Wednesday, August 7, 2013

What I learned on my summer vacation

I just returned from 10 days at the glorious Chautauqua Institution in western New York.  There’s so much to be said about this 166 year-old place where I annually meet up with old friends, listen to music, learn about the world we live in, and walk along the lake as much as possible. But I’ll leave that to someone else.

We live simply when we’re in Chautauqua because our lodgings are very small and we are limited to the clothing and “stuff” we can get into our luggage. I love to cook and I’m willing to make it part of my daily vacation routine. But I found myself in small ill equipped kitchens with limited refrigerator space.  Despite this we were pleased with the meals we created while away. If nothing else, we were happy to skip the lackluster pizza by-the-slice-and greasy offerings from the grill. There aren’t many restaurant options at the Chautauqua Institution … it’s not about the food after all.

Before we left our little attic kitchen we were able to consume all our fresh groceries and give the remains of our canned goods to the local soup kitchen. I hate waste so this made me very happy. My way to avoid waste at home is to freeze things for future use. But after our time of careful shopping and cooking I found myself slightly appalled by my over crowded freezer. In comes Nupur with a clean-out challenge. Talk about timing. I always try to  bring part of my Chautauqua experience home with me so this year I’m bringing home “eating better and not buying groceries that exceed our need”.  I’m going to start by drawing down on our current stock.

Let the draw down begin.  Today’s challenge: farro, homemade vegetable broth, and frozen unpeeled shrimp.  I’ll let you know what I come up with.

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