Hoarding And Purging

As with almost all Southern women, I like a bargain. Never pay retail. Remember that. So when there’s a two-for-one special  or a buy-0ne-get-one-free at the Publix, I snap it up. I have a separate freezer for all the stuff I buy at the grocery store that I won’t use right away. The only trouble is, I forget that I’ve stashed stuff in the extra freezer and at some point I realize that I have over-bought.

I have to pause here to mention a thing about my mother-in-law.Mayhew Harbin I know this is a small photo but I grabbed it off Susan’s Facebook page and I just wanted to show you what she looked like not three weeks ago at the Mayhew-Mayhew-Harbin reunion. She’s the one on the left with the red hair. Next to her is the best daughter-in-law in the world, Tammy. Granddaddy’s holding Baby Girl.

By the way, here’s a picture of Baby Girl in her Vols outfit. If that isn’t precious, I don’t know what is.

Baby GirlGranbunny got her the Vols rocking chair from Cracker Barrel. I don’t think that girl’s got a chance, even though neither of her parents went to Tennessee. We have instituted mind control early.

So back to Bunny. When I first met her, we’d stay at the Harbin house and I couldn’t help but notice that Bunny was a food hoarder, too. You’d open up her pantry and there would be 27 boxes of Kraft Macaroni and Cheese and 38 cans of Campbell’s Cream of Mushroom Soup. I know these two items have an indefinite shelf life, but that’s extreme even for me. And don’t even get me started on the packages of hot dogs in her freezer.

So, this week I began the purge portion of the hoarding problem. I promised myself that I’d cook supper with whatever I had on hand for a week. Last night I did country fried steak with cream gravy, which was pretty darn delicious if I say so myself. But tonight I tried to lighten it up a bit. Here’s what I threw together:

Chicken cutlets, sauteed in vegetable oil with salt and pepper. Remove and reserve. Add chopped green pepper, chopped onion and saute until tender. Add minced garlic and cook about 30 seconds (never add your garlic at the beginning of a saute). Add a can of petite diced tomatoes, drained. Add about half a cup of chicken stock (I make my own with the bones left over from rotisserie chicken from the Publix – how thrifty is that!). Squeeze in the juice of one lemon. Add a handful of sliced kalamata olives (not Southern U.S., but southern Greece?). Put the chicken back in and let the sauce reduce by about two thirds. DSCN0434

This is what I ended up with. I made some spaghetti and tossed it with butter. Chicken with sauce on the top. I was pretty proud of myself because it tasted great and except for the butter it was pretty healthy. You have to go with healthy every now and again because tomorrow morning it’s Saturday breakfast out and that almost always means the Waffle House or the Krystal. Yes, you can get sliders at 9:30 in the morning. You just have to wait a few minutes.

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