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.
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.