Ways to Use Things That You Might Have Overbought

Avoiding grocery guilt is a goal here at Cheepie.  I don’t want you to buy things, have them sit in the crisper, and then throw them out in a week.  Or in a few weeks.  I want you to eat those deals, because they’re a good thing!

Here are some ideas for things you might buy this week.  If you’ve got ideas, please share in the comments–I’m always looking for new ways to cook the things my family likes.

HEB‘s organic broccoli:  Broccoli is super easy to freeze.  Boil it for 3-4 minutes, then dump it into a colander, then dump that into some ice water.  Drain and toss it in a freezer bag. If you’ve got a vacuum sealer, all the better.   If not, I’m here to tell you my kids have never not eaten broccoli because I didn’t seal it up properly. If yours do, send them over here and we’ll have a word.

Apples of whatever stripe you choose:  Have you been buying those pouches of apple/pear/plum/chai/rutebega puree?  Have you thought to yourself, “Hey, self, isn’t $1 a lot to pay for 4oz of fruit puree?”  If so, let me take you back to a time before cell phones, before the internet, and before people looked up recipes online.  It’s ok, we’re just going to visit a little while.

In those days, there were cookbooks, and in the early 1990s The Silver Palate Cookbook, and the follow-up, The New Basics Cookbook were the proto-foodies gestational sac.  From these books arose the sun-dried tomato craze, the over-use of pesto, and the rise of goat cheese.  I’m looking at The New Basics right now, and you know what chapter I’m on? Microwave Miracles.  This book, published in 1989, by people responsible for untold numbers of dinner parties serving Chicken Marbella (click here), has an entire chapter of recipes they call Microwave Miracles; the chapter is a list of recipes elsewhere in the book that have microwave instructions, followed by nine recipes in the chapter proper.

The only one I’m interested in is the applesauce.  Because it’s simple, and it works. They suggest you can microwave ‘Shrimp on a Bed of Leeks’.  I’m here to say please do not do that.  In fact, the list of things suggested in this chapter that I’d like you to never do is long, and that’ll have to wait, because right now you need to make applesauce.  I love this book, but please don’t microwave shrimp and leeks.

Yes, you can make applesauce on a stove top.  Of course you can,you’re a strong, independent person and can do what you want.  I’m saying this is faster, and simpler, and requires less attention.  You are free to eschew those things.  I’d happily listen to your eschewing in the comments (bless you!).

My Applesauce Plan, based on my Rickety Old Cookbook

  • 4 apples that you like, with at least one tart one
  • 1 cup water
  • 2T lemon juice
  • 1/2 c sugar
  • 1/2 t ground cinnamon

Core, peel and slice apples into chunks.  Mix apples and all other ingredients in a microwave safe dish. Microwave 3 minutes.  Use a potato masher to smash the fruit, and microwave another three minutes.  Repeat the mashing.  At this point, you should pretty much have apple sauce, which you may put in any container of your liking.  If there are too many big bits, microwave for 90 sec intervals and continue with the mashing until it looks like what you want to eat.

I know it all seems complicated.  But cutting up apples and microwaving them is something you can do.  And there won’t be EDTA, guar gum, or corn syrup involved. It’s 10 minute applesauce!

So, there’s two things to do with things on sale this week. If you’ve bought a bunch of something, and are at a loss?  Let CheepieAustin know!  I have experience with this situation, whether it’s cabbage, beef tongue, or peaches.  Go ahead, try to stump me!

Don’t forget to follow me on twitter–when I find a good deal I take a photo and tweet. I try to get it on Facebook, too.  This week I found $2 watermelons, $1.49 pomegranates, and 54c cans of soup stock.

Cheep Cheep!


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