Making a silk purse out of a sow’s ear

photoI started out this morning cleaning out cupboards in my kitchen.  They are always overcrowded, so its no wonder that items grow old and die (expire) before they get any attention at all.  But what I was really searching for was the stock that HASN’T expired, so that I could downsize AND help the local food back at the same time.  A win-win, right?

As I quickly went thru the cupboard contents, I found it increasingly hard to simply chuck out the items that were past date by a month, or a year, or two.  I could hear Mom sighing in exasperation at the rejects pile.

“WHY is that there?  It’s not even opened!  WHO says it is no good?  It looks perfectly fine to me!  YOU are just being too picky, and listening to what other people say.  Maybe THEY can afford to buy things and just toss them when someone else says they’re no longer good, but I never could!  Someone who can’t afford to buy food for their family couldn’t possibly turn their nose up at these things.  I certainly wouldn’t!  Thats just like throwing good money after bad!”

So, with those words ringing in my ears, I picked up the rejected cans and packages, and gave them another look.  Graham Crackers best before December 2012, still in their sealed sleeves.  Okay, I have recipes for squares that these might still do for.  A can of Mandarin Oranges:  Broken Pieces, dated 2008.  Hmmm…those are a little sketchy.  However, can’t hurt to open the can and take a look and a sniff.  Seems fine to me.  A package of chocolate pudding, dated last year, should still be okay.  Dream Whip dated 2011, might not set, but hey its worth a try!

For the next hour I mixed, stirred, whipped and tasted, following a recipe in a kind of, sort of way.  I ended up with what I HOPE is a tasty dessert, using my collection of rejects.  Graham crackers lining a pan, topped with a mixture of Cool Whip and chocolate pudding which was flavored with Grand Marnier, and mandarin orange bits, put in the fridge to let the flavors meld.  I’ll have to wait until later this evening to determine if it was a success.

Mom would be so proud!

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