Did you hear about the security breach of classified information by Wikileaks? It exposed ugly information that a lot of influential people wish had never been publicized. Embarrassing. Exposure of our messes can have real consequences, but sometimes it inspires us to clean up our act and do better.
When we got home from our Thanksgiving travels, we brought home venison to put in the freezer. I opened my freezer and saw this mess. This was not news to me, but I've continued my "tuck, shove, and slam" approach to freezer organization. You can see that it isn't very effective. As I tried to clear some space, I discovered all kinds of things I had forgotten existed .... a container of "fresh" mint that looked like it came from Creation week, a bag of cooked wild rice left over from (I'm too embarrassed to say), a pile of black bananas that long ago ceased to be worthy for banana bread, a bag of english muffins that were english when the Pilgrims were, and so much more. My shame inspired me to use up the artifacts, so for dinner last night, I began!
Normally, I wouldn't share a recipe for something I could dub "Cook it or Trash it," but this shocked me and turned out GREAT! I wasn't expecting anything beyond edible, so I didn't take a single picture as my creation unfolded. Put on your imagination cap.
I started with a butternut squash on my counter that was begging not to be allowed to rot. I cut it in half and baked it for 45 min at 400 degrees. (I drizzled on a little olive oil and sprinkled with s&p) I scooped out the pulp and chopped it up in a large stock pot.
- 1 Butternut Squash
- 6 c. chicken boullion
- 1 c. cooked wild rice
- 1 link of Hillshire Farms Smoked Beef Sausage (or a substitute)
- 1 can of sweet corn kernels
- 1 c. half and half
- 1 c. sour cream
- Add 6 cups of water with 6 chicken bouillon cubes (from the back of the fridge).
- Meanwhile, fry one can of corn (from the darkness of the pantry) along with one package of Hillshire Farms Smoked Beef Sausage (I used 1/2 but would use all of one next time), chopped into bite sized pieces. The meat provided the oil.
- Let the broth and squash simmer for about 10 minutes, mashing the squash as it cooks.
- Add 1 cup of cooked wild rice left over from ... still not going to admit this. :)
- Add the lightly fried sausage and corn.
- Add one cup of fat free half and half. Stir well and simmer at medium heat for about 5-10 min.
- Add one cup of reduced fat sour cream (This was actually forgotten in the back of my fridge, expired, but unopened ... so I used it, and it was fine.) Stir well and turn the heat to low for about 10 min.
This soup was shockingly good and made from what I had on hand, except for the beef sausage. I bought that today. With the rising prices of groceries, we need to be resourceful. I LOVE using what I have on hand, and I love it even more when it turns out to be something the family says, "Make this again!" When I saw them going back for seconds, I was amazed.
And what did I serve this surprising Inspiration Soup with? Remember those old english muffins from the freezer? Toasted them up in the oven and added a little butter. No one even knew they had been resurrected and brought back from the brink.
So all's well that ends well, but I would love some ideas on how to organize my freezer. Can you help me? I don't want to see my blueberries go the way of the bananas. If you have helpful ideas, send them my way by email or leave one in the comment.
Do YOU know what you're having for dinner? If your freezer looks akin to mine, don't be afraid ... reach in and be inspired! It may be your new family fav. ;)
Thanks to Jen and Lisa for hosting Tasty Tuesday and Tempt My Tummy Tuesday today!