to your salads. They tend to make a super hearty meal.

Chile said...

One way to make a salad more interesting is to dump it on top of a hot entree such as mashed potatoes or cooked rice or bulgur. Top with salsa, BBQ sauce, or dressing.

Here's an easy recipe that lets you cook some of the lettuce.

Lettuce & Peas Chiffonade
10 outer leaves of lettuce, stacked and rolled into fat tube. Cut into fine even shreds.
1 onion, diced
1 c frozen peas (may omit or substitute!)
Salt & pepper to taste
1 tbs soy milk

Saute lettuce & onions in a little bit of water until lettuce is limp and onion is translucent.
Add peas and cook a moment.
Season and stir another minute.
Add soymilk. Stir and cook on low heat for 30 seconds.

Katie said...

Good ideas! I think I'll try that recipe tonight!