Winter food problem

I have a problem with food.  It multiplies in my house.  The parable of the loaves and fishes would be a good anology, if there were more than one person to feed in my house.

It’s winter.  I stockpile.  At any moment, a big snowstorm could prevent me from digging out my car for a couple of days, not to mention making the twelve mile round trip to the grocery store.  I live in the woods, on a mountain, in the middle of nowhere.   I’m only two miles from the secondary road to the supermarket, but it’s a rough two miles. The road up the mountain to my complex has a 30 degree grade in many places, and once here, there are two more hills with 30 degree grades to get to my house.  At one point on the mountain road, there’s a sharp right curve with a steep climb to the right and a sheer drop to the waterfall on the left.  It’s a pretty exciting drive down, too.  I don’t have four-wheel drive.  I’ve bought a new car since moving here, but because I bought in summer, I forgot about four-wheel drive and got another Civic (other cars just feel too BIG to me).   I could go out and take a photo – but I’m not going anywhere today.  The temperature may get up to freezing today, but I’m just generally too cold to go any farther than the bird feeder, 4 feet outside my door.

So, I could be stranded, and I stockpile.  When I make something to eat, the objective is not only to feed myself, but also to get rid of some of the food.  But since I cook mostly with raw ingredients, I always produce more food than I use up.  For example, the other night I made chili.  A big can of tomatoes (that’s one down), some ground beef, dried chilies and dried beans, an onion, garlic, 2 celery stalks, parsley and oregano.  I used up about 35 ounces of food, but ended up with TWO GALLONS of chili – almost an eightfold increase!  The coup de grace was a whole can of chipotles in adobo sauce which made the chili so spicy that I experienced for the first time what my friends mean when they talk about acid reflux.  I threw the last SEVEN quarts of chili down the garbage disposal last night, and my gums are still burning.

Often, when I make soup, I start out with a 3 quart pot, but the soup multiplies as ingredients are added, and I dump everything into a 5 quart pot.  But it keeps growing, and  I have to transfer it into the 8 quart pot.  It has a mind of its own.  How does 3 cups of flour and a teaspoon of yeast turn into a loaf of bread that that measures 270 cubic inches??  Go ask Alice.

Call Alice when she was just small
When the men on the chess board
Get up and tell you where to go
Go ask Alice I think she’ll know

When logic and proportion
Have fallen sloppy dead
And the white knight is talking backwards
And the Red Queen’s lost her head
Remember what the dormouse said

Feed your head
Feed your head

Thank you, Grace Slick.

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About Diane Weist

First year of the baby boom, ex-hippie who always had a job, born with a raised eyebrow, only child and it shows, occasional painter and writer, outsider. Raging, raging against the dying of the light.
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