The random foodie survivalist lives on

Homemade goodies
Homemade sweet potato butter and dill pickles — Ne’er the twain shall meet

The pantry-cleaning fest continues and famine has been averted thus far. (No signs of any other horsemen for that matter.)

When living off the interesting bits laying around the house, the simple story of a day in the dining life becomes quite convoluted.

Now week before last, while Mama Squirrel was at a resort in Palm Springs having dry-aged prime New York strip for dinner, Squirrelly, Jr., and I were having chili dogs and chili cheese fries. (XXL t-shirt and extra extra napkins anyone?) Well dinner came in packs of five hot dogs and eight hot dog buns. I couldn’t possibly explain the marketing math that gave us the leftover buns.

Prior to her trip, Mama made some excellent sweet potato butter. She boiled the sweet potatoes whole to keep in the juices. Then the potatoes were peeled, mashed and put into a large pot with unfiltered apple juice, cinnamon, and a pinch of nutmeg. After cooking down very slowly, this made a wonderful spread.

I brought a jar to an Indian coworker. He and I had been discussing the relative differences between American and Indian sweets. To my mind, Indian sweets are not normally as sweet, but a trip to Masala, the new Indian buffet on Hacks Cross gave me second thoughts. In addition to excellent daal and goat curry, Masala features a very rich, very sweet kheer — a sort of Indian rice pudding that is usually more liquid and less sweet. But that is a review for another day.

After my conversations with my coworker and samples of Indian sweets he brought from home, I thought I should return the favor. I thought that the subtle flavors and sweetness of the sweet potato butter would be ideal for the Indian palate. Happily, I was right. He reported to me that every morning he now adds a little of the butter to the toasted hamburger bun that he previously had plain. Standing in the kitchen, fearing for the sake of my breakfast, I remembered this and went for the hot dog buns.

After popping the buns into the toaster, it was time for the random element. I reached into the refrigerator and pulled out the first jelly-jar-looking thing I saw. I’m not crazy. If I had pulled out the recently made green tomato pickles, I would have put them back. Fortunately I didn’t have to face that idea that early in the morning. We left the house munching on our muscadine jam buns while holding our ham and swiss sandwich lunches made from excess panini ingredients. So far so good.

Ginger Lemon Shortbread Sandwich Cookies
A restaurant review, really! Café 1912

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