Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Bees in Bonnets and Strange Stuffed Tomatoes

My opinion of food this past month has been a resounding Don't Wanna!  Either I haven't been able to breathe well enough to swallow or else there was absolutely nothing that held any appeal or, most often, a solid combination of the two.  Imagine my surprise when I got a bee in my bonnet yesterday:  I wanted to make baked tomatoes stuffed with mashed potato and artichoke hearts.  Have you ever?  Well, I haven't.

Stuffed tomatoes, surely; that's an old favorite.  But mashed potatoes?  And artichoke hearts?  No idea how that could turn out.

We can blame my local grocery:  I discovered a solitary package of clearance sale artichokes that I couldn't resist.  5 slightly tired (I know that feeling all too well myself) artichokes for $1.98.  I love artichokes. 

I cooked all five last night, intending to eat two and freeze the rest.  But I was just too tired to be bothered again (thank you so much, pneumonia, for stealing all my energy, as well as my resolve).  I barely managed to eat one artichoke, and the other four found their way into a Ziplock bag that took up most of one shelf (there are only two!) in my tiny fridge--it's valuable real estate, and I can't permit stuff to languish there.  But all day I've been avoiding doing much because, guess what, I'm still tired (and I'm even tired of complaining about being tired) so I didn't get the artichokes into the freezer as planned.

When the idea for the stuffed tomatoes jumped into my head yesterday, it would not leave--there's no valuable real estate in my head but, hey, I still need the space for thinking about other things. 

As I went to tidy the kitchen this evening, those tomatoes sat there on the counter looking smug and accusing me.  They knew the artichokes were waiting in the fridge.  I couldn't avoid it. 

Lacking the energy for creating "real" mashed potatoes, I resorted to the jar of dried potato flakes that I use to thicken soup.  I stripped a couple of artichokes, dumped the chokes, put the leaves back into the bag to be frozen, and chopped the hearts.  When the instant mash was prepared, I added the hearts and a generous dash of parmesean and romano cheese.  (Sorry but I only had the powdery product from the plastic jar that likes to pretend to be cheese--the real stuff has not been within my budget lately.)

Instant mashed potatoes. 
Fake cheese. 
Oh well, any port will do in a storm.
But this couldn't possibly be good, could it?

Well, actually, it was kinda tasty.  It's not the worst thing that ever happened to an artichoke heart or a tomato.  I'd season it differently next time (if indeed I try this ever again) and I'd use real ingredients. 

You never know until you try.  Life is.....interesting.

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