Heeeey, I'm back!* This blog is about how to eat good on bitch money.

*This is a lie.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Process the perishables. STAT!

Chances are you have a few little comestibles here and there left over from The Old Times, when you could still afford to buy foodstuffs. Some of these may have a short shelf life. You may be feeling so dispirited and frightened you hesitate to approach these precious, precious fresh food items. "The Last Lemon," you might be saying to yourself. "I mustn't touch it, there shan't ever be any more, and we will need it for the winter!"

But this is wrongheaded.

Job one in your Desperation Kitchen is to either consume or preserve what will go bad before it goes bad. Do not, in sadly hopeful effort to feed a future which may never come, toss precious, life-giving calories into the inexorably oxidizing maw of the terrible present!

(Instead, eat 'em your ownself.)

Pineapple Fro-YO! A neoDustbowl Receipt!
(See? I spelled it "receipt" 'cause that is the kind of nonsense spelling they used to get up to back in the days of Glen Miller)
I awoke this morning and remembered that there's a depression on. Heart seizing, I rushed to the kitchen, wild to eke out another day or two of hardscrabble existence. "Hellfahr," I said to myself, "there are three fresh pineapples left over from my massive fruit party, and that was like two weeks ago, what am I thinking??"

And it was true: I got these three pineapples for decoration (Nutritive food! As decor! That's actually how we used to think back then!) from The Fruit Viking, whose stall is at the other end of the Saturday farmar from Ditchweed Guy and who is as different from Ditchweed Guy as night is from noontime. The Fruit Viking might also be called the Luxuries Viking. He has greenhouses and can grow anything that occurs to him. So he he outsells everyone at the farmar because he has nothing but amazing and unexpected edible delicacies. Cherimoya once? Okay? Five different kinds of basil? That's the way the Fruit Viking rolls.

So I had been eschewing the Fruit Viking's stall because I had been on that damnation diet for that godforsaken contest I won and then got esscrute out of my prize for by the demonic gym people, and the Fruit Viking was a little disgruntled because I had not been coming around. (When I told him I couldn't buy any fruit because I was on a diet, he said, "We're not allowed to discriminate against different races anymore, but praise heaven we can still abuse the thin." Then he made as if to spit on me.)

The Fruit Viking was finally mollified when two weeks ago I bought three pineapples and a $10 bag of basil to make pesto from. (In the morning! In the Evening! Ain't we got fun! In the meantime! In between time! Ain't we got fun!) (That is what I was singing while I blithely tossed $12 at the Fruit Viking like $12 was of no more consequence than an offbrand Tic Tac) (I was singing it because it is a song of the Gatsby era, I am pretty sure. Anyway, I ain't singing it now, I can tell you that! 'cause we ain't got fun and we ain't got no $12 to spend on no luxury food items from no Fruit Viking!)

So this morning I cut the armor off the aging pineapples. To do this, you whack the top off the pineapple and the bottom. Throw away the bottom (unless it's further into the depression, in which case you might consider retaining it and making a watery, unpleasant soup stock from it). Retain the top and plant it in a pot in a sunny window, or, if you live in a pineapple-friendly climate, in a carefully guarded corner of a brownfield somewhere that only you know about. It may grow into a pineapple. But probably not.

Luckily when I cut off their skins, which is the next step, I found that my three were still in good shape despite my hideous profligacy of the previous two weeks.

You take your knife, which is either a short chef's or one of those nice Chinese knives (or it's a sharpened piece of a drainpipe left over from when you went out and cannibalized the deserted, half-built subdivision for metals to sell at the recycling plant) and you slice down the sides of the pineapple, removing just the barest minimum of skin. there'll be a regular pattern of "eyes" all along the pineapple, and these you pare out with your paring knive (or your scrounged shiv). In this fashion you reduce waste to a minimum.

Now cut the pineapple into rounds and dice. The Fruit Viking sells "edible core" pineapples, so I include the core section with the rest, but let me tell you something, champ: whether your pineapple core is edible or not, you eat it. This is no time to quibble over "edible/not edible." If it's not POISON, you eat it. That's the rule these days.

Freeze the pineapple.

Put about, say, a cup of frozen pineapple chunks in the food processor and grind up. Add enough yogurt or buttermilk to make your froyo the consistency you like. This is liable to be waaay too sour--if you can afford a banana, freeze that, too, and add it.

(But you probably can't afford a banana.)

If you have cinnamon left and it's really good cinnamon, that will sweeten it some. Really good cinnamon is just amazing stuff. It's too bad we won't be able to get ANY cinnamon soon because soon the Internet will go dark and we'll burn the libraries for heating fuel and forget all human knowledge including the route to the spice islands or how to navigate. Better lay in a good supply now!

Frozen fruit + yogurt is an excellent and delicious dessert item. Add whatever sprinkly things you've got around. If you have any Fage, the Greek yogurt, left over from the happy days of yore, your fro-yo will be just that much more creamy and delicious and amazing. Do not fear Fage because it is so butterfatladen. Very soon fat of every sort will be rationed and soon after that there won't be any more fat full stop. Then won't you rue every day you didn't eat that delicious Fage! Certainly you will!


Anonymous said...

Hello, I have a question. When are we going to start making plastic from our leftover bacon grease? Is it 1945, yet?

Anonymous said...

Hey, I have an item of fruit that is just as you described! I fear eating it because the market is melting and I might have to ration between my immediate family, but at the same time realize, on a rational, sane level, that if I don't eat said fruit it will become black and spawn many fruit flies. Wow, what a dilemma. Oh well. TGIF!

Nom, nom, nom! said...

Can you catch the fruit flies? They are full of the protein Tiny Tim needs to keep his fragile limbs from snapping!

Michele said...

And, you know what? Fruit flies gotta eat, too.

Robin P said...

No anonymous postings! They should not be allowed here! Anonymous is a nobody, an old Nobadaddy, a no-fun, no-credit person!

Om nom: This column was good stuff, babe. Glad to see you back to fighting weight, fighting form, and fighting spirit again. I need to get a food processor, but the Kitchen Aid units are, like, kindof expensive.

I posted something serious on the Dr. Oh-So-Sensitive-to-your-pain Chen Well blog entry. But not to you.