The cupboard’s almost bare

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Shrimp ratatouille over pasta with oregano and cilantro from my garden

Of all the household duties that need my attention the three I like least are emptying the dishwasher (I don’t mind loading it), taking out the trash and grocery shopping. I’ll go weeks, months, without stepping foot in one of those large chain grocery stores; I’ll make frequent trips to the local, small, independent shop for the necessary items – produce, milk, yogurt, eggs, bread. Meals are not fancy around here.

When I got home from work last night I wanted to go out for a run. It was dry and breezy, thunderstorms were expected later in the evening, a perfect night for outdoor exercise. After changing into capris and running shoes I made a quick sweep through the kitchen, wondered what I could throw together when I got back. The pickings were slim in the cupboards, 1/2 box of ziti, cereal, protein powder, peanut butter and jelly, black beans, pinto beans, cannellini beans. Besides the usual condiments, mustard, ketchup, maple syrup, the refrigerator’s shelves were lacking even the basics. I ate my last egg for dinner Thursday and Bill sent me home Sunday night with enough milk for my morning oatmeal. The odds of making myself dinner were stacked against me.

Peering into the freezer I spotted a plastic container with the last of theΒ ratatouille my sister made me a few weeks ago. Next to that was a bag of frozen shrimp. I dumped some shrimp into a bowl of cold water, left the ratatouille on the counter to thaw and went out for a five-mile run through my neighborhood. The closer I got to home the more I thought about dinner.

Done with my run, I walked the backyard, sweat dripping from my hairline and neck, cooled down. I checked the progress of my little garden and pots of lettuce and herbs, watered everything and went in to make dinner. I boiled the pasta, heated up the ratatouille in a small saucepan, added shrimp in the last minutes. I plucked some oregano and cilantro from my garden and, when my meal was ready, sprinkled it with the chopped herbs. It was perfect. And there was enough left over for lunch today. Unless I can get creative with a can of beans and very little else that may have been my last meal until I get myself to a store.

After dinner, I loaded my dishes into the dishwasher and turned it on. I wonder when I’ll get around to unloading it.

Categories: Home, Musings, Run

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27 replies

  1. I hear you! My dishwasher cycle has come to an end. I am trying to decide if I want to unload it (well, I don’t want to but…). I forced myself to do a super shop on Sunday. I would rather not go again for several weeks but that’s probably unrealistic. I reckon you could get creative with beans but you may need a few other things to do so. πŸ˜‰

    • I left the house without unloading the dishwasher this morning so it’ll be there for me tonight. I usually have cans of tomatoes in my cupboard which could help those beans but I’m even out of that! I’m going to have to break down and empty the dishwasher and go to a grocery store!

  2. That’s a yummy looking dish that you whipped together, Geralyn. On another subject, I thought about you when I heard the story of 92 year old woman who recently completed her 16th marathon…amazing!

  3. Love the dish Geralyn, looks delicious. Just finished running the dishwasher and washing the non-dishwasher items. I’m with you, don’t like going into grocery stores ~

  4. I love going crazy with left overs. As a single soul, I thrive on twice, thrice cooked meals. Great that after this horrible spring, you had some greens to harvest. You know, I love emptying the dishwasher. All those things I put in there all crusted and dirty, miraculously clean and ready for the shelves or my next meal. As someone who never had the use of dishwasher till I was nearly 40, I guess I’m still basking…;-)

    • My lunch of leftovers was pretty good! I got my first dishwasher when I got married at 32. Before that I washed everything in the sink. I still default to that at times. I don’t know what it is about emptying the dishwasher, maybe trying to find a place in the cabinets for all those plastic containers! They seem to multiply. I did finally go grocery shopping last night, hopefully I’m set for another 3 months! πŸ™‚

  5. Wow! I admire your ability to put a meal like that together. I also dislike grocery shopping. So my cupboard is usually bare. For some reason, I have several boxes of pasta and cans of vegetables. It’s like they multiply when I’m not looking.

  6. That dinner looks delicious. Right up my alley. I also can’t stand the big-box store. I’d rather get a root canal. I try instead to find small groceries, harder and harder in my neck of the woods. Or if I must, run into the big places with a very small list. Either way, I’d prefer the French way of shopping — just buy what you need for each night’s dinner. Yum.

    • I like that kind of shopping, too. I’ll run to a local produce/grocer on my lunch hour and pick up what I need for a couple of days. I did finally break down and go into the big grocery store. I’m all stocked up now, at least for a few weeks.

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