Using Things Up, Again.

Yesterday I received an email from a woman I don’t know very well wanting my advice on how to use up five pounds of carrots. She said she was planning to make carrot cake but realized that that would not require five pounds of carrots: did I have any other ideas? Since I don’t spend a lot of time thinking about carrots, and I definitely avoid thinking about carrot cake, I didn’t have much to offer her. So I posted her query to Facebook and within a few hours a slew of people had posted a number of unusual and reasonable suggestions, all of which I dutifully forwarded to her. Only she and her family will know what comes of this, I assume; I haven’t heard back from her yet, at any rate.

In the meantime, though, this morning I found myself looking at little jars of things I had lying around and thinking, “Man, this is stupid, I should use this stuff up.” I thought about this while I made myself breakfast, a bowl of oatmeal, which resulted in even more leftovers. Contemplating the few cups of white whole wheat flour I had (which is taking up far too much space) and the half-jar of chopped walnuts leftover from Passover and the half-jar of chocolate chips which aren’t enough to do anything with on their own, I decided the solution was to make an oatmeal walnut chocolate chip cake.

So I did this. And it came out great. I’m very pleased. A problem remains, however, which is, What am I going to make for dinner tonight? I have about a pound of leftover flank steak, three celery stalks, a cucumber, a half-jar of roasted red peppers, and no ideas whatsoever. I suspect this will mean that dinner tonight is some kind of salad involving steak, chopped celery, cucumber, and roasted red peppers. Actually, even as I type this is comes to me: put the peppers and some goat cheese (which I also have on hand) in the food processor to make salad dressing; cook up some rotini… you see where I’m going with this? Good. Dinner is solved.


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